Clarifying SQL Server in SBS 2003 [Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Folks – I am the author of the above ‘da purple book and each day I like to hold a virtual book reading…until my SBS 2008 book comes out in a month! Today we thin more about the role of SQL Server in an SBS 2003 environment!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!

PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!

PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!

Clarifying SQL Server 2000

On the one hand, you can say SQL Server 2000 is a very important part of SBS 2003. Call it the revenge of the good old “It’s the data, stupid” crowd. When

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you really think about it, the whole reason any of us technology professionals are here is because the underlying data drives business computing. Get it? No? Then consider how I interact with my clients on any given day. The property management firm I serve calls when they can’t run payroll, not because some SBS event log entry looks interesting. A true story: The payroll program at the property management firm needed Internet access to obtain updated tax tables and forms before it would cut the paychecks. The solution was to open a port in the firewall to allow the traffic through. But understand that the call I received from the client was much more about the “data” than asking me to come over and open up a firewall port. So it truly is “the data, stupid!”

On the other hand, I can’t deny that, in its natural state, SQL Server is one of the least used components in SBS 2003 (which is truly unfortunate). Part of that might be attributable to the fact that SQL Server 2000 is shipped only with the premium edition of SBS 2003, not the standard version. One interesting thought along these lines of SQL Server de-emphasis (and don’t worry, I get to the “emphasis” argument in the next paragraph) relates to being an actual SQL language programmer. It’s highly unlikely that, as an SBSer, you’ll program inside of SQL Server (using the SQL programming language) at an SBS site. With respect to building custom applications and other SQL goodies (such as stored procedures), SQL Server is much more at home in development and enterprise environments. It’s not my world, but I sure like the business applications that SQL Server developers create!

Now for some good news about SQL Server, starting with the old saying about having nothing to fear but fear itself (with all due respect to United States President Franklin Roosevelt). SQL Server has a very important role that I haven’t even discussed yet: supporting business applications. To understand this supporting role, you’ll learn the basics of SQL Server in this chapter. Such an understanding will aid greatly in supporting applications that run on top of SQL Server.

To understand SQL Server at an appropriate level for an SBS site, you’ll spend the first part of the chapter creating a simple table to manage some information for SPRINGERS via SQL Server (yes, that never-ending SPRINGERS methodology is utilized yet again). Later in the chapter, the focus shifts to advanced SQL Server tidbits (such as publishing data as a Web page) that you need to know about to better manage SQL Server. I do want to manage your

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expectations: Today is not a day to master SQL Server; today is a day to meet and greet SQL Server.

BEST PRACTICE: In all seriousness, I hope I’ve managed your expectations to this point about what SQL Server is and isn’t. More important, I want to emphasize that in no way, shape, or form is this chapter anything more than a SQL Server sampler. As stated previously, several thick books dedicated to SQL Server await your reading pleasure. And don’t forget I intend to emphasize SQL Server in a future Advanced SBS 2003 text.


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