Archive for the ‘Microsoft SQL Server Hosting’ Category

SQL Server Management Studio

Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you choose to use a Microsoft SQL Server database with your Windows web hosting plan then you will need a way to manage your database, which is where SQL Server Management Studio comes into play as this is the application provided by Microsoft to allow you to manage your SQL Server 2005 and 2008 databases effectively. SQL Server databases are very complex in their structure and so a sturdy application is required to allow you to make the most of all of the application’s features; as a server administrator SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) will allow you to control the state of the database server as well as individual databases, but at a shared web hosting level you are going to be offered direct user access to your database meaning that you will only be permitted to perform operations in this area. The benefit of SSMS is that it can be used to manage databases locally and remotely so that you can swap between local test databases and remote databases that could potentially be the live backend databases for your website; this enables data to be transferred with ease when editing your database locally before upload it to the remote server. Although you are going to have to pay for Microsoft SQL Server if you wish to use a version that won’t limit your usage, SSMS is available for free and can also be used with the Express (free) editions of SQL Server 2005 and 2008.

What are the main features of SSMS?

SQL Server Management Studio is a product that can provide Windows server administrators with many benefits that will allow them to streamline the management process and save time when completing certain tasks. These features include:

  • Free edition – for those using Microsoft’s free database systems, in other words the Express editions, there is also an Express edition of SSMS available that will allow you to manage your database server fully without the need to pay a penny for any software – although the desktop application is only compatible with the Windows operating system, it does provide system administrators with a simplified method of managing servers without having to login to the server directly as this can be a time consuming process and isn’t the most secure method of management available – the Express edition will also allow those who are using Windows technologies to develop websites for the first time with a way of being able to sample more advance technologies without risking any money
  • Backwards compatibility – some larger companies that have been established for a long period of time may still be running database clusters that are using older versions of SQL Server, such as 2000, and SSMS is compatible with these older systems meaning that you can manage all of your database servers using a single application, rather than having to switch between SSMS and the older generations of management tools that were created – this makes SSMS even more popular with system administrators and will guarantee that larger businesses will continue to use Microsoft’s enterprise-level products for a long time to come
  • Works with Windows web hosting – SSMS can be used to manage your SQL Server databases across the range of Windows web hosting plans offered by Storm Internet, regardless of whether you have chosen Windows shared hosting or Windows dedicated hosting – this will provide you with a wider range of benefits from your Windows web hosting plan if you are able to have greater access to the management of your databases because it means that you will be able to add extended functionality to your dynamic web applications – furthermore, when using SSMS with a Windows dedicated server running SQL Server you will be able to manage more of your server remotely without the need to be continually logging into it via Remote Desktop.

What are the benefits of using a database server as opposed to a desktop database system?

There are many benefits to using a database server as opposed to a desktop database application, or in other words using Microsoft SQL Server as opposed to Microsoft Access in a live environment. These benefits include:

  • Scalability – SQL Server can provide you with a higher level of scalability than Microsoft Access, in turn allowing you to grow your website as you wish without having to worry about having the performance of your web application inhibited by the database application that you are using – most websites also suffer load spikes during peak times and so it is important for the database application that you are using to be able to cope with this so that your website doesn’t crash, Access won’t be able to cope with load spikes in most cases whereas SQL Server will be able to make efficient use of your server’s resources to counteract the load spikes
  • Security – the security provided by SQL Server is on a much higher level than that provided for the data stored in Microsoft Access databases, making SQL Server the ideal option for businesses that are going to be processing and handling the personal data of customers and visitors – SSMS will be able to aid you with the security of your databases by allowing you to setup strong passwords as well as allowing you to ensure that that encrypted content including passwords and email addresses can be stored in your database tables.

