SQL Server hit the market in 1988, but didn't seriously compete until Windows 3.1 was released in 1991. Windows and SQL Server were the perfect pair, and they've been together ever since. The most current version of SQL Server is SQL Server 2000. This version is available in several editions:
Enterprise Edition The full version includes everything: meat, potatoes, dessert, and a cigar for later.
Standard Edition This version is aimed at users in small- to medium-sized businesses. It lacks a few analysis tools and indexed views.
Developer Edition This version includes all the features of the Enterprise Edition, but it isn't licensed for production. It's strictly a testing and development environment.
Desktop Engine This is the upgrade to Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE 1). You can learn more about this version in Chapter 9.
Personal Edition Similar to the Standard Edition for desktop and mobile use, but limited.
Windows CE Edition This version is for handheld devices. It doesn't support stored procedures.
You can download a 120-day evaluation copy of SQL Server 2000 from www.microsoft.com/sql/ evaluation/trial/2000/download.asp. To learn more about specific SQL Server 2000 features, visit www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/features/choosing.asp. Microsoft also offers help for deciding which version is right for you at www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/planning/SQLResKChooseEd.asp.
Microsoft recommends that you run SQL Server 2000 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server (or later) on a Pentium or compatible system with a 166MHz processor and 128MB of RAM. For specific hardware and software requirements, visit Microsoft's SQL Server home page at www.microsoft.com/sqlserver.com.