SQL Server

Why You Need Microsoft's Powerhouse Database Server

Databases power so many applications. From web and mobile apps to containers and massive enterprise platforms, it’s next to impossible to run a full-featured application or service and not have it use a database. Of the databases in use, the relational database still rules the landscape. Although big data tends to lean heavily on NoSQL-type databases, most server-side applications (such as WordPress, Nextcloud, Joomla, and Drupal) depend on the relational database.

When you think about relational databases on this level, there are a few main competitors: MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server. For many businesses, SQL Server is the most logical option. Why? Because it’s not only developed by Microsoft, it seamlessly integrates into other Microsoft platforms. So any business that primarily uses Windows Server will certainly look at the Microsoft offering first. And although SQL Server isn’t the most-used database in businesses (coming in third behind MySQL and PostgreSQL), it’s still widely used across the globe.

That means the chances are strong your business will, at some point, employ SQL Server.

SQL Server 10

SQL Server Developers Hiring Guide

  • How to choose the best
  • Interview questions
  • Job Description

What is SQL Server?

As we’ve said, SQL Server is a relational database, created and maintained by Microsoft. SQL Server can be installed and used on Windows, Linux, and macOS, so it’s not limited to the Microsoft operating system. SQL Server was developed for a wide range of applications, from single-machine apps to solutions that span entire clusters. 

Of course, SQL Server is more than just a relational database. In fact, this tool is considered an RDBMS, or Relational Database Management System. That means SQL Server includes all of the tools you need to create and manage relational databases. And, as the name implies, SQL Server uses the SQL query language (like most popular relational database platforms). Unlike most open-source RDBMS, SQL server is intrinsically tied to Transact-SQL, which is Microsoft’s implementation of SQL that includes a set of proprietary programming constructs.

SQL Server can be broken down into the following pieces:

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    External Protocols - which includes Shared Memory, Named Pipes, TCP/IP, and Virtual Interface Adapters.
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    Database Engine - which includes Database, Type System, Events/Exceptions, T-SQL, Stored Procedures, and SQLCLR.
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    Storage Engine - which includes Transactional Services, File Manager, Buffer Manager, and Lock Manager.
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    Query Processor - which includes Parser, Optimizer, SQL Manager, Database Manager, and Query Executor.
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    SQLOS API - which includes Lock Manager, Synchronization Services, Thread Scheduler, and Buffer Pool.

There are several SQL Server editions available:

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    Enterprise - targeted for high-end datacenter capability with unlimited virtualization and end-to-end business intelligence.
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    Standard - for basic data management and business intelligence databases for departments and small organizations.
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    Web - low cost of ownership edition for web hosters and web VAPs.
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    Developer Edition - intended for database development and testing.
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    SQL Server Expression - for small databases with a size up to 10 GB of disk storage capacity.

Why use SQL Server?

This is a challenging question, especially given there are free offerings that are not only more popular but more capable than Microsoft’s SQL Server in many situations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it, especially when SQL Server includes features like:

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    High performance (especially when running on Windows)
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    High availability
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    Scalability
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    Comprehensive Application Development
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    Ease of management
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    Open-source
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    Seamless integration into other Windows services
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    Intelligent query processing
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    Accelerated database recovery
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    AlwaysEncrypted with secure enclaves
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    Memory-optimized
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    Resumable index build
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    Can be used in Big Data Clusters
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    Resumable Online Index Create
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    Always On Availability Groups

Another standout feature is only available to SQL Server on Linux. It’s machine learning integration. Given how many businesses are now adopting this subset of AI, this could be a crucial feature for your company moving forward.

Yet another very important reason to use SQL Server is that most of your IT staff are already familiar with Windows. Unlike using, say, MySQL, MariaDB, or PostgreSQL (where your admins might have to first learn Linux), SQL Server is perfectly at home on Windows. That means the barriers to entry are considerably lower than you might find with other databases.

What You Need to Know to Use SQL Server

To get the most out of SQL Server, you’ll need to first understand how relational databases work. And using a database on this level is well beyond that of MS Access.

Although there are plenty of GUI-based admin tools for SQL Server, the majority of your work will be through the command-line interface (CLI). That means those staff who will be working with SQL Server must know the SQL query language. And even though  SQL Server doesn’t require knowledge of any programming language, SQL should be considered a must-have skill for any SQL Server DBadmin.

Your SQL Server DB admins should also know different SQL dialects and basic SQL syntax. With at least a basic understanding of SQL, your admins will be able to take on tasks like:

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    Creating databases and tables.
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    Modifying database table and index structures.
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    Adding, updating, and deleting table data.
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    Retrieving data from a database for transaction processing and analytics.

Additionally, those staff members should have a solid understanding of how SQL Server databases can be used and integrated into various types of applications and services.

The best way for your admins to learn SQL Server is to download and install the free developer edition. Once installed, they’ll want to learn how to create and modify databases and eventually learn more complex tasks.

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    Hiring Guide

  • SQL Server 12

    Interview Questions

  • SQL Server 13

    Job Description

Many back-end applications use T-SQL for fast performance and scalability. In addition to MS SQL server, other Microsoft tools like SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Azure Data Studio, and SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) also use T-SQL for their query processing.  

You can also add exceptions in T-SQL with TRY and CATCH keywords. This allows you to add use cases for code failure. T-SQL also has ISNULL functionality, an option that is missing in traditional SQL. Furthermore, you can use T-SQL’s local variables for loop counters or procedure return values.

