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MS Sql server 2000

As an ex VB/VBA programmer, I would like to have some hints from experts about the MS SQL Server 2000.
Actually, I don't have any idea how it works and what's its purpose. I would like to have a web link to good books or free online documentation.
I would like to learn:
1- How to administer MS SQL Server
2- how to use MS Access or VB6 with MS SQL server
3- If there is any other modern Programming software (language) that works with MS SQL server, that experts would suggest.

Thanks,
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Chuckbuchan
Asked:
Chuckbuchan
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1 Solution
 
paulr3Commented:
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MazaraatCommented:
Once you get used to access it is extremely easy to use and work with the SQL Server, though it can't hurt to learn the sql statements also.  I would go to the local book store and get either microsoft's published books on SQL Server Administration, and another on Access.  They will both be money well spent that you can reference many times.

SQL - (I have this one very good)
http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/5361.asp

Access ( personally don't have these but were recommended to me also)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764532863/102-7590672-3408900?v=glance
http://databases.about.com/od/tutorials/tp/accessbooks.htm
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cagriCommented:
Ok, since you offer 500 points for your question, I should give some indepth info here even while the subject is quite broad;

1. How to administer MS SQL server ?  
Well this is the easy part, it has a built in administration tool called "Enterprise Manager" which helps you create databases, tables, queries, users, rights, roles and whatever else comes to your mind ! The Enterprise Manager is also the tool where I setup backup/maintenance schedules, replications, export-import definitions.

Well at this point I need to mention a word about the difference of the SQL server with MS Access although I suppose, you already aware of it (or at least near :)

And MS access file is a Database in "a file" floating around your file system (your disk) with limited remote access possibilities (sharing needs), on the other hand, SQL server is so called a complete "RDBMS", R stand for Relational (Access is also relational), drop R, DBMS stands for Database Management System !! So first it is a management system for all of your databases at a single point, second it provides many ways of access to your databases (best or well known being TCP/IP). Any many more features as I mentioned in #1.

How to choose, well, Access is great if you are developing small programs at home for your personal use, or you are developing with VBA. However, if it is even a small sized production environment, a DBMS is a must, where SQL Server is a great candidate.

2. How familiar with the ODBC ? All third party (and in-build) databases (or better say data sources) are defined under the concept of ODBC which allows a way of universal access of the specific data. SQL server has no exception, while some software may have native access to it, we mostly use ODBC drivers.

3. Well, .NET (dot net) is a new (well about 2 years) technology which very well integrates with SQL server and seems to be the favorite development environment in short/mid term. .NET (please search from microsoft site), is a "framework" under which you may code with VB, ASP, C# and a number of other languages. So although there are substantial changes, you may slowly shift to ASP.NET or VB.NET from what you currently now.

Please note that I tried to summarize everything in a shot message just to give an idea about the stuff, each of these subject are takes 1-2 books or 1-2 weeks of training for each, so if what I've written is intresting for you, please take your time to learn further. And as a final advice, if you are planning to continue your career as a programmer, SQL Server and .NET technologies at "mandatory" unless you would like to take Linux/MySQL/Php-Perl path.

Hope this helps...
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ChuckbuchanAuthor Commented:
do you have any idea how much is this book ?
http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/5361.asp
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ChuckbuchanAuthor Commented:
To cagri  :
is Sql server able to import any kind of database formats? such as oracle database, paradox, and others?
What about ODBC,AciveX , though I have read a lot about them, but never gotten the solid knowledge of it. Could you give me some clarifications about them?
thanks
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cagriCommented:
About Import and Export;

There are two ways of performing data exhange with third party databases (similar to access itself);

1. You may import/export databases to ANY format as long as it has an ODBC driver (a few more words on this later) and almost ALL database systems including the ones you listed has appropirate ODBC drivers, so the answer is yes. Even better, SQL server has a special application for import/export tasks which enables you to transfer characteristics in great detail.

2. You may also link databases, tables in a similar fashion that is done in access. Depending on the connectivity, drivers and system speeds this may result in performance issues on some implementations but it is doable.

About ODBC, ActiveX;

ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity, it provides a "standard interface" to access databases. Developed by the SQL Access Group around 92. Do you know the "driver" or "device driver" terms in operating systems ? For example a video card driver on your windows xp provides a middle layer between he operating system and the video card hardware itself. OS knows how to talk to driver and only the driver itself knows about the specific hardware. So this enables you to implement any different video card without changing your operating system (as long as it has a driver).

Same for databases, ODBC provides a middle level between your application and the database itself, so, practically you may change your RDBMS without recoding the application. Notice the word practically, although the application may reach database in any case, there may be syntax changes in SQL statements (especially in stored procedures) that may cause the code edited slightly. Anyhow, ODBC is became the standard way of database connectivity. Nothing to know about for programming, it just needs to be set up under Control Panel.

Finally, Activex (fingers getting tired), is totally a different subject from the database concept !
ActiveX is the name given the latest state of the Microsoft technologies OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). Which mostly defines the way of sharing information between different applications. And it is a really broad topic. Which you most commonly face and probably ask about might be "ActiveX Controls" which a a set of "Controls" similar to the ones in Visual Basic that can be used cross many applications and development environments.

Better to explain with an example;

Normally VB has DatabaseGrid Component/Control and ASP (used for web development) does not. However, if you have an ActiveX DatabaseGrid component that you use in VB, you may use in in Visual C++ and  you may even use the same component in ASP so you may have a DatabaseGrid in your Internet Exporer. However this later use is quite limited and very depended to the client environment.

Hope this helps,
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ChuckbuchanAuthor Commented:
How to order the VB.net install CD, and how much it costs?
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ChuckbuchanAuthor Commented:
By the way I downloaded MS SQL Server books online, but it's kind of vague.
Is the ALS Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 System Administration  book, bettert?
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MazaraatCommented:
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Administrator's Companion (w/CD)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0735610517/qid%3D1096578818/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-7590672-3408900

If your going to be maintaining the server this book might be more appropriate, this is the one I have not the ALS version.  You might also look at the SQL 2000 Resource Kit, it has a lot of good info for the programming side, and database manipulation.

Both of these run about $75.



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cagriCommented:
Regarding the VB.NET installation CD, it is available as a part of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET which also offers support for other languages like ASP.NET, C#.NET (c-sharp). Pricing changes greatly depending you location and type of organization, so, please check with Microsoft for the exact costs.

A quick seach shows prices around $450 or so. But several discounts may apply depending you status (like being a student etc.)

http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Microsoft_Visual_Studio_NET_Professional_2003_Upgrade_PC_659_01133
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ChuckbuchanAuthor Commented:
Thank you all guys for your comments.
I just think cagri has been working hard to explain what I needed. and think he will have the points.

Thank you all again
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