The new release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008
has been announced in August 2008. This version of SQL Server provides powerful new capabilities that were developed with the customer in mind. SQL Server is considered the leading database platform in both scalability and performance. SQL Server 2008 is available in the following versions:
- SQL Server Compact Edition (SQL CE) – This is a free tool that should be considered as a perfect solution when building a stand-alone application that occasionally connects to a database.
- SQL Server Express Edition – Another tool that is free for development and database deployment. It includes SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.
- SQL Server Workgroup Edition – This version is for companies that have remote offices and require local data instances.
- SQL Server Standard Edition – According to Microsoft's website, this solution is suggested for small to medium scale online transaction processing applications.
- SQL Server Enterprise Edition – This version allows you to consolidate many servers and operate large scale databases.
- SQL Server Developer Edition - It has the functionality of the Enterprise version but can be used only for developing and testing applications.
- SQL Server Web Edition – This version should be picked up when working with Internet applications. It includes new integration features in the .NET Framework.
Here are basic requirements for SQL Server 2008 installation:
Minimum: 1.0 GHz, recommended: 2.0 GHz or faster
Windows XP, Windows XP Media Center, Windows Server 2003,Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008
.NET Framework 3.5 SP1
Minimum: 512 MB Recommended: 2GB
Hard drive free space
Minimum 2 GB
Hard drive space usage may vary depending on type of server and size of databases.
SQL Server 2008 delivers on the Microsoft data platform vision by enabling organizations to run their most mission-critical applications while lowering the cost of managing the data infrastructure and delivering insights and information to all users. SQL Server 2008 (code named Katmai) includes following improvements :
· Transparent Data Encryption TDE works at the file level with 5 different security level. It gives ability to encrypt the whole database.
· Backup Encryption Provides very efficient way of encryption during backup process.
· External Key Management Enables separating keys from data.
· Auditing Monitoring of data access.
· Data Compression Comparing to SQL SERVER 2005 we can find improvement of performance in that area
· Hot Plug CPU Allows to Add CPUs on the fly.
· Performance Studio Group of tools that provides server monitoring.
· Dynamic Development Includes ADO and Visual Studio options.
· Entity Data Services Line Of Business (LOB) framework and Entity Query Language (eSQL)
· LINQ Development query language for access multiple types of data such as SQL and XML.
· Data Synchronizing Development of frequently disconnected applications.
· Dates and Times New data types: Date, Time, Date Time Offset.
· File Stream New data type VarBinary(Max) FileStream for managing binary data.
· Table Value Parameters The ability to pass an entire table to a stored procedure.
· Spatial Data This is data type for storing Latitude, Longitude, and GPS entries.
· Full Text Search Microsoft has implement Native Indexes with thesaurus as metadata
· Reporting Server Improved memory management.
· SQL Server Integration Service Improved multi-processor support and faster lookups.
· MERGE TSQL command combining Insert, Update, and Delete.
· SQL Server Analysis Server Stack improvements, faster block computations.
· Resource Governor It provides ways of restricting users from getting to many resources for their process.
· SQL Server Reporting Server New version provides better memory management.
· Microsoft Office 2007 Allows the use of OFFICE document as an SSRS template and provides direct SSRS to WORD export.
There are two very interesting features (from a developer perspective). For a long time, developers wished that they could pass a table variable as a parameter to stored procedure. In my opinion, this will be one of the more integral tools for the developer in SQL Server 2008.
The second important aspect is multiple INSERT,UPDATE,DELETE usage. The purpose of the MERGE statement is to provide to the developer ability to construct TSQL data-manipulation language (DML) query in which DELETE ,UPDATE, or INSERT can exist in the same instruction depending on different criteria. In my personal opinion, this is a very good idea that will save a lot of time. The possibility to run multiple queries in one statement provides developer tools that can achieve the same result with less coding and increased performance. In addition, there is another great aspect that has been added in MYSQL SERVER 2008 to the INSERT function. Developer can now insert multiple rows without running a SELECT instruction with INSERT as statement source. Instead, the VALUE result of the INSERT instruction may be used to describe the set of values, separated by commas.
