Microsoft SQL Server 7 is a high-performance, client/server relational database management system (RDBMS). It was designed to support high-volume transaction processing (such as that for online order entry, inventory, accounting, or manufacturing) as well as data warehousing and decision-support applications (such as sales analysis applications). SQL Server runs on Microsoft Windows NT Server_based networks using Intel or DEC Alpha AXP processors and can be installed as a desktop database system on Windows NT Workstation, Windows 95, and Windows 98 machines. Versions of SQL Server for Windows NT Server (on both processor types) and the desktop version ship together on the same CD.
SQL Server 7 actually has three different editions available on different CDs: Standard edition, Enterprise edition, and Small Business Server edition. Each edition can be installed on either processor type. Each CD also includes the option to install the desktop version on Windows NT, Windows 95, or Windows 98. Chapter 4 will discuss the differences between these editions.
SQL Server 7 also provides many client tools and networking interfaces for other Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS. And because of SQL Server's open architecture, other systems (for example, UNIX-based systems) can interoperate with it as well. SQL Server is part of the core of a family of integrated products, including development tools, systems management tools, distributed system components , and open development interfaces, as shown in Figure 2-1. It is also a key part of Microsoft BackOffice.
This book focuses on the capabilities and uses of the SQL Server engine; this chapter provides an overview of the SQL Server family of components and describes the features and benefits of each component. Understanding these features and benefits will prove helpful to you as you develop applications.
Figure 2-1. SQL Server and its family of integrated components.