SQL Server 2008 Essential Training
Illustration by Mark Todd

Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio


SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

with Simon Allardice

Video: Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio

Let's take a look at SQL Server Management Studio. This will be our main toolbox for working with a SQL Server, and since I'm going to find it under my SQL Server 2008 R2 programs, I'm going to right-click and just pin this to my Start menu. It makes it easier to get to. Now this tool is not intended for the end user. It is an administration tool. It will help us create and change databases, diagram them, report on them. There is a lot of stuff it can do. Now there is no real point in opening SQL Server Management Studio without connecting to a SQL Server instance.
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
  2. 17m 58s
    1. SQL Server core concepts
      9m 4s
    2. SQL Server editions
      3m 8s
    3. Applications included with SQL Server
      5m 46s
  3. 26m 1s
    1. Preparing for installation
      3m 44s
    2. Creating service accounts
      2m 33s
    3. Installing SQL Server
      11m 42s
    4. Post-installation checks
      3m 9s
    5. Installing sample databases
      4m 53s
  4. 13m 35s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 7s
    2. Introduction to SQL Server Books Online
      3m 6s
    3. SQL Server system databases
      2m 22s
  5. 1h 26m
    1. Planning your database
      9m 39s
    2. Creating a SQL Server database
      4m 7s
    3. Creating tables
      7m 51s
    4. Data types in SQL Server
      12m 25s
    5. Defining keys
      8m 9s
    6. Creating default values
      4m 39s
    7. Creating check constraints
      2m 25s
    8. Creating unique constraints
      4m 34s
    9. Introduction to relationships and foreign keys
      9m 51s
    10. Creating relationships in SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 14s
    11. Database normalization
      11m 47s
    12. Creating computed columns
      3m 10s
  6. 23m 11s
    1. Using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard
      3m 58s
    2. Importing Excel files into SQL Server
      6m 11s
    3. Importing CSV files into SQL Server
      5m 27s
    4. Importing Access databases into SQL Server
      7m 35s
  7. 55m 29s
    1. Introduction to Transact-SQL
      3m 43s
    2. Using SELECT statements
      7m 16s
    3. Changing the default database
      2m 21s
    4. Creating conditions in SQL
      8m 10s
    5. Sorting your output
      3m 23s
    6. Using aggregate functions
      7m 12s
    7. Finding unique values
      2m 14s
    8. Using subqueries
      9m 33s
    9. Joining multiple tables together
      8m 0s
    10. Viewing execution plans
      3m 37s
  8. 19m 36s
    1. Writing INSERT statements
      5m 47s
    2. Writing UPDATE statements
      4m 38s
    3. Writing DELETE statements
      2m 54s
    4. Using the OUTPUT clause to return inserted keys and GUIDs
      6m 17s
  9. 32m 52s
    1. Introduction to SQL functions
      6m 26s
    2. Using SQL configuration functions
      2m 14s
    3. Using string functions
      7m 26s
    4. Using date functions
      6m 27s
    5. Creating user-defined functions
      10m 19s
  10. 28m 46s
    1. Introduction to stored procedures
      4m 23s
    2. Creating stored procedures
      11m 23s
    3. Introducing transactions
      4m 23s
    4. Creating transactions
      8m 37s
  11. 16m 39s
    1. Understanding and creating indexes
      6m 32s
    2. Monitoring and rebuilding indexes
      6m 0s
    3. Monitoring database size and integrity
      4m 7s
  12. 11m 41s
    1. Creating backups
      4m 21s
    2. Creating differential backups and using backup compression
      3m 40s
    3. Restoring databases
      3m 40s
  13. 17m 40s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server security and permissions
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a Windows user to the database
      5m 7s
    3. Creating SQL Server logins and switching authentication modes
      6m 39s
  14. 36m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services
      2m 52s
    2. Connecting to the Report Manager
      4m 29s
    3. Using Report Builder
      12m 4s
    4. Formatting values in reports
      4m 17s
    5. Adding indicators to reports
      5m 11s
    6. Adding charts to reports
      3m 54s
    7. Working with report security
      3m 54s
  15. 24m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
      1m 57s
    2. Using Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS)
      6m 59s
    3. Creating and executing a simple SSIS package
      7m 35s
    4. Importing packages into SQL Server Management Studio
      3m 21s
    5. Scheduling jobs with SQL Server Agent
      4m 49s
  16. 31s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course SQL Server 2008 Essential Training
6h 54m Beginner Dec 15, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SQL Server 2008 Essential Training, Simon Allardice explores all the major features of SQL Server 2008 R2, beginning with core concepts: installing, planning, and building a first database. Explore how Transact-SQL is used to retrieve, update, and insert information, and gain insight into how to effectively administer databases. The course also covers features outside SQL Server's database engine, including technologies that have grown up around it: SQL Server Reporting Services and Integration Services. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Using T-SQL (Transact-SQL)
  • Managing databases with SQL Server Management Studio
  • Understanding database normalization
  • Using SELECT statements
  • Building indexes
  • Monitoring database size and integrity
  • Backing up and restoring databases
  • Creating functions and stored procedures
  • Managing database permissions
  • Creating and formatting reports
  • Adding charts to reports
  • Creating and executing a simple SSIS package
Business Developer IT
SQL Server
Simon Allardice

Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio

Let's take a look at SQL Server Management Studio. This will be our main toolbox for working with a SQL Server, and since I'm going to find it under my SQL Server 2008 R2 programs, I'm going to right-click and just pin this to my Start menu. It makes it easier to get to. Now this tool is not intended for the end user. It is an administration tool. It will help us create and change databases, diagram them, report on them. There is a lot of stuff it can do. Now there is no real point in opening SQL Server Management Studio without connecting to a SQL Server instance.

So that's the first thing you'll be asked to do. And again, you can connect this to different SQL Servers as long as you know where they are and what credentials to use to get access to them. I am connecting to the local machine here so I am just going to use a dot for the server name. I had installed it using Windows Authentication and I had named myself as the administrator of this instance. So once I connect, I'm in and I can do anything. Now the most obvious section and the most useful initially is this area over here on the left.

It's called the Object Explorer, but the name is not really important. This is the section that lets you drill down into different parts of the SQL Server instance you're connected to. Not just the databases and the data inside them but administrative stuff too. What are the users and the user identities that SQL Server knows about? What roles does the database understand? How for example would you say that a user called Bob should be allowed to edit the Orders database but not allowed to edit the HR database? That stuff is all defined in here.

Now when you're clicking around here, what you can actually do is see a little more information by selecting the Object Explorer Details pane from the View window and when I have say my databases selected, I don't just see the names of them but I can see their owner and their collation if I find that useful. But more than anything you will find that right-clicking is your friend in SQL Server Management Studio. You can select pretty much any of these levels. Right-click an object in them and you'll see a collection of context-sensitive options.

If you, for example, select a database like the AdventureWorks database, you can drill down into Tasks and see that you can take it offline or copy the database or import data or back it up or restore it. One of the common things you are likely to do with databases, you'll be curious of how much space they take up. So you'll find that right-clicking on the database allows you to go to Reports where you have a whole bunch of standard reports that says Disk Usage, how much disk usage is this database taking up.

Drill back down into Reports and I'll find things like Disk Usage by Top Tables, generating lots of really useful information for that. On the other hand, if you start to drill down inside the databases themselves and actually start to drill down into the tables, the things that hold your information, the right-click choices here will be different. You'll have things like select the top 1000 rows or even edit the top 200 rows. You can even right-click the Tables and say Design, allowing you to change the table and change what it actually means to be this data and we'll see all of this a little later on.

I do encourage you to explore around the Object Explorer for a few minutes if you haven't already. Now of course as with any advanced development environment, take care when you're doing this. You are working directly with the database instance and if you decide to tell SQL Server Management Studio to delete a database for example or change a table, it will say "Well, you're the boss" and it will do it. One example of the place to take care might be, for example, Database Diagrams.

If you start working with some of these sample databases you'll see a Database Diagrams section and this is very tempting to play around with. Typically the first time you would click them you may be prompted that the database doesn't have everything in place to use this. Do you want to create that? I'm going to say yes I do. Let me close the couple of reports I have opened. What that then allows me to do is make a new database diagram based on the actual defined pieces of that database. In this case, I'm doing it on the database called AdventureWorksLT and I see that I have a whole bunch of tables here and I can just start clicking Add to add them to my diagram.

