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SQL Server core concepts


SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

with Simon Allardice

Video: SQL Server core concepts

SQL Server core concepts provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Simon Allardice as part of the SQL Server 2008 Essential Training
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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. Joining multiple tables together
      8m 0s
    9. Using subqueries
      9m 33s
    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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SQL Server core concepts
Video Duration: 9m 4s6h 54m Beginner Dec 15, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

SQL Server core concepts provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Simon Allardice as part of the SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

View Course Description

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

SQL Server core concepts

You'll often hear SQL Server 2008 referred to as a database, but it isn't. SQL Server 2008 is not a database. It's a database management system and there is a big difference. More specifically it's a relational database management system or RDBMS. Okay, you might be concerned that we're 15 seconds into this course and I'm already starting to hit you with abbreviations. But as you almost certainly know, SQL Server is not your only choice for managing databases. You have Oracle, DB2, MySQL, Access. There are dozens of RDBMS products.

So if we're going to understand what SQL Server is, we have two questions. One, why do we need an RDBMS in the first place? And two, if we're going to have one, since there are many available, why would we want this one, SQL Server, and what's special about this one? So why have one at all? Well the easy answer, you have some data. You, the company that you work for, the clients that you have, or even the business that you're wanting to build. This information could be about customers, products, employees, orders.

It could be information about hits on your website. So it could be text, but it could also be documents. It could be images, audio, or video. Now if you just had a small amount of data, you might not need a database management system. There is nothing really wrong with just using a bunch of text files, or spreadsheets, and storing your stuff in there. But this is not a very robust way to do it, because once starts off as a small amount of data has a tendency to turn into a large amount of data and there is your problem.

What happens when two people try to edit this file at the same time? How about 200 people at the same time? What stops people from going into this and adding invalid or missing data? If this spreadsheet solution is nice and speedy when there are 20 or 250 lines in it, what happens when there are two million lines in it? So often the first pinpoint is having a lot of data. Now what a lot of data means could differ from place-to-place. It could be 500 piece of information, 20,000, a million, 100 million pieces of information that you've got to manage, and to ask questions of this, to query it in a variety of ways.

So we take it and we put this in a database. The RDBMS, your management system, manages this database. It controls what gets accessed to that data. If you want to get to the data, you go through the database management system. But of course, it's not just necessary to have a database because you've got a lot of data. The other key is that whatever is in this database is important. You can't lose that. This is critical to your business. But many companies, particularl, in the web world your, data is your business.

Think of, it's a database. eBay, Craigslist, Google, even lynda. com, the business is the information. Sure, on these sites there are some great programming and a nice front-end that could be a website or an iPhone application but it's all about getting to this data. But it would be wrong to think about a database management system just giving you a place to dump your data. That's the easy part. The true power of a database management system lies in the other stuff that it gives you, the invisible stuff, the things you can't see. The security on this data, the enforced integrity of it, the ability to get to it really fast, and get to it reliably.

This has to be robust. It needs to withstand lots of people at the same time, and even to correctly survive hardware issues without corrupting your data. Now of course, most database management systems promise this, so why SQL Server? Well there are a lot of good reasons to use SQL Server. It's been around for 20 years. It's a very mature product with an immense amount of features. Now of course the choice may have been made already. This may be the chosen database system of the business that you worked for or the clients you have.

Not surprisingly, it's very common in a Microsoft-oriented shop because the integration is great with other Microsoft products, things like SharePoint, ASP.NET for web development, Silverlight, all the Office products particularly like Excel. Those are great with SQL Server. Now if you are a web developer, another very common reason is that many web hosting companies will allow you to rent and create a SQL Server database and often inexpensively, when it's still quite rare to find other enterprise-level databases like Oracle or DB2 on offer.

Now SQL Server also comes with many add-ons for advanced features. There are parts of SQL Server that deal with reporting, with business intelligence and data analysis, integration for making SQL Server work with other database management systems and other systems. It's not just a place to dump some data. Now in many larger organizations, it's not even an either/or. You may have many databases managed by different RDBMSs. You've got SQL Server and Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL, DB2, PostgreSQL.

Now as I mentioned earlier, you often hear the term "database" being used to describe the software product you're using such as Oracle or SQL Server. My database is Oracle. My database is SQL Server. Well that can be a little confusing when you're first learning this. Again, SQL Server is a database management system. We use it to create and manage different databases. One SQL Server can manage many different databases inside it. In the diagram, you actually often see these databases represented as cylinders.

But a great thing about it is these cylinders are significantly transferable. Once you know one, it's easy to work with the others because all these SQL-oriented databases, and there are dozens, kind of work the same way. They have the same core idea at heart. Your data is stored in these different databases. The databases themselves are built of one or more tables. Tables consist of columns and rows. Now we're going to go into the construction of databases a little later. I'm expecting you probably have some exposure to these concepts.

If you've got some database experience with a desktop database application like Microsoft Access or FileMaker, that's great knowledge. But one key difference is that those are single self-contained applications. When you open up Access, it's what you use to create the database, to enter data into it, to manage it, to create reports on it, even to install it on the desktop of your end user. SQL Server is not like that. It's better to think of SQL Server as an ecosystem.

It's not one program, but it's a collection of different components to choose from. The core database engine is first installed, typically on a dedicated server or even a dedicated group of servers. And then there are a variety of different services and tools that you can choose or you can ignore if you don't need them. Major optional components of SQL Server include reporting services. This is for creating and distributing reports based on your data. Analysis services for really deep data analysis and business intelligence.

There is integration services talking between SQL Server and external sources of data, other applications, other databases. Now on top of that, you have a collection of different applications that you can install, or not, for working with this stuff. Those include SQL Server Management Studio. This is the big one for creating and managing your databases. There is Configuration Manager to say what parts of your DBMS are turned on and who can talk to them. There is Business Intelligence Development Studio for creating complex analysis and integration projects.

Even have things like Visual Studio if you're a developer. Now if you wanted to be a SQL Server DBA, a database administrator, you would be expected to know all of these and more besides. Now one thing that often surprises people coming from desktop database applications is that SQL Server does not provide any kind of application targeted at the end user. There is no SQL Server data entry program. The idea is that you will build that yourself. You will provide a website, or a desktop application, or a mobile application that's going to be specific to the database you create.

Now we're not going to focus on application building in this course. We are going to talk about these components. The core of the database itself and the things that you use to create and manage your databases.

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 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
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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