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> Beginning SQL Server Development, Any Version    
post Oct 21 2008, 08:21 PM

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SQL Server is Microsoft's Enterprise level server database product.
We'll begin our introduction to SQL Server by discussing how the database engine and storage differs from all "Access" implementations, with which you may be familiar.
Server-Based vs. PC-Based Database Engines
Whereas the Jet database engine (the "native" database format which ships with Access prior to 2007 - whose data resides in MDB files), SQL Server runs as a separate service on a server on your network. Your application submits requests to this running service and the server returns the results from the database to your application.
Jet (now updated as the Access Database Engine found in Office 2007 and later with ACCDB files) is what many people think of as an "Access database". It runs its data engine as a separate instance on each user's PC – even though a single data file MDB can reside in a shared central server location.
The guiding principle behind server based database management software (such as SQL Server) is that the server engine processes all data requests in a single location.
The advantages of this are many – not least of which is that the data is easier to maintain in a consistent state. Some of the reasons for that include:
• There aren't many running instances of the engine each trying to update the same data file.
• If an error occurs during a write operation corruption is far less likely.
• The server is able to create detailed logs. Therefore, even if data loss does occur, a restore from backup is that much easier.
There are a wealth of other functionalities some of which we'll discuss later.
The switch to Client Server should not be undertaken lightly. Jet and Access provide much "hand-holding" in creating databases; they were born to bring databases to the masses. SQL Server asks a bit more in return for what it offers. For example – if you don't already have some experience with writing or at least looking at SQL (Structured Query Language) code then you might want to consider looking in to it.
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