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Lesson 2: Selecting SQL Server Editions

SQL Server 2008 is available is several editions, ranging from editions designed for mobile,
embedded applications with a very small footprint to editions designed to handle petabytes
or data being manipulated by millions of concurrent users. This lesson explains the services
available within the SQL Server 2008 database platform and the differences between the SQL
Server editions.

After this lesson, you will be able to:


Understand the differences between SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, Workgroup,
Standard, and Express
Understand the role of each service that ships within the SQL Server 2008 data
platform

Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes

SQL Server Services


SQL Server 2008 is much more than a simple database used to store data. Within the SQL
Server 2008 data platform are several services that can be used to build any conceivable
application within an organization.
Within the core database engine, you will find services to store, manipulate, and back up and
restore data. The core database engine also contains advanced security capabilities to protect
your investments, along with services to ensure maximum availability. Your data infrastructure
can be extended to handle unstructured text along with synchronizing multiple copies of a
database. Many of these capabilities are discussed in subsequent chapters in this book.

Service Broker
Service Broker was introduced in SQL Server 2005 to provide a message queuing system
integrated into the SQL Server data platform. Based on user-defined messages and processing
actions, you can use Service Broker to provide asynchronous data processing capabilities. Not
only is Service Broker a capable message queuing system, you can also provide advanced
business process orchestration with Service Broker handling data processing across a myriad of
platforms, all without requiring the user to wait for the process to complete or affecting the user
in any other way.

SQL Server Integration Services


SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) features all the enterprise class capabilities that you can
find in Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) applications while also allowing organizations to
build applications that can manage databases and system resources, respond to database and
system events, and even interact with users.

8 CHAPTER 1 Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2008


SSIS has a variety of tasks to enable packages to upload or download files from File Transfer
Protocol (FTP) sites, manipulate files in directories, import files into databases, or export
data to files. SSIS can also execute applications, interact with Web services, send and receive
messages from Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ), and respond to Windows Management
Instrumentation (WMI) events. Containers allow SSIS to execute entire tasks and workflows
within a loop with a variety of inputs from a simple counter to files in a directory or across
the results of a query. Specialized tasks are included to copy SQL Server objects around
an environment as well as manage database backups, re-indexing, and other maintenance
operations. If SSIS does not ship with a task already designed to meet your needs, you can
write your own processes using the Visual Studio Tools for Applications or even design your
own custom tasks that can be registered and utilized within SSIS.
Precedence constraints allow you to configure the most complicated operational
workflows, where processing can be routed based on whether a component succeeds, fails, or
simply completes execution. In addition to the static routing based on completion status, you
can combine expressions to make workflow paths conditional. Event handlers allow you to
execute entire workflows in response to events that occur at a package or task level, such as
automatically executing a workflow to move a file to a directory when it cannot be processed,
log the details of the error, and send an e-mail to an administrator.
Package configurations enable developers to expose internal properties of a package such
that the properties can be modified for the various environments in which a package will
be executing. By exposing properties in a configuration, administrators have a simple way
of reconfiguring a package, such as changing database server names or directories, without
needing to edit the package.
Beyond the workflow tasks, SSIS ships with extensive data movement and manipulation
components. Although it is possible for you to simply move data from one location to another
within a data flow task, you can also apply a wide variety of operations to the data as it moves
through the engine. You can scrub invalid data, perform extensive calculations, and convert
data types as the data moves through a pipeline. Inbound data flows can be split to multiple
destinations based on a condition. The data flow task has the capability to perform data
lookups against sources to either validate inbound data or include additional information as
the data is sent to a destination. Fuzzy lookups and fuzzy grouping can be applied to allow
very flexible matching and grouping capabilities beyond simple wildcards. Multiple inbound
data flows can be combined to be sent to a single destination. Just as multiple inbound flows
can be combined, you can also take a single data flow and broadcast to multiple destinations.
Within an SSIS data flow task, you can also remap characters, pivot or unpivot data sets,
calculate aggregates, sort data, perform data sampling, and perform text mining. If SSIS
does not have a data adapter capable of handling the format of your data source or data
destination or does not have a transform capable of the logic that you need to perform, a
script component is included that allows you to bring the entire capabilities of Visual Studio
Tools for Applications to bear on your data.

