Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system. SQL Server is a database server, a software product which stores and retrieves data on behalf of other software applications—which may operate on the same computer or on another computer over a network.
A SQL Server provides multiple benefits, such as offering enhanced performance and highly secure encryption algorithms, making it virtually impossible to break the security. SQL Server is also easy to install and has outstanding mechanisms for data restoration and recovery.
Microsoft SQL Server is a Microsoft-developed relational database management system (RDBMS) which supports workloads ranging from simple single-machine applications to big Internet-facing applications with many concurrent users.
Microsoft SQL Server is available in at least a dozen versions, each targeted at a distinct audience or group.
Each edition of Microsoft SQL Server provides different levels of scalability. There are mainstream editions and specialised editions, each with different feature sets.
Some of the SQL Server Mainstream Editions include:
Enterprise - SQL Server Enterprise Edition offers both the fundamental database engine and additional tools for setting up and maintaining a SQL Server cluster.
Business Intelligence - This is focused on Self Service and Corporate Business Intelligence. Data Quality Services, PowerPivot, Power View, and xVelocity are just some of the tools which are included.
Web - SQL Server Web Edition is a low-TCO alternative for web hosting.
Standard - SQL Server Standard Edition offers the database engine and stand-alone services.
Express - SQL Server Express Edition is a free and scaled-down edition of SQL Server that offers the fundamental database engine.
Some of the SQL Server Specialised Editions are:
Azure - Azure SQL Data Warehouse is the cloud-based version of Microsoft SQL Server, MPP-architecture.
Microsoft Azure - Microsoft Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based version, which is presented as a service platform on Microsoft Azure.
Developer - SQL Server Developer Edition has the same functionality as SQL Server Enterprise Edition, but is restricted to development and test usage only, not as a production server.
Compact - SQL Server Compact Edition is an embedded database engine.
Evaluation - The Trial Edition, SQL Server Evaluation, offers all the features of the Enterprise Edition, however after 180 days, the features will continue to work, but the server services will expire.
Fast Track - SQL Server Fast Track Edition uses reference-architecture hardware designed for Fast Track and is targeted for enterprise-scale data warehousing and business intelligence processing.
Embedded - It is a named instance of the SQL Server Express database engine which may be accessed exclusively by specific Windows Services.
LocalDB - SQL Server LocalDB Edition is a basic, on-demand, SQL Server intended for application developers.
Datawarehouse Appliance Edition - This Fast Track appliance is pre-installed and configured with Dell and HP. The edition does not contain SQL Server Integration Services, Analysis Services, or Reporting Services.
Analytics Platform System - A massively parallel processing (MPP) SQL Server appliance for warehousing terabytes of data.
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