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How to Learn SQL Server and Work for Global Tech Leaders

If you use social media or shop online, chances are your information is being stored on a database. This is because properly organized data has become a very powerful asset for businesses. SQL Server is one platform that companies use to make sure their data is stored safely and accurately.

SQL Server is Microsoft’s relational database management system (RDBMS). Learning to use this software can help kick start your career in software engineering, data science, or any other field that utilizes data.

To help you get familiar with SQL Server, we’ll go over the basics of the software, the steps you should take to start learning it, and the best SQL Server courses and resources  available online in the guide below. 

What Is SQL Server?

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Microsoft’s SQL Server is an RDBMS that businesses use to store and organize large datasets. Microsoft first released the server in 1989 to allow application programming interfaces to retrieve data remotely. Today, Microsoft SQL controls around 20.52 percent of the RDBMS market.

This means you can access a relational database through the SQL Server using any operating system, including Windows, macOS, or Linux.

SQL Server executes its database commands using the data management programming language Standard Query Language, known as SQL. The company also developed its own variation of the language called Transact SQL, or T-SQL, to enhance the server’s capabilities.

There have been many versions of SQL Server since its initial release 30 years ago. Below are a few of the most popular editions.

  • Developer. Just as the name states, this edition of the server is used to develop, build, and test applications. In the developer edition, tasks are performed on a non-production server, meaning this version is exclusively used for testing.

  • Web. The web edition of the SQL server was introduced to provide an affordable database system for web hosters. So, if you want to launch a website, you can use the web editing of SQL Server to create the database you need. 

  • Standard. This edition offers basic services for data storage and analysis. It is ideal for small-scale companies. 

  • Enterprise. This is the most expensive and advanced version of SQL Server and is aimed at large companies that need to process massive datasets. 

What Is SQL Server Used For?

SQL Server is used for more than just data storage and retrieval. It is used by around 185,747 businesses in a variety of industries, from consulting companies to major travel agencies.

Below are a few of the ways in which these companies might use SQL Server. 

Business Intelligence Operations

Many businesses rely heavily on data analysis to conduct daily decisions. Gathering intelligence involves extracting information from databases that can help a business improve its performance. There is a specific business intelligence version of SQL Server that large companies can use to better manage operations.

Transaction Processing 

A relational database provides clients with easy access to multiple datasets. Transaction processing allows multiple SQL statements to be processed in the database as one unit. A transaction in the server will uphold the integrity of the data while still making the necessary updates. 

Security Risk Analysis 

In the digital age, valuable data is constantly under threat. So, it is essential that businesses protect the sensitive data that they collect, such as credit card information. Security risk analysis is the process of analyzing data to find any vulnerabilities present in a system.

Learn SQL Server: Step-by-Step

To learn a new skill, you should have a plan. Follow our step-by-step guide to learning Microsoft SQL Server so that you can be sure not to miss any key information. 

1. Learn SQL 

Microsoft’s relational database server functions using SQL, so you need to learn this coding language. Luckily, it is one of the easiest programming languages to learn

By learning SQL, you will also be able to use all other relational database management systems. Get started by watching tutorials, taking online courses, and reading SQL beginner’s books

2. Learn the basic SQL server system 

With a background in SQL, you will be able to navigate the SQL Server. Check Microsoft’s SQL Server website, and watch tutorials to figure out how the database is structured. Figure out how to make a query using SQL, and the functions of schemas, columns, and rows in a dataset. 

3. Download and install the server 

Download and install the free version of the server to get started. SQL Server 2019 Express is the latest free version of the software.

4. Enroll in T-SQL courses 

Since Microsoft also uses its own data management language T-SQL, you also must learn it. There are plenty of courses that can help you master this language. Start with the basics, such as performing queries, then move on to advanced topics like development. 

5. Practice 

Practice what you have learned. Use the free edition of the SQL Server to make queries and develop your own databases. Keep practicing until you have mastered SQL Server. 

The Best SQL Server Courses

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Microsoft SQL Server is a leading database management software used across many industries.

Learning Microsoft SQL Server can be an advantage in many tech careers besides just data administration and analysis. See how SQL Server can benefit your career by signing up for some of these top SQL Server courses below.

Microsoft SQL for Beginners 

This 3.5-hour on-demand course by Udemy is a great introduction to SQL Server. The course will teach the basics of how to navigate the server. In the class, you will also learn how to request queries with T-SQL, and how to select statements and join queries.

SQL Server with Management Studio Training

In this beginner’s course from Learning Tree International, you will learn how to use SQL Server’s development and administrative tools. The training also teaches how to conduct analysis, and create reports. You will also learn basics such as requesting queries, building databases, and backing up data files.

SQL Server Integration Services 

The SSIS component of SQL Server is very important for data integration and analysis. This course by Lynda.com will teach you the extract, transform, load process of data management. You will also learn how to control and add packages using T-SQL. 

Learning SQL Server Development on Linux

The Linux OS platform is becoming more popular in the business world. So, learning to develop databases with this OS could improve your job options. In addition to SQL Server, this Lynda.com course also covers how to manage Azure SQL databases. You will also learn how to query with graphs, string functions, CLR code, and GIT. 

Building Basic Relational Databases in SQL Server Management Studio 

This one-hour class by Coursera provides a step-by-step guide to learning the SQL Server Management Studio, which is used to manage components within SQL Server. In the course, you will learn how to use SQL on general and relational databases. You will also learn to create columns, tables, and queries in SSMS.

Beginning SQL Server 

This is a hands-on, project-based SSMS course. Throughout the free, 90-minute lesson, you will learn to build and backup a database, generate a query, and create scripts on the SQL Server. The course will also teach you how to execute the USE statement and manage security permissions.

Is Learning SQL Server Right for You?

Learning SQL Server is right for you if you are seeking a job in data. Relational databases are used in many industries, and SQL Server is one of the leading software programs for managing these databases. Recruiters are looking to hire skilled tech professionals, so getting equipped with extra skills like SQL Server is a good idea. 

If you are interested in learning how to analyze big data and use it to mitigate risks and help businesses make informed choices, then SQL Server is a good program to start with.

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