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.
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.
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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:
- 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)
- Download and install the latest SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
- Read tutorials and start practicing!
- Read blogs:
- Watch webcasts:
- Other resources:
Read also: What is SQL Server Management Studio
Check also: Our eBooks on SQL Server
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