Ok everyone, please take your seats. Thank you. Welcome to SQL University, my name is Jorge Segarra and I’ll be helping you start on your journey to SQL Server. You’re here because you either are curious about SQL Server and wish to start down that path or you’ve become an accidental DBA in your organization and require knowledge to get your new job done. I’ll be one of your online professors along this journey. Since this is the orientation we’ll start with some basics you’ll need for this semester.
School Supplies (aka stuff you’ll need for SQL University):
- SQL Server 2008 Express (Runtime with Management Tools) – Download link
- NOTE: If you already have a SQL 2008 instance to play with don’t worry about step 1. This is meant for those who are starting from scratch. For stuff like SQL Server Agent we’ll discuss it but assignments won’t depend on you having it.
- SQL Server Books Online – Online Version | Download
- Basic understanding of SQL Syntax – W3 Schools (SQL Tutorial)
- Basic understanding of Relational Database Theory – Designing Relational Databases (video) | Relational Database Concepts (PDF)
What I’ll ask of students is that you go over this list and get yourself prepared. First day of class will start on Monday, September 28th and we’ll be covering how to use the basic management tool for SQL Server: The SQL Server Management Studio. In the meantime here’s your homework assignment:
1. Install SQL Server 2008 Express (Runtime with Management Tools)
2. Install AdventureWorks Databases – Download here
NOTE: AdventureWorks is a ficticious bicycle company. The databases are example databases that are commonly used for practice with SQL Server so that students can learn basics from. Please Use the Recommended Download (All Databases.x86.msi)
3. Go through the whole SQL Tutorial on W3 Schools (If you don’t know SQL syntax consider this MANDATORY. If you already know the language and you’d like a refresher go ahead and do the tutorial anyways)
4. Either watch the video (about 34 minutes) or download and read through the Relational Database Theory paper to familiarize with key concepts and theories.
So now that you have your homework let’s cover how SQL University is going to work. I have amassed a few fellow faculty members that will help me out with classes this semester. Each staff member will be blogging on a different beginner topic and tagging their post with SQL University. I will be linking their classes here so you can have a central place to come back to and see all of the great SQL University content at a glance. With each topic/class I ask that students try to be active and ask questions in the comments section of each post. The more questions posted the more answers can get posted and the more we ALL learn!
8 Replies to “SQL University: Orientation”
SQL is an absolute mystery to me and I wish you would invent a simple program that does the heavy lifting
Don’t worry, there are lots of tools and tricks that do “heavy lifting” and I’ll be sure to cover those in future sessions. Anything in particular giving you headaches?
Can’t wait to see the syllabus! I’ll be sending a few people this since when I tried to explain things to them, they had this blank look on their face…lol.
This is awesome! This should motivate me to learn more about SQL Server.
Do you plan on providing a syllabus?
I see the first class starts on Monday. How often will there be a class? How long will the semester be?
By the time I go through the course, will I be knowledgable enough to take over your job? 🙂
Yup a syllabus will be coming up soon I just need to divvy up the coursework amongst the faculty before I get that up. Length of semester is as-yet to be determined since this is first go around at this. I’d like to shoot for class at least twice a week (gives me a hard-set blogging goal plus keeps everyone going).
Is it possible to go through this course using SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard? Are there critical differences between the Express version and the Standard version for training purposes? I plan on installing everything in a virtual machine. Do you have any preferences when it comes to this? If I boot from a VHD (Hyper-V and SQL Server) or just start up a VM within the OS, do you have any suggestions? Thanks.
Yes Derek, you should be fine following along with Standard edition. I only said to use 2008 Express edition under assumption that students are starting off and don’t have a dedicated instance to play with. I should probably clarify that up there (thanks for heads up on that). Running it on VM is fine and great way to learn. Microsoft does their training off VMs and the instances I’ll be doing demos from are running on VM on my laptop. If you’d like you should check out http://virtualization.sqlpass.org for all things virtual with SQL Server. We’re hosting our first webcast featuring Denny Cherry next week!