SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide

SQL Server Express is one of the most valuable products of Microsoft. Very often, I face many questions with regard to SQL Server Express. Today, we will be covering some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: What is the cost of SQL Server Express?
A: SQL Server Express is a FREE product from Microsoft.

Q: Where can I find more details about SQL Server Express?
A: On official Microsoft Site: http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/default.aspx

Q: Why should I use SQL Server Express when I have full version available?
A: Usually, I install only the license version product on my system. When I do not have to use all the features of SQL Server, I install SQL Server Express.

Q: What is the maximum size per database for SQL Server Express?
A: SQL Server Express supports a maximum size of 4 GB per database, which excludes all the log files. 4 GB is not a very large size; however, if database is properly designed and the tables are properly arranged in a separate database, this limitation can be resolved to a certain extent.

Q: Can MySQL be compared with SQL Server Express as both of them are free products?
A: Yes. Both are free and have their own space. However, thus far, I have never faced a situation wherein the task that can be accomplished by using MySQL is not accomplished by SQL Server Express.

Q: Does SQL Server have sufficient help available online?
A: Yes. There are so many online help resources available for SQL Server Express that user will find strongest community for any FREE product.

Let me give you quick list of the online help resources. Even though I took some time to build this reference list, I am sure that all of you will appreciate this and will share with others, which is worth the effort!


Getting Started


Quick Start




Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – SQL Server 2008 Migration White Papers

Quite often I get project when I am asked to migrate different database to SQL Server. Microsoft has excellent white papers written for this series.

Guide to Migrating from MySQL to SQL Server 2008
In this migration guide you will learn the differences between the MySQL and SQL Server 2008 database platforms, and the steps necessary to convert a MySQL database to SQL Server.

Guide to Migrating from Oracle to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from an Oracle 7.3 database or later to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects, SQL dialects, and procedural code between the two platforms. The entire migration process using SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 2008 for Oracle is explained in depth, with a special focus on converting database objects and PL/SQL code.

Guide to Migrating from Informix to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from an Informix 11 database to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects and procedural code between the two platforms. Emulation of system functions is also discussed.

Guide to Migrating from Sybase ASA to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from a Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere (ASA) database of version 9 or later to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects, SQL dialects, and procedural code between the two platforms.

Guide to Migrating from Sybase ASE to SQL Server 2008
This white paper covers known issues for migrating Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise database to SQL Server 2008. Instructions for handling the differences between the two platforms are included. The paper describes how SQL Server Migration Assistant, the best tool for this type of migration, can help resolve various migration issues.

Files can be downloaded here.

Abstract courtesy : Microsoft

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Proposed eGov Standards Policy – Benefit for All or Only A Chosen Few

Does the proposed eGov Standards Policy benefit all or only a chosen few?

As a wider audience comes to accept new technology, so the technology itself grows. The recent debate in India on the eGov Standards policy has been a point of contention for some time. I would like to start our discussion on this topic by posing two questions:

Question 1: Should government mandate single standards for a given technology domain?

The obvious answer would appear to be “Yes”, but the considered answer is actually “No”.

The stipulation of a “single standard” would unnecessarily restrict the technology choices for the Government and would result in the exclusion from Government projects of Indian ISV’s who do not conform to the standard. In the Indian IT ecosystem, not many software companies offer their products for free. This is not only an Indian phenomenon, but a global one too. Software is not generally free.

Question 2: Should royalty free IP in standards be used in eGovernment solutions as suggested in section 5.1.1?

Once again, the obvious answer would appear to be “Yes”, but the considered answer is actually “No”.

If everything is free, who will pay the bills? We all know that in life there is no such thing as a free lunch. To build a sustainable standard takes time, people and money. The Ethernet standards, developed in the IEEE in the IEEE 802 series, provide us with a good example of this. If everything has to be royalty-free, how is the inventor to be paid for his efforts? It is simply impractical to expect everything to be free.

Open Standard vs. Open Source

The real eGovernment debate revolves around understanding the true meaning of “Open Standards”. Wikipedia is a great source on the subject and provides various points of view.

A clear understanding of the differences between Open Standards and Open Source is necessary. Open Standards can be used both in Open Source and paid technologies. For example, UNICODE is standardized under RAND terms and is used in both Windows and Linux. Sadly, Open Source has become a tool of exploitation in hands of the few who usurp the claim on Open Standard.

Facing Reality

For Government procurements, the lowest bidder is generally awarded the contract. The “artificial” imposition of a single royalty-free standard would preclude Government Departments from selecting solutions on a value-for-money basis. Many eGovernment Interoperability Frameworks across the globe do not impose such stipulations for the very reason that they have adverse effects on interoperability.

A number of organizations offer their software for free, but profit by charging surreptitiously for support. To my mind, it is better to be upfront and open about the real costs. Many have found themselves locked into agreements, only to be shocked by the actual long-term costs. This is what most Open Source implementations end up doing.

By towing the “free line”, effectively the Government is siding with the Open Source philosophy and killing vendors who charge for their software upfront. This is not in the best interests of the emerging software economy, nor the development of intellectual property.

The debate on standards is NOT purely academic in nature. If this standard is passed, Open Source commercial vendors stand to gain millions in Government contracts. Please refer to section 7.4 on this point. The debate is also NOT about what is good or bad. It is really a debate on how the proponents of a single standard will secure their profits from the Government.

The proponents of a single standard have a loud voice, and they appeal loudly to higher authorities and institutions. I believe that this should come to and end. The real issue, i.e. the confusion between Open Standards and Open Source needs to be clarified before a crucial error is made.

Suggestion for Better eGovernment Standard Policy

As we have seen, the term “open standard” means different things to different bodies. While I support the Indian Government’s goals to achieve interoperability for e-government, I recommend the following amendments to the eGov Standards policy:

  1. Remove section 5.1.4, because to prove that a particular standard is better than all other existing standard is virtually impossible to do objectively.
  2. Remove all preferences in section 5.2 for Open Source as they only favor commercial Open Source companies.
  3. If preference needs to be given at all, give them to software developed in India by Indian companies. As an added advantage, the Government can more tightly regulate these companies.
  4. To let the taxpayer’s money be utilized most effectively and to meet the objectives detailed in section 3.4, the committee should think of including a “lowest cost preference” clause in section 5.
  5. Define Open Extensions and/or Open Subsets clearly.

I sincerely urge the intellectuals of this country to climb down from “socialist” viewpoints and ensure that the IT the ecosystem is best leveraged to the benefit of the nation.

To better e-governance!

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)