The first step of SQL SERVER 2008 installation is obtaining the correct version. In the following sample I will try to demonstrate how to download and install MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2008 ENERPRISE EDITION – TRIAL. First of all go to :
You can download and use fully functional 180-day version from Microsoft site. After you choose the version that meets your requirements, you are able to choose language and edition. The following editions are available :
There is also a way to register and obtain DVD with installation files but it’s limited to a few countries.
In the following sample we decided to download the trial version. Microsoft requires to log in to Microsoft Technet. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free.
After providing the correct login and password, you should be able to download files :
Files can be downloaded in two formats. The first option is as a DVD image. This one is recommend if you are going to burn image into DVD and then proceed with installation. Second option is self-extracting file.
In the next step, a small guide through main installation of SQL SERVER 2008 will be presented. On the first screen, we need to choose the distribution system. Most users should pick up option nr 1 : “New SQL SERVER stand-alone installation in non-clustered environment or to add features to an existing SQL SERVER 2008 instance” .
Installation agent will perform some checking to make sure that operating systems meet minimal requirements (that involves restarting operating system ).
After that step is completed, the product key will be required. You can omit this step if you are going to use trial version.
Please read license terms carefully. This is very important as there is one difference between trial and full version. You won’t get any support from Microsoft.
Another testing will be performed by installation agent :
Next step is quite important as we need to provide instance name. This is the name of the service that will be shown in system panel . I suggest to resign from default name and use custom one.
Our journey is coming closer and closer to the end. At this moment we need to provide some security settings for each of the service that we are going to install. There are two ways of going through this step :
- Provide the same user account for each service
- Create separate accounts for each service
The choice depends on security settings on server. Usually using one account with appropriate settings is enough.
We should proceed with another part of setup and decide which way of authentication to choose. For testing purposes, I believe that Windows authentication is definitely enough.
For each of services like Analysis Service or Reporting Service, you need to provide the user that will have full administrative rights to that service. You can set up many administrator and restrict access to specified folder.
The Reporting Service can be set up in three ways :
- default configuration -- recommended for standard users
- share point integration -- setup will use default settings to integrate Report Services with SharePoint
- installation without any configuration
Microsoft allows user to report errors directly to Microsoft customer service. As we are going to test only trial version there is no sense to use this option.
Next step generates some rules for setup application.
Now we are in the final part. 10 to 30 minutes and setup is finished.
Installation is complete.
Important features for system administrators :
- DMF – Microsoft has implemented the Declarative Management Framework (DMF) in SQL SERVER 2008.
- DMF can be considered as a security framework that provides policy-based management for one or more SQL Servers. The Framework consists of three components: policy management, policy creation and explicit administration.
- In my opinion, the most important aspect of DMF is letting administrators enforce Policy across many servers In the Network. Changes can be applied to different machines simultaneously. That saves time and reduces number of errors and conflicts.
- Performance – You can find many new tools prepared for managing and improving performance of SQL database. There are new metrics for collecting performance data. Notice also that there is a centralized repository for storing performance info. That makes planning and measuring performance easier, especially when working in a multi-database environment.
- Compression - SQL Server 2008 offers two ways of handling compression : row-level compression or page-level compression. Both can be enabled on at the partition-level or at the table-level for all partitions.
- Resource Governor – another interesting feature that might help controlling utilization of resources. This tool allows defining priorities and limits for different kind of jobs. Such kind of approach gives possibility to run multiple jobs without worrying about resources.
Working as DB-Admin you will probably enjoy many of the features mentioned above, mostly enhancements that will make our life easier! Improvements like Resource Governor or performance boost make SQL SERVER 2008 most powerful database Server.