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Third-party database access tools

Posted on 2014-01-20
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From a textbook:   "A person can access the data by using query or reporting tools that are of the DBMS or by using application programs specifically written to access the data."

Please give two examples of application programs specifically written to access the data.
(in SQL Server).
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Question by:Peter
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by:Surendra Nath
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in here the textbox is refering the application programs that may be written application layer

generally using .NET or JAVA technologies.
in order to connect to SQL Server they generally use the ODBC.
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by:jaLouden
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Hey jonmarsh44,

You can use report Builder that ships with Sql Server Reporting Services, or you can use Sql Server Management Studio that is a part of the client tools install within Sql server.

There are many 3rd party tools that will do it as well. Toad for SQl by Quest, and squirrel can be used to test all sorts of jDBC drivers to a sql server.

Is this for an Essay or General Knowledge?

Cheers
JL
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by:jaLouden
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Actually  Surendra Ganti is right on the money with his answer :)
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by:Aneesh Retnakaran
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Seems like an assignment question to me ?
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by:Dave Baldwin
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The first one is SQL Server Management Studio which is usually used as an Admin interface but you can also do SQL queries with it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL_Server_Management_Studio
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by:Mark Wills
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@jonmarsh44

What is it that you don't understand ?

While we cannot give you the answer, we can certainly help resolve any misunderstanding or confusion.
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by:Peter
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I'm truly surprised. No, this is not a homework assignment; there is no academic dishonesty going on here. I'm a newbie to databases. I don't think I phrased my question correctly.

One response said:  "There are many 3rd party tools that will do it as well. Toad for SQl by Quest, and squirrel can be used to test all sorts of jDBC drivers to a sql server."  That's very close to the answer I was hoping for but I cannot visualize how , for example, Toad, accesses the data.

What happens? Is it that when you install Toad part of the installation requires you to recognize that SQL Server is there? How does Toad know that a SQL Server database is on the hard drive?  (I also can't visualize testing jDBC drivers but I'll do with an answer just for Toad.)  After all, my professor might get suspicious.

Just kidding!
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by:ValentinoV
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So you're looking for info on how applications connect to SQL Server, that might get complicated.  Let's assume we'll focus on the most common protocol used: TCP.  The SQL Server service listens for incoming connections on a certain port.  Well, it's actually even more complicated: the SQL Server Browser service listens for incoming connections.  The reason for this is because it's possible to install multiple SQL Server instances on the same machine.

More details: SQL Server Browser Service

Applications use a connection string to connect to SQL Server.  Here's what one looks like for Windows authentication:

Initial Catalog=MyDb;Data Source=MyServer;Integrated Security=SSPI;

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PS: your question really sounds academical...
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by:Dave Baldwin
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I still recommend Microsoft's SQL Server Management Studio as the first SQL tool you should have.  It performs both the admin functions and SQL queries for a server.  Also allows several connection methods and can be used with remote servers too.
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by:Peter
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Thanks to all.  In particular, thank you Mr. Horn for your informative - and humorous - comments.  I shall comply.
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by:jaLouden
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Hey JonMarsh

Suggest you have a look at the following doco's

Outlines ODBC
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/110093
http://www.datadirect.com/resources/resource-library/odbc-developer-center/odbc-faqs/how-does-odbc-work

How ever, guessing on where your coming from the best place to start is Books Online. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms130214.aspx

Grab a eval version of SQL, or even the express edition go through the getting started guide in books online
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Mark Wills earned 100 total points
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There are several ways in which an app can connect to a database.

The bottom line is always "you tell it how".

Having said that, sometimes it is not quite as obvious, or the App is smart enough to go look for a database. Or you are prompted / have a wizard to help...

For example, when you Install SQL Server, it will (can) install Sql Server Management Studio and because it is part of the installation pretty much knows the detail about the database system as it is being installed.

However, it is also possible to "connect" to another SQL server instance from SSMS. When you first fire up SSMS it shows a "connection" dialogue box and you have to tell it which instance to connect to.

Once connected to an instance of SQL Server, you have access to all the databases in that instance.

Now SSMS does that by checking what SQL Server instances are available on that server.

Sql server runs as a service, so pretty easy for apps to see what services are available.

Might like to read ValentinoV's post above for : SQL Server Browser Service


For other Apps, they sometimes install their own version of the database and can either add that database to an existing instance of SQL Server or add an extra instance of SQL Server.

Somewhere, the App will build a connection string to a specific database. Now, that connection string might be pre-configured (for example a web app accessing a database over the Internet).

That connection string can be stored as in a config / ini / file (etc) and usually includes the connection properties such as Server, Database, and the permissions to access (such as username and password or maybe windows authentication). It can also be "driver" dependant like ODBC or Native, and then with different "providers" like JDBC, Net .

With something like Excel, you can build the ODBC datasource and then you can connect via that datasource, or use the Wizard (http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/excel-help/connect-a-sql-server-database-to-your-workbook-HA103791059.aspx)

The bottom line is you actually tell the App how top connect to a database, albeit in some circumstances it can appear to be automated (or a wizard).

Might like a very general overview from wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_connection

Might like to read about connection strings : http://www.connectionstrings.com/sql-server/ you will note they are fairly similar, but it does depend on what your app is doing and how it has been programmed.

And yes, read up on those MS links above...

Check out the SSMS connection wizard below...

SSMS connection wizard
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