08 April, 2009

Finally, SQL Server Express 2008 is installed

It was a bit of a struggle

... but I did it. After a couple of false starts, that is. I initially selected SQL Express 2008 for download and installation, (that's Microsoft's server for those not in the know) and then found that I probably should be installing the SQL Express 2008 with Advanced Tools. Well, I tried. I really did. The problem was, the file wasn't playing ball. Either I'd download it and attempt to install it and find that it was broken when it was decompressing, or I'd not even manage to get it to download. So I gave up and went ahead and installed just the plain server from media I already had. Then there was the little debacle I had just getting the Management Tools working. I also wanted to install some sample databases I'd seen on a Microsoft website in relation to the SQL Server, but every time I kept trying to install it, it kept failing stating I needed to enable Full Text search. That particular facet is only supplied (at least in the Express versions of SQL Server) with the Advanced version.

I had a feeling that Full Text Search was an option that I could tweak by installing the Management Tools, so I gave that a go again. That eventually got installed today, after I downloaded the standalone executable for the tools to add to the standalone SQL server. I did have a struggle when I tried to execute the management tools executable the first seven times, but all I kept getting was the SQL Server Installation window. What I hadn't realised is that because I hadn't (apparently) completed the install of the SQL server the first time, I had to complete that step first. Once I actually did that, then things started working. I ticked off the box for Management tools, then waited while it spun the drive platters, and installed. Whew. Finally I had them installed. I tried the tools out, but found out that I did really have to install the Advanced version, just to get the sample databases installed.

So, I decided I was going to give the Advanced install a try, given that I'd had success with the installation of the Management tools. So, I clicked the executable that I needed to run, chose "Advanced", and waited. Finally, it actually installed properly. So then all I had to do was choose the facets I needed. I ticked off the Report module, and the Full Text Search boxes, completed the process, and sighed after I saw the two "Success" boxes.

Another struggle

... I'm going to end up with (now I have the AdventureWorks databases) is simply getting my head around how to use Microsoft's variant of SQL; either as a simple SQL server (which is normally how I'd use it) or in any other aspects of how to get it running better. I'm used to that, though I'm pretty new to the whole SQL scene. My only previous experience has been creation and maintenance of databases and tables in a PostGreSQL environment, as well as issuing queries against that database. I've also tried out two GUI front ends to browse databases.

Other issues include how I can make full use of the whole Visual Studio environment (at least the Express portion), and how I can compare it with the equivalents under Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris. Namely, that's gcc for Linux and FreeBSD, and Solaris' compiler suite in addition to gcc running on Solaris. Once I get enough programming experience under my belt, I eventually want to get to the stage where it really doesn't matter what environment I'm using or what compiler, I should be comfortable with the tools in use.

I'll let you all know what luck I have.

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