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SQL Server

SQL is an abbreviation for Structured Query Language. SQL Server is a relational database management system, a full featured product of the IT giant, Microsoft. It was primarily designed to combat Microsoft’s competitors – Oracle Database (DB) and MySQL. It was created for the enterprise environment.

SQL Server is also known as MSSQL and Microsoft SQL Server.

Microsoft originally came out with it in 1989 as Version 1.0 in conjunction with Sybase. The Microsoft-Sybase partnership dissolved in the early 1990s. The rights to the trade name SQL Server were retained by Microsoft.

Three versions were released later by Microsoft – 2000, 2005, and 2008. All of them offer better, more advanced features and enhanced, robust security.

Some of the features are as follows:

 - Full-text search capability
 - XML data type support
 - Database mirroring
 - Dynamic Management Views (DMVs)

The main interface tool of SQL Server is SSMS, SQL Server Management Studio. Earlier, SSMS was also known as Enterprise Manager. It supports 32-bit and 64-bit environments.

There are several editions of SQL Server, each with different types of features and pricing. These are designed so to meet the varying needs of clients.

Some of these are:

 - Express - this is free for distribution. It has the fewest features and limits database size and users. It can be used as an Access Database’s replacement.

 - Standard - this one targets small and medium-sized companies. It supports ecommerce and data warehousing.

 - Workgroup - this one is aimed at small organizations. There are no size or user limitations in this one. It can be used as backend database for small web servers or branch offices.

 - Enterprise - the licensing of this one is the most expensive of the lot. This one has been designed for large organizations that have complex data requirements, and also for data warehousing and web-enabled databases. This one contains all the features of SQL Server.

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