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SQL Server 10
Faster Results with Better Decisions and Trusted Platform

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 provides a new Management Studio, integration with Visual Studio 2005, and the Microsoft .NET common language runtime - all of which help you build, debug, and operate applications faster and more efficiently. SQL Server 2005 provides a comprehensive business intelligence platform for data integration, analysis, and reporting that helps you turn insight into action and make better decisions, faster. SQL Server 2005 supports the highest performance, availability and security to run your most demanding applications with native data encryption, secure default settings, and password policy enforcement.

SQL Server Express - Easy to Use
SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is the next version of MSDE and is a free, easy-to-use, lightweight, and embeddable version of SQL Server 2005. Free to download, free to redistribute, free to embed, and easy for new developers to use immediately, SQL Server Express includes powerful features such as SQL Server Management Studio Express, for easily managing a database. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of SQL Server Express Edition and to download SQL Server Management Studio.
Developing Microsoft SQL Server applications
Microsoft and other vendors provide a number of software development tools designed to allow business applications to be developed using the data stored by Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 now includes the common language runtime (CLR) component for Microsoft .NET. Applications developed with .NET languages such as Visual Basic can implement stored procedures and other functions. Older versions of Microsoft development tools typically use APIs to access Microsoft SQL Server functionality. Rapid application development tools such as eDeveloper by Magic Software Enterprises incorporate native database gateways for high speed database access and automatic table drill-down for the creation of quick prototype applications for viewing, editing and adding data to any table in the database.
What is a Covering Index in SQL Server

A covering index is a form of a non-clustered composite index, which includes all of the columns referenced in the SELECT, JOIN, and WHERE clauses of a query. Because of this, the index contains the data the query is looking for and SQL Server does not have to look up the actual data in the table, reducing logical and/or physical I/O, and boosting performance. One way to help determine if a covering index could help a query's performance is to create a graphical query execution plan in SQL Server 2005 Management Studio for the query in question and see if there are any Bookmark Lookups being performed. Essentially, a Bookmark Lookup tells you that the Query Processor had to look up the row columns it needs from a table or a clustered index, instead of being able to read it directly from a non-clustered index. Bookmark Lookups can reduce query performance because they produce extra disk I/O to retrieve the column data.

Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 with Microsoft E-Learning
Whether you are interested in database administration, database development, or business intelligence, you can access the E-Learning topic you want, when you want it, and learn at your own pace. Each lesson includes hands-on virtual labs and offline functionality.

For more information visit the SQL Server 2005 Learning Resource page.

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