MS SQL Server is Microsoft’s offering of an enterprise-level database. It has undergone several revisions to meet changing technologies and user requirements and the current version, MS SQL Server 2008 R2 is a powerful program that can handle different types of data, including multimedia, and provides several new capabilities such as SQL Sever Always On technology and a master database management system.
MS SQL Web hosting involves making MS SQL database and server available to hosting clients for managing their data and queries. Depending on the hosting plan, the client’s database can be hosted on its own separate SQL Server which can be SQL 2008 or 2008 R2, or even SQL 2005. Few hosting companies are now likely to support the earlier SQL 2000 servers.
MS SQL hosting is typically offered along with Windows, IIS and ASP.NET, all Microsoft products. The SQL Server 2008 can come with Windows 2008, IIS7 and ASP.NET 4.5, for example. The 2008 version is 64bit, and developers can issue queries in a managed programming language instead of SQL statements.
SQL 2008 has introduced new data types for date, time and spatial data (e.g. geographical data specified with latitude and longitude). There are several other valuable features such as the ability to manage the databases remotely over the Web using a web-based SQL manager. SQL 2008 R2 comes with tools like SQL Backup, SQL Restore, Shrink SQL and Attach MDF File.
As a commercial product that is constantly updated based on user feedback and changing technologies, MS SQL can meet user expectations better. Additionally, as a Microsoft product, it will work well with the Windows environment most users will be familiar with. MS SQL hosting thus offers not only powerful and up-to-date features but also meets a need many users will have.
Cameron J Sinclair