In conclusion, SQL Server Management Studio is a vital tool that will form part of the software collection of any seasoned SQL Server database developer. As a Windows web developer you are going to be using SSMS as part of the development process to create and manage the SQL Server database that you wish to use as the backend for your website; you may also be using SQL Server as the backend database platform for your internal corporate infrastructure, in which case you will also come into contact with SSMS as part of your daily management processes – in either case you will discover the power of the application and how it can benefit you.

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Access Hosting

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Microsoft Access is a desktop database system that has been developed by Microsoft with small businesses in mind and can be used to create and manage small-scale standalone databases as well as the database backend for small ASP websites. Not many comparisons can be drawn between Microsoft Access and its bigger brother SQL Server because both database systems are targeting two different markets; whereas SQL Server is aimed at larger businesses that store all of their mission critical data on database systems and require scalability to ensure that they never face stability issues, Microsoft Access is aimed at smaller businesses that aren’t going to have the need for a scalable database system and are only looking at using an Access database as part of a small implementation. As is the case with SQL Server databases, in order to make the most of your Access databases in a web hosting environment you will need to choose a Windows web hosting plan for your needs as Access databases can only function in a Windows environment; this can be a disadvantage to some extent because it means that you will have to pay out more for a web hosting plan that will suit your needs. For businesses that are looking to develop small-scale websites and web applications using ASP.NET then Microsoft Access will make the perfect database accompaniment as it will allow you to cut development times, but will allow you to create a final result that will function professionally and will be able to keep your data safe and secure.

What are the benefits of using Microsoft Access?

As Microsoft Access is a desktop database system it can have many benefits to offer to beginners before they move on to using more powerful systems such as Microsoft SQL Server; some of these benefits include:

  • Desktop system – the fact that Microsoft Access is a desktop database system makes it easier to use in some cases because you are able to manage databases locally without the need for a direct internet connection to a server because the file is the database, rather than the database being served through a server service – with Microsoft Access you can download a database from your web space and make the amendments to it that you see as being necessary and then upload the database to your web space again, allowing you to keep a back-up copy of your database on your desktop so in the event that the server that your website is hosted on crashes, you will be able to recover your database and data easily
  • Cheap to implement – compared to a Microsoft SQL Server-based system, Microsoft Access databases are fairly cheap to implement because you only have to pay for a single application that won’t provide you with any limitations – with Microsoft SQL Server you have to purchase a license for the high-end version in order to be able to make the most of the application without any limitations, however if you go for a lower end version then you may have certain limitations forced upon you – however, your license for Microsoft Access will only be usually valid for one computer meaning that if you wish to use multiple copies of the application or have it on different computers then it could become costly to implement
  • ASP.NET websites – Microsoft Access can be used in conjunction with ASP.NET to aid with the development of small-scale dynamic websites that require a database backend in which data can be stored – Access is only suitable for small-scale websites because it isn’t the most scalable database platform available and so larger websites would be put too much stress on an Access database and too many concurrent connections would make it impossible for the database and website to function together properly – however, when used together you will be able to develop very dynamic and functional web applications for a Windows hosting environment.

What are the disadvantages of using Microsoft Access?

Due to the limitations provided by using Microsoft Access, there can be some disadvantages to using the application that you should be aware of prior to choosing it. Some of the disadvantages that you may come across could include:

  • Windows-only – the fact that Access is developed by Microsoft means that Access databases can only be managed on Windows desktop computer and will only be fully functional on Windows web hosting servers – this will only be an issue for you if you are using a platform for either your web hosting or on the desktop other than Windows, for example many people choose to use Mac OSX as their desktop operating system for which Microsoft Access isn’t compatible, similarly Linux is a popular choice for web hosting and an Access database won’t open in a Linux hosting environment
  • Scalability – the fact that Microsoft Access serves databases directly from the file, it isn’t the most scalable database solution available and so larger businesses looking to use a scalable Microsoft database solution should review Microsoft SQL Server for their requirements – when looking to develop a scalable infrastructure for a website that will be able to cope with load spikes, it is important for you to consider your backend database application carefully because this is going to be put under much of the stress that comes from load spikes because of the continuous requests that will be made to pull information from any databases that are being hosted.

