Understanding SQL server and databases is essential for a career in web development. If you already have some experience with coding, you may already know that the system can help you build better, faster and more efficient web applications.
Before Starting with SQL
In this tutorial, you will learn why SQL Server and databases are important and where they fit into web app design. If you are learning to code on your own, this tutorial can help prepare you for your next steps in web development, and if you are in a coding bootcamp, this tutorial can serve as a resource to return to whenever you need to refresh yourself on these important concepts.
SQL Server is a fairly simple coding language, especially for developers who are just trying to write basic queries. However, assembling the various components of SQL Server is not necessarily easy on the first try and involves a degree of practice over time.
Understanding SQL Server
Database servers are programs that provide other programs or computers with database services according to the client-server model. SQL Server is Microsoft’s relational database management system (RDBMS), and it offers a number of unique qualities and advantages. SQL Server supports the standard Structured Query Language, ANSI SQL, but it also has its own unique dialect of the SQL language: Transact-SQL, or T-SQL, has additional capabilities, such as exception handling, declaring variables and stored procedures.
SQL Server is designed to store and retrieve data requested by other applications from either the same computer or a different machine entirely, and SQL is the programming language specifically designed to manage data in RDBMSs. Understanding it is crucial to making sense of the server and how it interacts with databases.
The version of SQL Server you choose ultimately depends on your exact development needs since they are all designed with different demands and workloads in mind. For example, a data center version is specially designed for higher levels of app scalability and support, while the Express version is free and much more scaled-down.
SQL Server’s main interface tool is called SQL Server Management Studio, or SSMS. SSMS supports 32- and 64-bit environments, giving you even more options to choose from.
There are also a number of editions of SQL Server available:
First Steps with SQL Server
To download SQL Server, create a Microsoft account with administrative privileges. Before installation, make sure your system is running on Windows 8 or higher and has the latest security patches and updates, including pending updates in your queue.
Additionally, having the right support system in place can help you succeed in learning SQL Server and databases. A coding bootcamp can help you gain proficiency in the requisite skills and knowledge to use SQL Server to its full potential with study guides, in-depth tutorials, real-time feedback and live community support.
SSMS lets you add and create databases, write queries and review queries’ results. This tutorial assumes you have installed and are using SSMS version 17 and have connected it to SQL Server.
To write queries, you need to know which tables and columns are available in the databases you are connecting to. Whenever you use SSMS, you can expand any database’s tables folder, which will show you a list of all the tables contained in your database.
Learning to Use Object Explorer
When you want to know more information about specific tables, click on the name of the table to expand it and show the columns folder, which contains a list of all the table’s columns. Using SSMS makes this process much easier.
Connecting to Sample Databases
Download and install either Wide World Importers or the AdventureWorks 2012 databases. After you download and restore a database, you can begin to experiment to see how queries are used. By using SQL Server, you can easily connect with SQL databases.
Next Steps for Learning SQL
One of the best parts of being a web developer is being part of a growing community brimming with ideas, innovations and insights. The community you surround yourself makes a real difference in your learning, thinking and design. If you are looking to learn more about SQL Server and databases, consider a web coding bootcamp that can provide an immersive experience and further your understanding of the fundamentals covered in this tutorial.