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Tips for Querying Text Columns in SSMS

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a great tool for writing and running queries. This post will provide some extra tips on querying text fields in a database table. These include:

  • Query fields with long or formatted text
  • Copying strings by dragging them from the results grid
  • T-SQL query tips for working with strings

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Movie ReelIn a previous post, I encouraged you to consider an older video series focussed on learning SQL Server 2005 Express. In this post, I’d like to highlight a different video series focused on SQL Server 2008 Express: SQL Server 2008 Express How-To-Guide Series. Here is how I would suggest getting the most out of these videos.

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Understanding SQL Server Connection Strings

Many people start learning SQL Server, because they want to use a database in application development. You can develop web or client applications with a retail version of Visual Studio or the free edition, Visual Studio 2010 Express (there is also a new product called Web Matrix that we hope to talk about in future posts). A connection string specifies how to connect to your SQL Server database. Development tools can hide or create this connection string for you, but it helps to know how to create one and what it means. In this post, we’ll cover the basics, provide some examples, and point to tools that automatically generate connection strings.

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SQL Query Tutorial & Tips (Video)

SQL Query Tutorial VideoThis next video in the Learning SQL Server video series looks at getting started with Transact-SQL (T-SQL) queries in SQL Server. A query is just a question about your data. T-SQL is just the language used to ask that question. This video looks at basic SELECT queries and then moves on to concepts of aggregations and joins. In the process, it provides tips working with queries in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

Video: SQL Query Tutorial & Tips

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How to Learn SQL Server Online (Advice & Resources)

If you’re new to SQL Server and searching for online training, I’d just like to say:

DON’T PANIC

In this post, I’d like to provide some tips for how a new SQL Server user can better use online resources with less frustration.

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Let’s say someone wants to give you their SQL Server database. Maybe they want you to manage it, troubleshoot it, or learn from it. So they hand you a .MDF file and  .LDF file and tell you that you need SQL server 2008 R2 to open them. So you install SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (which, to your relief, is free). You open SQL Server Management Studio(SSMS), and you try to open the .MDF file. You get the following error:

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Getting Started with SQL Server VideoAfter the satisfaction of successfully installing SQL Server, you close the setup dialog. But if you’re new to SQL Server, it’s not obvious how to continue. If you’re like me, you look at the Start Menu for new items. But it’s much easier if you have a friend or coworker that can just show you a few ways to get started. Then your experimentation is a lot less random and more productive. That’s the goal of the latest video in the “Learning SQL Server” video series:

Video: Getting Started with SQL Server 2008

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SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) Basics

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is one of the most important tools you’ll use with SQL Server. It provides a user-interface for common database tasks. Although not comprehensive, here are a few of the more common tasks:

  • Create databases.
  • Design tables and other database objects.
  • Add, update, or delete data from databases.
  • Backup and Restore databases.
  • Run queries.

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SQL Server Express for Beginners Video Series

SQL Server 2005 Express for Beginners Video SeriesI’d like to recommend an older, Microsoft-created video series called SQL Server 2005 Express for Beginners. Before you skip over this post, because you’re using SQL Server 2008, be aware that most of the material in these videos applies to SQL Server 2008 as well. View full article »

What is SQL Server Express?

Even if you’re completely new to SQL Server, you may have seen references to SQL Server Express. In fact, our last post was on installing SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. But  you might want to back up a bit. Exactly what is Express and what can it do?

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