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Learning About SQL Databases With Tutorials

The first tutorial, ‘Learning about SQL databases’, focuses on creating and using reports, database security and publishing the web. The tutorial teaches about security and network connectivity, how to connect your web application to SQL server 2005 express edition, getting started with reporting services and how to embed, package and deploy SQL Server Express Reporting Services.

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In the next tutorial, ‘Understanding security and network connectivity,’ the learner gets to understand the difference “between database files and SQL Server processes and discovers situations for connecting to SQL Server Express databases, how to enable and disable user instances, login authorizations, and other various security measures” (Microsoft Corporation (a) 2011). According to the tutorial, there are two scenarios for connecting SQL server express edition databases.

In the first scenario, there is a concurrent multi-user access which involves several users sharing similar data. In this case, users have the ability to access the database from diverse computers, which can be residing in a local network as a well as a global one. All users can work simultaneously with same data and if a user makes changes to a given database record; all the other users will be able to see that change. In order to protect confidentiality of data, its integrity and also its database objects, the SQL server has the function of managing the authentication and authorization. Each user is authenticated and a group of permissions are granted to the user authorizing him/her to carry out several functions.

The second scenario is a non-concurrent single user access. In this case, multiple users on the same machine are allowed to work with their own private version of the database and these are known as user instances. This is easy to enable since factors regarding authentication and authorization are not the same as the concurrent multi-user access. This scenario applies when one wish to allow one or more windows or user accounts on same machine to access the database and users will not need to share the same data. With user instances, securing the database becomes straight forward. In enabling and disabling user instances, all that is required is to change the connection string.

SQL server service creates a personal copy of a database such that when the first time a user requests a connection then the user instances are enabled in the connection string. In enabling concurrent multi-user access, first of all it is vital to create logins and assign roles and the second factor is to configure network connectivity. In the express edition tools, user instances are used by default.

In database application workflow, it is essential to center on inserting into a database with inline SQL and stored procs writing ADO.NET 2.0 code by hand and also the use of visual tools to quickly create an administration application. First create a new project in a file then select new website whereby ASP.NET website is selected. Add a master page and create a CSS (cascading style sheets) file then populate the master page as well as the CSS (Microsoft Corporation (b) 2011).

The next tutorial, ‘Getting started with reporting services,’ teaches how to install and configure reporting services, to create tabular and matrix reports and also how to deploy and view the reports. Reporting services allows the designing and deployment of reports. It provides necessary tools to get results thus leading to quick derivation of professional results. The report manager application is used to navigate through reports. Reporting services makes the building of nicely formatted reports inclusive of “interactive” reports with parameterized questions and also complex reports an easy task. By use of these services, it becomes easy for end users to view reports via a web based UI and through setting windows/network permissions it is defined who gets access to view the reports. A simple report can be created in a short span of time using a report wizard and reporting services have a rich API for defining more complex reports (Microsoft Corporation 2011 c).

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Reporting services comprise of RDL Files (Report Definition Language) which is usually created in SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. It also consists of a report server which uses the SQL server to store vital data and also manages reports and the report manager is user friendly web-based user interface which requests reports and other information from report server and displays results to the users. The report manager is basically a web-based user interface used for viewing reports via a web browser.

The last tutorial, ‘Embedding, Packaging and Deploying SQL Server Express Reporting Services,’ tackles how to customize the appearance and the format of reports and how to embed reports in ASP.NET. It teaches how reports are built from scratch and how the reports that are created through the use of wizards are modified. Report modifications are made whereby the font, style and also color of the report are changed. Using the expression editor, one can get numerous expressions inclusive of aggregations, global values as well as financial functions.

This tutorial comes in handy by focusing on reporting services, the security and network connectivity and also demonstrates how to connect a web application to SQL server 2005 express edition. This tutorial may also be found useful by a web designer/developer especially in building reports and network connectivity, considering it’s in-depth and comprehension of SQL server 2005 express edition for beginners.

References

Microsoft Corporation (a) (2011). Understanding Security and Network Connectivity. Microsoft Corporation. Web.

Microsoft Corporation (b) (2011). Connecting your Web Application to SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. Microsoft Corporation. Web.

Microsoft Corporation (c) (2011). Getting Started with Reporting Services. Microsoft Corporation. Web.

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