T-SQL in today’s market

According to HG Insight, over 381k companies worldwide are using Microsoft SQL Server. Most companies who utilize Microsoft SQL Server also use T-SQL for querying and manipulating data. 

T-SQL protects and secures a company’s information through isolation levels. It also shields business IPs from malicious access by storing the procedures on the database server itself. This eliminates the possibility of IT sabotage and ensures data integrity.

Issues in finding T-SQL engineers.

Even though there are 7 million SQL engineers worldwide, only a fraction of those specializes in T-SQL. There are a few reasons for that. First, this position requires an engineer who can create, design, and write efficient queries. The engineer also needs to optimize queries for batch processing, to ensure system performance and scalability. Doing this is difficult, and many engineers don’t have the necessary experience and knowledge to handle it. 

Along with query handling, the required engineer should also be good at fixing database-related bugs and issues. Even simple issues like memory ballooning can affect performance and crash server sessions if not fixed quickly. The selected engineer should also have experience in data visualization, which is a different skill in itself.

How to choose the best T-SQL engineer.

To ensure that a T-SQL engineer is good, you need to test their knowledge of MS SQL Server and T-SQL concepts. 

They should have hands-on experience with production databases and should be able to maintain data quality and integrity. They should also know how to run effective T-SQL queries and should be able to create batch procedures for running queries, triggers, and views. 

The selected engineer should be able to solve issues related to network security and performance. In addition, they should have experience in data visualization and should be well versed in the ETL process. 

The selected engineer should also know about agile development. Candidates with Azure experience should be preferred.

What is the difference between SQL and T-SQL?

Both SQL and T-SQL are used for querying databases and manipulating data within a database. However, T-SQL is an extension of SQL specifically designed for Microsoft SQL Server software and databases. This means that if you’re running a native Microsoft server session (or any application using a Microsoft server), you should go for T-SQL as it provides more robustness and functionality.  

T-SQL also uses different keywords than SQL, such as TOP and WAITFOR. The DELETE and UPDATE statements in T-SQL don’t require subqueries. Along with this, you can also access features such as batch query processing and exception control in T-SQL.

What metadata functions are used in T-SQL for returning object properties?

The metadata functions used in T-SQL for generating information are:

OBJECTPROPERTY()- Returns object information for the current database. 

DATABASEPROPERTYEX()- Returns information related to the properties of a database. 

COLUMNPROPERTY () - Returns information about particular columns in a database. 

OBJECTDEFINITION() - Returns T-SQL code for a particular object.

What is the T-SQL window function?

The window function allows the user to execute calculations over a row set defined by a window descriptor, returning a single value for every row. Window descriptor outlines the row on which function should be applied. You can use the OVER keyword for specifying a window. 

What is SQL sandbox?

This is a secure place in the SQL server where you can execute test scripts. In a sandbox environment, DB engineers and DB admins can work and run queries without affecting the production environment. There are 3 types of SQL sandbox: external access sandbox, safe access sandbox, and unsafe access sandbox

What is the use of T-SQL SET statements?

The SET statement allows you to change the session parameters for a particular Microsoft SQL server session. This includes options such as date, lock timeout, language, and row count, among others.  

All the set statements are executed at run time. If the SET statement is a part of a trigger, its value gets restored after its run. You can also specify multiple set statements in one session, and these statements can override ALTER commands. SET statements can also be modified via MARS requests and sp_configure options.

Conclusion

T-SQL‘s stored procedures and user-defined functions allow you to run highly optimized queries on the Microsoft SQL Server. Its batch processing feature improves performance, reduces network bandwidth, and decreases costs. If your company uses Microsoft SQL Server, you should definitely look into investing in T-SQL.

We are looking for smart and qualified T-SQL engineers who can design and work on Microsoft SQL Server. They should be passionate team players who specialize in database management, query handling, and maintenance. 

This is an excellent opportunity for result-oriented engineers who want to work on new and exciting technologies. The selected engineer should also have good communication skills and the ability to coordinate with other stakeholders.

Responsibilities

  • Write reliable, enterprise-level code modules on Microsoft SQL Server. 
  • Use T-SQL queries to create database schema and objects. 
  • Develop database infrastructure and architecture. 
  • Work on performance tuning, troubleshooting, and package configuration
  • Maintain stored procedures, triggers, and functions. 
  • Work on database objects such as tables and views
  • Coordinate with internal and external teams for data analysis and data migration. 
  • Follow best industry practices and standards
  • {{Add other relevant responsibilities}}

Skills and Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Microsoft SQL Server, SSRS, and SSAS. 
  • Experience in designing high-performance and optimized code modules  
  • Proven experience working with T-SQL queries and procedure implementation
  • Deep understanding of backend development and query optimization. 
  • Experience with ETL. 
  • Experience with code versioning tools (Git). 
  • Hands-on knowledge of database dashboards.
  • Problem-solving skills and team spirit 
  • {{Add other frameworks or libraries related to your development stack}} 
  • {{List education level or certification required}}

Conclusion

SQL Server has been a long-standing favorite for companies around the globe. When your business finally reaches the point where data becomes tantamount to success, consider starting with this outstanding database server. And although the cost might seem prohibitive, remember that world-class support comes with it. So when your admins run into trouble, if they can’t find the solution online, they can always turn to Microsoft for the answer.

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