Best Way to Learn SQL Server

Best Way to Learn SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most powerful Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMSs) in the world.

A RDBMS is a Database Management System (DBMS) based on the relational model which was invented by E. F. Codd. A database is an organized collection of data. This collection may include tables, functions, views, stored procedures, queries, and more. The data is organized in such a way that based on the relational model, each tables can have primary keys as well as foreign keys that reference other tables and so on.

SQL Server has many powerful features with which you can do just about anything that has to do with data management. That is why SQL Server is one of the leading data platforms worldwide.

Currently, at the time of writing, the SQL Server versions that are officially supported by Microsoft are:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 (End of Extended Support: Jul 9 2019)
  • SQL Server 2012 (End of Extended Support: Jul 12 2022)
  • SQL Server 2014 (End of Extended Support: Jul 9 2024)
  • SQL Server 2016 (End of Extended Support: Jul 14 2026)

Many people interested in starting working with SQL Server, ask what is the best way to learn SQL Server.

However, prior to start learning SQL Server (or any other RDBMS), the first thing you must ask yourself is if you know the basic database principles. If yes, then no problem, you can start learning SQL Server. If not, then I would recommend first learning the necessary database principles prior to start learning SQL Server.

Best Way to Learn SQL Server - SQLNetHub

Let’s say you are aware of the basic database principles. The first step in learning SQL Server is to install it. In order to do so, you can download the latest SQL Server Express Edition and the latest SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

As soon as you install SQL Server Express Edition, you can connect to the database engine with SSMS. In a previous post I talked about SQL Server Management Studio.

Right after you connect to SQL Server database engine, you can start working with SQL Server. For example you can create: databases, tables, functions, stored procedures, view, and many other database objects. Also, after you create your database, you can insert data and process it using SQL and Transact-SQL.

Administering SQL Server (eBook)


Learn hundreds of SQL Server administration tips.

Get the eBook “Administering SQL Server” today!



Even though for each person the best way for learning SQL Server might be different, here’s a generic “framework” I would recommend for those who are just getting started:

  1. Download and install SQL Server Express or SQL Server Developer Edition (Note: SQL Server Developer Edition cannot be used in Production Environments. It can be only used for development purposes)
  2. Download and install the latest SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  3. Read tutorials and start practicing!
    1. Tutorial: SQL Server Management Studio
    2. Tutorial: Getting Started with the Database Engine
    3. Tutorial: Build an app using SQL Server
  4. Read blogs:
    1. SQLNetHub Blog
    3. SQL Server Blog
    4. SQL Server Database Engine Blog
    5. MSSQL Tiger Team Blog
  5. Watch webcasts:
    1. The SQL Server and .NET TV
    2. Microsoft Cloud Platform YouTube Channel
    3. Channel 9
  6. Other resources:
    1. Read SQL Server Technical Documentation on Microsoft Docs
    2. Read SQL Server ebooks

Read also: What is SQL Server Management Studio

Check also: Our eBooks on SQL Server

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with our latest posts, eBook releases and other news!

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


Reference: SQLNetHub (

© 2018

Artemakis Artemiou
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server and Software Architect, Author, and a 9 Times Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub and Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Artemakis's official website can be found at