Tools for Getting Started

The SQL Server Database Engine ships with a variety of tools. This topic describes the first tools you will need, and helps you select the right tool for the job. All tools can be accessed from the Start menu. Generally, tools such as SQL Server Management Studio are not installed by default. You must select the tools as part of the client components during setup. For a complete description of the tools described below, search for them in SQL Server 2008 Books Online. SQL Server 2008 Express contains only a subset of the tools.

  • SQL Server Management Studio is the principal tool for administering the Database Engine and writing Transact-SQL code. It is hosted in the Visual Studio shell. It is not included in SQL Server 2008 Express.

  • SQL Server Management Studio Express is a free, limited version of SQL Server Management Studio, intended for use with SQL Server 2008 Express and for users who want the basic features of Management Studio in a lightweight tool.

  • SQL Server Configuration Manager installs with both SQL Server and the client tools. It lets you enable server protocols, configure protocol options such as TCP ports, configure server services to start automatically, and configure client computers to connect in your preferred manner. This tool configures the more advanced connectivity elements but does not enable features.

The sample databases and samples are not included with SQL Server 2008. Most of the examples that are described in SQL Server 2008 Books Online use the AdventureWorks sample database. For more information, see Considerations for Installing SQL Server Samples and Sample Databases.

To start SQL Server Management Studio

  • On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and then click SQL Server Management Studio.

To start SQL Server Configuration Manager

  • On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.