Lesson 2: Selecting SQL Server Editions CHAPTER 1 9


SQL Server Reporting Services
Organizations of all sizes need to have access to the vast quantities of data stored throughout
the enterprise in a consistent and standardized manner. Although it would be nice to expect
everyone to know how to write queries against data sources to obtain the data that is
needed or to have developers available to write user interfaces for all the data needs, most
organizations do not have the resources. Therefore, tools need to be available to create
standardized reports that are made available throughout the organization, as well as providing
the ability for users to build reports on an ad hoc basis.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) fills the data delivery gap by providing a flexible
platform for designing reports as well as distributing data throughout an organization. The IT
department can build complex reports rapidly, which are deployed to one or more portals that
can be accessed based on flexible security rules. The IT department can also design and publish
report models that allow users to build their own reports without needing to understand the
underlying complexities of a database. Reports built by IT as well as by users can be deployed
to a centralized reporting portal that allows members of the organization to access the
information they need to do their jobs.
Users can access reports which are either generated on the fl y or displayed from
cached data that is refreshed on a schedule. Users can also confi gure subscriptions to
a report which allow SSRS to set up a schedule to execute the report and then send it
to users on their preferred distribution channel formatted to their specifications. For
example, a sales manager can create a subscription to a daily sales report such that the
report is generated at midnight after all sales activity is completed, have it rendered in a
Portable Document Format (PDF) format, and dropped in his e-mail inbox for review in
the morning.
SSRS ships with two main components, a report server and a report designer.
The report server is responsible for hosting all the reports and applying security. When
reports are requested, the report server is responsible for connecting to the underlying data
sources, gathering data, and rendering the report into the final output. Rendering a report
is accomplished either on demand from a user or through a scheduled task which allows the
report to be run during off-peak hours.
For the report server to have anything to deliver to users, reports must first be created. The
report designer is responsible for all the activities involved in creating and debugging reports.
Components are included that allow users to create both simple tabular or matrix reports
and more complex reports with multiple levels of subreports, nested reports, charts, linked
reports, and links to external resources. Within your reports, you can embed calculations and
functions, combine tables, and even vary the report output based on the user accessing the
report. The report designer is also responsible for designing reporting models that provide
a powerful semantic layer which masks the complexities of a data source from users so that
they can focus on building reports.

10 CHAPTER 1 Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2008


SQL Server Analysis Services
As the volume of data within an organization explodes, you need to deploy tools that allow
users to make business decisions on a near-real-time basis. Users can no longer wait for IT
to design reports for the hundreds of questions that might be asked by a single user. At the
same time, IT does not have the resources to provide the hundreds of reports necessary to
allow people to manage a business.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) was created to fill the gap between the data needs
of business users and the ability of IT to provide data. SSAS encompasses two components:
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and Data Mining.
The OLAP engine allows you to deploy, query, and manage cubes that have been designed
in Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). You can include multiple dimensions and
multiple hierarchies within a dimension, and choose a variety of options such as which attributes
are available for display and how members are sorted. Measures can be designed as simple
additive elements as well as employing complex, user-defined aggregations schemes. Key
Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be added which provide visual queues for users on the state
of a business entity. Cubes can contain perspectives which define a subset of data within a single
cube to simplify viewing. The built-in metadata layer allows you to specify language translations
at any level within a cube so that users can browse data in their native language.
The Data Mining engine extends business analysis to allow users to find patterns and make
predictions. Utilizing any one of the several mining algorithms that ship with SQL Server, businesses
can examine data trends over time, determine what factors influence buying decisions, or even
reconfigure a shopping experience based on buying patterns to maximize the potential of a sale.

MORE INFO SQL SERVER SERVICES


For a detailed discussion of each feature available within the SQL Server 2008 data
platform, please refer to the book Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Step by Step (Microsoft Press,
2008), which provides overview chapters on every SQL Server 2008 feature.

SQL Server Editions


SQL Server 2008 is available in the following editions:
Enterprise Designed for the largest organizations and those needing to leverage the
full power of the SQL Server 2008 platform.
Standard Designed for small and midsized organizations that do not need all the
capabilities available in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise.
Workgroup Suitable for small departmental projects with a limited set of features.
Express A freely redistributable version of SQL Server that is designed to handle
the needs of embedded applications as well as the basic data storage needs for
server-based applications, such as Web applications with a small number of users.

Lesson 2: Selecting SQL Server Editions CHAPTER 1 11


Compact Designed as an embedded database.
Developer Designed for use by developers in creating SQL Server applications.
SQL Server 2008 Developer has all the features and capabilities as SQL Server 2008
Enterprise, except that it is not allowed to be used in a production environment.
Evaluation Designed to allow organizations to evaluate SQL Server 2008. SQL Server
2008 Evaluation has all the features and capabilities as SQL Server 2008 Enterprise,
except that it is not allowed to be used in a production environment and it expires
after 180 days.

NOTE
E SQL SERVER EDITIONS
The Developer Edition of SQL Server is designed for developers to create new SQL Server
applications. The Evaluation Edition of SQL Server is designed to allow organizations to
evaluate the features available in SQL Server. Both the Developer and Evaluation editions
contain the same functionality as the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server; the only exception
being that the Developer and Evaluation editions are not licensed to run in a production
environment. For the purposes of this book, we will discuss only the editions that can be
deployed into production environments: Express, Workgroup, Standard, and Enterprise.