In conclusion, Access hosting is available from any web hosting company that is offering Windows web hosting services. Although Microsoft Access may not be the most scalable database platform available, it is recommended for smaller businesses that are looking to develop small, in-house web applications using ASP.NET as they can then easily manage their databases using a desktop application. Microsoft Access isn’t the best option for managing databases that are being used in a live web environment because once you have downloaded the database and made the changes you want, a newer copy of the database is likely to exist on the hosting server.

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SQL Server Hosting Plan

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

For larger businesses that require a reliable database hosting platform that they can be sure will keep their data safe and secure, Microsoft SQL Server represents the best option possible because of the fact that the application is designed for use by enterprise-level users. As a Windows web hosting user you will also be able to appreciate the close level of integration that is possible between ASP.NET web applications and SQL Server databases, helping to ensure that any data pulled from your database by your ASP.NET website is done so securely as to ensure that the connection can’t be eavesdropped on by hackers and other malicious attackers. Microsoft SQL Server is only available for the Windows platform meaning that you will have to choose a Windows web hosting plan if you wish to have the facility to host SQL Server databases; most web hosting companies will be able to offer you a wide range of Windows hosting plans to choose from, with Windows shared hosting plans being available for those with simple requirements whilst those who wish to make the most of SQL Server hosting can opt for their own VPS server or dedicated server running Windows. Depending on your exact requirements, you may wish to check out the version of SQL Server that your web hosting plan will be provided with; although most web hosting companies have now upgraded to SQL Server 2008, there are still some web hosting providers using SQL Server 2005 for the purpose of lower-end Windows web hosting plans.

What should I look for in an SQL Server hosting plan?

There are several different features that you should consider in a Windows web hosting plan that you may be looking to use for the purposes of SQL Server database hosting, these features include:

  • Version of SQL Server being used – the version of Microsoft SQL Server being used is something that you should ask a web hosting provider before purchasing a Windows web hosting plan for the use of SQL Server hosting because different versions of Microsoft SQL Server offer different features and where possible, it is probably best for you to be using the most recent versions of software that is key to your website – most web hosting companies aim to use SQL Server 2008 which is the latest version of the software and by choosing a web hosting company that is able to offer the most up-to-date version, you can be sure that you will be awarded the best levels of reliability and security that are available for your databases – furthermore, it may also be important to review the specific edition of SQL Server that is being used as some web hosting companies choose to use the Express edition to save money under some circumstances and this can provide you with certain limitations, so you want to be sure that you will have access to a server running the Standard edition of the software at least
  • Disk space allowance – depending on the size of your website, you may also wish to review the amount of disk space that will be provided with your chosen Windows web hosting plan as the size of your SQL Server database will count towards your overall disk space usage – if your website is going to be expanding over time then it is important for you to consider a web hosting plan that will be able to cope with this growth over time or will allow you to purchase extra disk space as you require it because if you end up using up all of the disk space that you have available to you, this could cause issues with the functionality of your Windows web hosting plan
  • Support for ASP.NET – it is recommended that you ensure that any SQL Server hosting plan that you may be looking to choose will be able to provide you with ASP.NET support so that you are able to develop flexible Windows web applications around your Microsoft SQL Server databases – SQL Server databases can be integrated very closely with ASP.NET websites and will allow you to develop scalable and stable web applications that will be able to cope with high visitor loads and can be adapted with ease as you wish to add functionality to your website or web application.

Are there any disadvantages to using SQL Server hosting plans?