Maybe I'll err on the side of just adding everything right now. If I close that, I see that I've got this rather large diagram going on here. In fact, up at the top of the screen I can shrink that down. Let's say it's 50%. It's still a little big so I can drag a few things around if I so desire. But what I'm trying to show is the point that this is really-really good stuff and the ability to diagram your database reading from the actual structure of it is a great feature but again, be careful.

It's very easy to say look at a diagram like this and realize that you don't need to show everything, you'll right- click one of these options and you'll see that there is the option Remove from Diagram, right next to Delete Tables from Database. And the end result of selecting these things would be very different. So again, take care. Some great features, but be careful with them. Of course, everything that we are actually doing with this SQL Server Management Studio interface is generating commands that talk to the SQL Server instance and if you are someone who lives and breathes command line operations, you can actually open up something called SQLCMD, just typing in SQL command, and that will open a command prompt to allowing to talk to the SQL Server instance.

I could do a couple simple things here. I am going to say use AdventureWorks... And all I'm doing is typing a couple of simple commands to shift the SQL Server Instance to look at the AdventureWorks database and then show me the top 10 first names from one of the tables.

Now I'm not intending to spend any significant time in the command line prompt here in this course. We're going to use the graphical interface you can always take what you get there and put it in the command line later. However, we still are going to write a fair amount of code ourselves. We are just going to do it in SQL Server Management Studio, which is a much more pleasant way to do that. It does also have some helpers for us. If I go to the View menu and select something called the Template Explorer, I am going to see this section appear over here on the right.

This is hundreds of pieces of boilerplate code we can use for the most common tasks in SQL Server. Everything from creating a database for example, which starts to script it out there, we just go and fill in the blanks, all the way to advanced database needs such as creating partition schemes, which can be a bit more complex. Now if the idea of writing a lot of this code fills you with dread, we will see that quite a bit of our creation can also be done using the graphical user interface, but you will always be required to kind of come back and write a few commands that will be executed by SQL Server Management Studio.

We will of course be using a lot more pieces of this application as and when we need them, but with these core ideas to get started we can move on and start exploring one more tool.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about SQL Server 2008 Essential Training .

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Q: I'm having problems installing the free Express R2 version of SQL Server on Windows XP. I tried 64-bit and 32-bit versions. In the videos, the author installs from a DVD. Do I need to do the same?
A: While the author installs from a DVD, it's not strictly necessary. There certainly shouldn't be a problem installing the Express edition from a regular download. That's the way it's intended to be installed.

If you're using Windows XP, the only officially supported version is the 32-bit version. However, you do need to make sure that your Windows XP install is completely up-to-date and patched, with XP Service Pack 3 installed. (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506.aspx#Express32 for formal requirements.)

It's not unusual for the install process to take a while, and with older operating systems like XP, you'll often have to back it out and try again, as usually there's a bunch of prerequisites that need to be installed. (Like the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, the correct version of Windows Installer, etc.)
Q: The link to the installer for the AdventureWorks sample database, as shown in the Chapter 2 movie "Installing sample databases," no longer works. Where can I find the installer?
A: Microsoft has reorganized its site. The sample files are still there, but they're a bit harder to find. To install them:

1) Visit http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com/.
2) Click the link to "SQL Server 2008 R2 OLTP."
3) Click the AdventureWOkrs2008R2 Data File link and agree to the conditions to download the MDF file.
4) Move the MDF file to your SQL Server Directory, usually located at C:\Program Files\Microsfot SQL Server\MSSQL 10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA.
5) Open the SQL Sever Management Studio and connect to your instance using an account with administrative privileges.
6) Attach the sample database by right-clicking the Databases folder in the Object Explorer and choosing Attach from the pop-up menu.
7) Click the Add button in the next menu and navigate to the MDF file in the Locate Database Files window that appears. Select it and click OK.
8) Remove the reference to the log file in the "AdventureWorks2008R2" database details: pane by selecting the Log entry and clicking removing.*
9) Click OK to return to SQL Server Management Studio and complete the attachment process.

*MDF files are the "data" files for SQL Server databases. They often come along with LOG files (ldf files). This one didn't so we need to REMOVE the reference to the non-existent log file. Select the second row in the lower section (it should say File Type: Log and Message: Not Found) and click the REMOVE button.

For an illustrated version of these instructions (with screenshots), click here for a PDF version.
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