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If we're going to learn SQL Server then we need to have both SQL Server and all the necessary tools to talk to it and administer it. Now I'm going to imagine that you fall into one of the three categories here. First is the idea that you're going completely from scratch. You have nothing installed at all. You have no existing SQL Server, anything. Now way at the other end is the idea that you have everything already installed successfully. You not only have a SQL Server 2008 R2 database server to talk to, you also have all the client tools installed and ready to go. SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Configuration Manager, Books Online, all of that stuff.
If so, you can actually just go skip ahead to the next section. If you're someone in-between, say you know that you have a SQL Server database you can get to but you have no management application yet, well, I'm going to talk about going completely from scratch and you can just pick and choose the bits that you need. Now to be very specific about this, what we're going to do here is go through the process of getting a local SQL Server installed, up and running for development, for testing, and for just learning SQL Server.
I'm not going to tell you how to set up your production server. That would be a very different discussion involving lots of white boarding about budgets and service level agreements and expected usage numbers. So what do you need to go ahead and install it? While the Standard and the Express versions of SQL Server 2008 R2 will install on most reasonably up-to-date Windows operating systems, it could be Windows 7, Windows Vista with Service Pack 2, even Windows XP with the most recent service packs.
In a production environment of course, it's typically installed on a server operating system like Server 2003 or 2008. During this course I'm going to install it on a 64-bit machine running Windows 7, but again for this course whatever you can install it on will work. So, how to install this thing? Well, if you don't already have a DVD or some other install media you'll need to find the installer. If you have a valid MSDN or TechNet subscription you can log on and download it, though it is a 4 GB download.
So it might take a while. You'll find that there are 32 and 64-bit installers for both of the Standard and the Express editions. For this course you won't see a difference choosing between those, but if you're installing on a 64-bit operating system you might as well get the 64-bit installer. If you're not, get the 32-bit installer. Now if you are planning to install the free Express edition rather than the Standard edition, you don't even MSDN or TechNet account. As mentioned before the most direct way to get to this is to go to www.microsoft.com/express/ downloads, as the choices are clearest here.
You will find on this page you will be suggested to grab the 32-bit or 64-bit version of this free edition of SQL Server 2008. You do have some other installation options and you'll find there is actually four versions you can download, one that is the Database Engine only. One that is being Management Studio Express only. One is both the database with the management tools and the biggest download is the SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition database with Advanced Services.
This is the one that I suggest that you get, because it is the biggest. It includes the most features. So grab whichever installation media you need and once you have that we're ready for the next step, which will be creating our service accounts.
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