There may be some disadvantages to using SQL Server hosting plans, although this will depend on your exact requirements. Potential disadvantages that you could face include:

  • Expensive – for smaller businesses, the cost of using an SQL Server hosting plan when compared to a web hosting plan that would only be able to offer support for MySQL server isn’t justifiable, mainly because they will never have the complex requirements that would mean that they would be able to make the most of what SQL Server has to offer – where money is an issue MySQL Server is the best option available because it is an open source database server that is able to offer similar features to SQL Server, but at no cost
  • Windows-only support – as SQL Server is a Microsoft product, it is only available for the Windows platform, something that could be an issue for businesses that have invested heavily in Linux technologies but wish to have a taste of what Microsoft has to offer – as well as the added premium of using SQL Server because you have to purchase a license for the software, you will also be faced with the expense of a Windows operating system license.

In conclusion, Microsoft SQL Server is a highly reliable database server that can be deployed in pretty much any situation to provide you with a wide range of positive results. As well as providing you with a high level of security, which is important in this day and age when storing personal information of others and other confidential information online, SQL Server hosting plans can also offer you a number of other features that will allow you to make the most of the database platform.

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Windows Hosting Company

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Windows web hosting services are available to provide Windows web developers with a web hosting environment in which they can host their websites, whilst being able to benefit from the main features that the Windows operating system has to offer. Windows web hosting services usually set you back a bit more than most Linux web hosting plans, but for Windows web developer the extra cost can be justified through the features that are provided with a Windows web hosting plan that just aren’t available with any Linux web hosting plan. A Windows hosting company will be able to provide you with a more targeted web hosting solution that can be tailored to your specific requirements if necessary, as well a support that will allow you to get the most out of the Windows operating system through your own web applications. Windows is available on a multitude of web hosting services meaning that regardless of the level of web hosting you require, there should be a Windows web hosting plan available for you; Windows shared web hosting plans are available for those with smaller budgets, but for bigger businesses who require more scalable web hosting services there are Windows VPS servers and Windows dedicated servers available. Furthermore, with a Windows dedicated web hosting service you can choose from the different versions of the Windows server operating system as this will provide you with another opportunity to save money on the overall cost of your web hosting service.

What should I look for in a Windows web hosting company?

There are certain things you should look for in any web hosting company as these will guarantee that you are provided with a high quality web hosting service that will provide you with the features that you require. The main factors to consider in a web hosting company include:

  • Specialist Windows knowledge – it is important for any Windows hosting company to have intricate knowledge of the Windows operating system and how it functions so that they are able to deliver reliable Windows web hosting products that contain all of the features that you would expect of a Windows hosting package, plus more – all web hosting companies will have technical support staff of some sort on tap to help out customers if they need it and by choosing a specialist Windows hosting company, you can be sure that these members of staff will be highly trained in everything related to Windows web hosting and the Windows operating system, thus meaning that they will be able to provide you with the assistance and knowledge required to develop a web application that will make the most of the hosting environment
  • Reliable support – regardless of the form of web hosting you are looking to use or the operating system that you wish to be hosted on, you should always look for a web hosting company that will be able to offer you a high level of customer service – most web hosting companies employ 24×7 support teams meaning that if you have an issue with your Windows web hosting package, there should be someone available for you to speak to regardless of the day it is or the hour – furthermore, you can expect the support teams of Windows hosting companies to be able to provide you with the support that you need in order to get your Windows web application working on your Windows web hosting service – if you feel that the support offered by your web hosting provider isn’t up to the standard that you expect then it is important to consider that most web hosting companies will be willing to rectify this to retain your custom
  • Feature-rich Windows hosting packages – although most Windows web hosting companies will be able to provide you with the basic core features with any Windows web hosting plan, it is important for you to review the additional features that may be available with a web hosting service as these generally add value to a web hosting plan and will provide you with additional functionality that you can use to expand your Windows web applications – however, you will need to take into consideration that in some cases the additional features of a web hosting plan make increase its price.

Why should I consider a web hosting company that specialises in Windows web hosting?