The main differences between the SQL Server editions are in the hardware and feature set
that is supported. The tables below provide a basic overview of the differences between the
editions in the various areas.

TABLE 1-2 Hardware Support

HARDWARE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

# of CPUs 4 4 1 1
Database size Unlimited Unlimited 4 GB 4 GB
RAM Unlimited Unlimited 1 GB 1 GB

TABLE 1-3 Database Engine Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

SQL Server Management Yes Yes Separate No


Studio download
Full Text Search Yes Yes Advanced No
services
only
Partitioning No No No No
Parallel Operations No No No No

12 CHAPTER 1 Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2008


TABLE 1-3 Database Engine Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

Multiple Instances No No No No
Database Snapshots No No No No
Scalable Shared No No No No
Databases
Indexed Views No No No No
Log Compression No No No No
Clustering 2 nodes No No No
Database Mirroring Single-thread No No No
Online Operations No No No No
Resource Governor No No No No
Backup Compression No No No No
Hot Add Memory/CPU No No No No
Data Encryption Limited Limited Limited Password-
based only
Change Data Capture No No No No
Data Compression No No No No
Policy-Based Yes No No No
Management
Performance Data Yes No No No
Collection
CLR Yes
XML Native Native Native Stored as
text
Spatial data Yes
Stored procedures, Yes Yes Yes No
triggers, and views
Merge Replication Yes Yes Subscriber Subscriber
only only
Transactional Replication Yes Subscriber Subscriber No
only only

Lesson 2: Selecting SQL Server Editions CHAPTER 1 13


TABLE 1-4 SSIS Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

Import/Export Wizard Yes Yes N/A N/A


Package Designer Yes Yes N/A N/A
Data Mining No No N/A N/A
Fuzzy grouping/lookup No No N/A N/A
Term extraction/lookup No No N/A N/A
OLAP processing No No N/A N/A

TABLE 1-5 SSRS Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

Microsoft Office Integration Yes Yes Advanced N/A


services only
Report Builder Yes Yes Advanced N/A
services only
Scale-out reporting No No No N/A
Data-driven subscriptions No No No N/A

TABLE 1-6 SSAS—OLAP Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

Linked measures/dimensions No No N/A N/A


Perspectives No No N/A N/A
Partitioned cubes No No N/A N/A

TABLE 1-7 SSAS—Data Mining Support

FEATURE STANDARD WORKGROUP EXPRESS COMPACT

Time series No No N/A N/A


Parallel processing and prediction No No N/A N/A
Advanced mining algorithms No No N/A N/A

EXAM TIP
For the exam, you need to understand the basic design goals for each edition of SQL
Server. You also need to know the feature set, memory, and processor support differences
between the editions.

14 CHAPTER 1 Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2008


Quick Check
Q
1 . Which editions support the entire feature set available within the SQL Server data
platform? Of these editions, which editions are not licensed for production use?

2. Which editions of SQL Server are designed as storage engines for embedded
applications with limited hardware and feature support?

Quick Check Answers


1 . Enterprise, Developer, and Evaluation editions have the entire set of features
available within the SQL Server 2008 data platform. Developer and Evaluation
editions are not licensed for use in a production environment.

2. Express and Compact editions are designed as storage engines for embedded
applications and support only a single CPU, up to 1 GB of RAM, and a maximum
database size of 4 GB.

Lesson Summary
SQL Server 2008 is available in Enterprise, Standard, Workgroup, Express, and Compact
editions for use in a production environment.
In addition to the core database engine technologies, SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
supports Service Broker for asynchronous processing.

Lesson Review
The following questions are intended to reinforce key information presented in Lesson 2,
“Selecting SQL Server Editions.” The questions are also available on the companion CD if you
prefer to review them in electronic form.

NOTE
E ANSWERS
Answers to these questions and explanations of why each answer choice is right or wrong
are located in the “Answers” section at the end of the book.

1. Margie’s Travel is opening a new division to offer online travel bookings to their
customers. Managers expect the traffic volume to increase rapidly, to the point where
hundreds of users will be browsing offerings and booking travel at any given time.
Management would also like to synchronize multiple copies of the database of travel
bookings to support both online and face-to-face operations. Which editions of SQL
Server 2008 would be appropriate for Margie’s Travel to deploy for their new online
presence? (Choose all that apply.)
A. Express
B. Standard
C. Enterprise
D. Compact
Lesson 2: Selecting SQL Server Editions CHAPTER 1 15
2. Margie’s Travel decided to minimize the cost and deploy SQL Server 2008 Standard to
support the new online division. After a successful launch, managers are having a hard
time managing business operations and need to deploy advanced analytics. A new
server running SQL Server will be installed. Which edition of SQL Server needs to be
installed on the new server to support the necessary data analytics?
A. SQL Server 2008 Standard
B. SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services
C. SQL Server 2008 Workgroup
D. SQL Server 2008 Enterprise

16 CHAPTER 1 Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2008