- 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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In 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.
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.
This 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).
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:
After 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:
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.