Microsoft SQL Server Relational Database

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database server, developed by Microsoft: it is a software product whose primary function is to store and retrieve data as requested by other software applications, be it those on the same computer or those running on another computer across a network (including the Internet). There are at least a dozen different editions of Microsoft SQL Server aimed at different audiences and for different workloads (ranging from small applications that store and retrieve data on the same computer, to millions of users and computers that access huge amounts of data from the Internet at the same time).

True to its name, Microsoft SQL Server's primary query languages are T-SQL and ANSI SQL.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization and quickly build solutions to extend data across on-premises and public cloud, backed by mission critical confidence.

Specialized Editions of Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft provides different editions of SQL Server for varied uses.
  • Azure
    Microsoft SQL Azure Database is the cloud-based version of Microsoft SQL Server, presented as software as a service on Azure Services Platform.

  • Compact (SQL CE)
    The compact edition is an embedded database engine. Unlike the other editions of SQL Server, the SQL CE engine is based on SQL Mobile (initially designed for use with hand-held devices) and does not share the same binaries. Due to its small size (1 MB DLL footprint), it has a markedly reduced feature set compared to the other editions. For example, it supports a subset of the standard data types, does not support stored procedures or Views or multiple-statement batches (among other limitations). It is limited to 4 GB maximum database size and cannot be run as a Windows service, Compact Edition must be hosted by the application using it. The 3.5 version includes supports ADO.NET Synchronization Services. SQL CE does not support ODBC connectivity, unlike SQL Server proper.

  • Developer
    SQL Server Developer Edition includes the same features as SQL Server Datacenter Edition, but is limited by the license to be only used as a development and test system, and not as production server. This edition is available to download by students free of charge as a part of Microsoft's DreamSpark program.

  • Embedded (SSEE)
    SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition is a specially configured named instance of the SQL Server Express database engine which can be accessed only by certain Windows Services.

  • Evaluation
    SQL Server Evaluation Edition, also known as the Trial Edition, has all the features of the Enterprise Edition, but is limited to 180 days, after which the tools will continue to run, but the server services will stop.

  • Fast Track
    SQL Server Fast Track is specifically for enterprise-scale data warehousing storage and business intelligence processing, and runs on reference-architecture hardware that is optimized for Fast Track.

  • Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW)
    A massively parallel processing (MPP) SQL Server appliance optimized for large-scale data warehousing such as hundreds of terabytes.

Features of Microsoft SQL Server

Protect Data
Benefit from the most secure database of any of the major database platforms - SQL Server has recorded the fewest numbers of vulnerabilities
  • Take advantage of a built-in cryptography hierarchy.
  • Encrypt data transparently.
  • Employ Extensible Key Management.
  • Sign code modules.
  • Built on top of great SQL Server features.
  • Ability to create certificates from bytes.
  • Default Server Master Key (SMK), Database Master Key (DMK), backups key using AES256.
  • Usage of SHA512 for password hashes.
  • New support for SHA2 (256 and 512).

Control Access
Controlled access to data by managing authentication and authorization effectively and by providing access to only users who need it.
  • Increase flexibility, manageability and facilitate compliance towards better separation of duties.
  • Roles can be nested to allow more flexibility in mapping to hierarchical structures in organizations.
  • Prevents organizations to use sysadmin for database administration.
  • Increases database compliance with Windows Group rather than individual users.
  • Eases administration of database schema, decreases the complexity of database schema management through individual Windows users.
  • Prevents errors of assigning schema to the wrong users when users change groups.
  • Increases compliance by allowing users to be authenticated directly into user databases without logins.
  • Reduces the needs to login to the database instance and avoid orphanes or unused logins.
  • Secure and end user data analytics with built-in IT controls.
  • Enhance security models provide control at row and column level.

Ensure Compliance
Ensure compliance with company policies and/or government regulations like HIPAA and PCI.
  • Allows organizations to expand the benefits from Enterprise edition to all editions.
  • Better performance and richer features.
  • Delivers the ability to recover auditing data from temporary file and network issues.
  • Allows application to write custom events into the audit log to allow more flexibility to store audit information.
  • Provides greater flexibility to filter unwanted events into an audit log.

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