Choosing a web hosting company that specialises in Windows web hosting will put you in a better position when it comes to receiving reliable and targeted support that will solve your problems in a fast and responsible manner. A Windows web hosting company is likely to be making use of specialist support staff who will be highly knowledgeable of the Windows platform, allowing them to provide customers with in-depth assistance that will ensure that you are provided with value for money with your web hosting plan.

A specialist Windows web hosting company is sure to be using the latest technologies, something that will be a massive benefit to Windows web developers who are looking to include the highest level of functionality with their Windows web applications to make them as interesting as possible. The issue with smaller web hosting companies is that they can sometimes lack the funds required to have all of the latest and greatest technologies in place, meaning that it is down to larger web hosting companies to offer new technologies first so that they can then set the standard.

In conclusion, although the web hosting services provided by a specialist Windows web hosting company may be more expensive than those offered by a generic web hosting provider, the extra cost is likely to be worth it in the long run as there are many benefits to be had from the support that you will be able to receive. You can also expect to be provided with a higher level of uptime when using a specialist Windows web hosting company as the servers of such companies are usually better managed, providing you with a stable hosting experience and a sustainable level of uptime.

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SQL Server Professional Accreditation

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Will you get benefits from the newest easy to get SQL server professional accreditation?

In my opinion the very best DB platforms are Microsoft and Oracle. I have come to find that MySQL is widely used in start-up companies and DB folks who know this platform will make higher salaries, but I honestly rarely ever encountered MySQL in job searches.

One reason I prefer MS SQL Server is because it also includes the SSRS BI platform that is powerful and popular. DB people who know SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) have become very sought-after candidates in many companies. Generally, companies end up having to buy licenses for third-party BI (Business Intelligence) applications which often can cost a lot of extra money.

With SQL Server, BI and ETL (extract, transform, load) tools come with the first license. I know that maybe the interest in databases is primarily to understand DB construction, however , you can’t predict when or if you choose to branch out and get more information.

The advantage of SQL could be that the language itself is fairly universal. I say fairly because each vendor has added their own functions and syntax. Microsoft and Sybase both use T-SQL, Oracle uses PL/SQL and MySQL uses ANSI-SQL. Ultimately that which you learn on one platform can be used on other platforms.

Becoming a SQL Server Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) is a small task now. Lower than 1 percent of certified professionals hold a Master certification, and for good reason: In addition to having difficult minimum competencies (Five years SQL Server experience and deep knowledge in all aspects of SQL Server), practicing a SQL Server MCM has always come at a significant cost. In fact, that cost has been about $18,500, when you accumulate the necessary three week training and four exams.

The SQL Server MCM certification is the highest technical certification that Microsoft offers to SQL Server professionals. It’s suitable for those that have five years of hands-on SQL Server experience in critical environments. Competencies include designing and implementing high-performance, scalable enterprise environments and troubleshooting the most challenging SQL Server issues.

Well, at PASS (The Professional Association for SQL Server) this week, Microsoft announced all that is beginning to change. According to the company, the changes are in response to requests from experienced SQL Server professionals who want to earn MCM’s but (go figure) don’t have $18,500.

Now, candidates can earn the certification by passing just two exams: the four-hour Knowledge Exam, along with a six-hour hands-on Lab Exam, that is obtainable in early 2011.

Fortunately, Microsoft has made some significant changes for the program, including:

  • The 3-week in-person training has stopped being required. So, if you feel like you have what it takes, it is possible to march right up and consider the certification exams. You pay the expense of the exams, which can be about $2,500.
  • Nowadays there are only two exams rather than four: 88-970 (Knowledge Exam) and 88-971 (Lab Exam).
  • To aid SQL Server professionals prepare for the exams at a lower cost, Microsoft now offers some free MCM videos.

So you? Do you consider the brand new MS SQL Certification can help you in your job?

About the author: Michele P. Rouse is writing for the sql certification training blog, her personal and non-commercial in nature hobby blog aimed at recommendations to offer free info for data base beginners/professionals to help them find a new profession.

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