Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database server and information platform offering a complete set of enterprise-ready technologies and tools that help people derive the most value from information at the lowest total-cost-of-ownership. The latest market release is SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2012 can be a data storage backend for different varieties of data: XML, email, time/calendar, file, document, spatial, etc as well as perform search, query, analysis, sharing and synchronization across all data types. SQL Server 2012 Express is ideal for developing and powering desktop, web and small server applications. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization and quickly build solutions to extend data across on-premises and public cloud, backed by mission critical confidence.
The default download package of SQL Server comes with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio. The visual studio is needed for all the reporting and analysis on the databases created in the Management Studio which is primarily a suite that stores database tables which can be used for creating data warehouse or just as a database for operational systems. It also provides the feature of writing and executing SQL queries. It is important to note here that Visual studio in SQL Server is known as Business Intelligence Studio since it does all the Business intelligence work which includes the decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining. The SQL Server itself allows all the required functionality that one needs to perform with database tables which includes identifying keys, specifying key constraints, setting triggers and building indexes (both primary and secondary)
The major advantage of this express edition of SQL Server over its predecessors is that it gives the user the development acceleration that they need as it models data by using the ADO.NET Entity Framework to hide database schema details and access data by using entities that closely resemble business logic. It has also simplified the design process as it allows you to manage SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans that provide hints to tune queries and access management and maintenance options. This has proved to be a feature that can be regarded as developer’s paradise as there are still no decent tools and editors that help you optimize or correct your SQL queries. Furthermore this latest version uses the same database engine as other versions of SQL Server which makes it compatible with all versions of SQL Server and SQL Azure (highly available and scalable cloud database service built on SQL Server technologies)