Monday, December 29, 2008

SQL Native Client

SQL Native Client is the native client side data access library for Microsoft SQL Server, version 2005 onwards. It natively implements support for the SQL Server features including the Tabular Data Stream implementation, support for mirrored SQL Server databases, full support for all data types supported by SQL Server, asynchronous operations, query notifications, encryption support, as well as receiving multiple result sets in a single database session.

SQL Native Client is used under the hood by SQL Server plug-ins for other data access technologies, including ADO or OLE DB. It is also used by the native SQL Server ADO.NET provider, Sql Client. The SQL Native Client can also be directly used, bypassing the generic data access layers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio is a GUI tool included with SQL Server 2005 and later for configuring, managing, and administering all components within Microsoft SQL Server. The tool includes both script editors and graphical tools that work with objects and features of the server. SQL Server Management Studio replaces Enterprise Manager as the primary management interface for Microsoft SQL Server since SQL Server 2005. A version of SQL Server Management Studio is also available for SQL Server Express Edition, for which it is known as SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE).

A central feature of SQL Server Management Studio is the Object Explorer, which allows the user to browse, select, and act upon any of the objects within the server. It can be used to visually observe and analyze query plans and optimize the database performance, among others. SQL Server Management Studio can also be used to create a new database, alter any existing database schema by adding or modifying tables and indexes, or analyze performance. It includes the query windows which provide a GUI based interface to write and execute queries.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Microsoft SQL Server 2005 includes a component named SQL CLR via which it integrates with .NET Framework. Unlike most other applications that use .NET Framework, SQL Server itself hosts the .NET Framework runtime, i.e., memory, threading and resource management requirements of .NET Framework are satisfied by SQLOS itself, rather than the underlying Windows operating system. SQLOS provides deadlock detection and resolution services for .NET code as well. With SQL CLR, stored procedures and triggers can be written in any managed .NET language, including C# and VB.NET. Managed code can also be used to define UDTs which can be persisted in the database. Managed code is compiled to .NET assemblies and after being verified for type safety, registered at the database. After that, they can be invoked like any other procedure. However, only a subset of the Base Class Library is available, when running code under SQL CLR. Most APIs relating to user interface functionality are not available.

When writing code for SQL CLR, data stored in SQL Server databases can be accessed using the ADO.NET APIs like any other managed application that accesses SQL Server data. However, doing that creates a new database session, different from the one in which the code is executing. To avoid this, SQL Server provides some enhancements to the ADO.NET provider that allows the connection to be redirected to the same session which already hosts the running code.

Monday, December 08, 2008

SQL Server 2008

The current version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2008, (code-named "Katmai",)was released (RTM) on August 6th, 2008 and aims to make data management self-tuning, self organizing, and self maintaining with the development of SQL Server Always On technologies, to provide near-zero downtime. SQL Server 2008 will also include support for structured and semi-structured data, including digital media formats for pictures, audio, video and other multimedia data. In current versions, such multimedia data can be stored as BLOBs (binary large objects), but they are generic bit streams. Intrinsic awareness of multimedia data will allow specialized functions to be performed on them. According to Paul Flessner, senior Vice President, Server Applications, Microsoft Corp., SQL Server 2008 can be a data storage backend for different varieties of data: XML, email, time/calendar, file, document, spatial, etc as well as perform search, query, analysis, sharing, and synchronization across all data types.

Other new data types include specialized date and time types and a Spatial data type for location-dependent data. Better support for unstructured and semi-structured data is provided using the FILESTREAM[7] data type has been added, which can be used to reference any file stored on the file system. Structured data and metadata about the file is stored in SQL Server database, whereas the unstructured component is stored in the file system. Such files can be accessed both via Win32 file handling APIs as well as via SQL Server using T-SQL; doing the latter accesses the file data as a binary BLOB. Backing up and restoring the database backs up or restores the referenced files as well. SQL Server 2008 also natively supports hierarchical data, and includes T-SQL constructs to directly deal with them, without using recursive queries