[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of JoAnn McKimpson from the SBS Marketing Team]
As we’ve been discussing in the past few posts, Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS) 2008 includes the full, latest versions of the software that you need to run your business. Perhaps one of the best reasons to deploy Windows SBS 2008 is that the Premium edition includes a separate server with a copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard along with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard.
Note: For more information about the product technologies included in each edition of Windows SBS, see http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/compare-features.aspx.
In this post, we’ll focus on the capabilities your business can benefit from with Windows SBS 2008 Premium, thanks to SQL Server Standard. Based on best practices, SQL Server 2008 Standard is a comprehensive data management and analysis solution that makes it possible to use many server-based business applications, such as accounting, business planning, and contact management software, which share a centralized database so that all employees can work from the same information.
SQL Server 2008 contains improvements and additional features in nearly every area of the product. Some of the top new features are:
- SharePoint integration
- Policy-based management
- Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office Visio 2007 add-in support
- Comprehensive set of data mining algorithms
- Auto-generated staging and data warehouse schema
Store any information
SQL Server 2008 builds on a strong legacy of supporting non-relational data by providing new data types that let you efficiently store and manage unstructured data such as documents and images. Support for managing advanced geospatial data has also been added. In addition to new data types, SQL Server 2008 provides a rich set of services on the different data types while providing the reliability, security, and manageability of the data platform.
With the new FILESTREAM data type, you can store binary data in the file system while preserving it as an integral of the database. This new data type lets you more easily manipulate unstructured data such as documents and images that reside outside the database.
Manage by policies
You can ensure compliance with system configuration policies and simplify administration tasks with policy-based management. Policy-based management simplifies the administration of access to data throughout the data infrastructure. This reduces the time you spend on daily maintenance operations by defining a common set of policies for database operations.
You can use the performance data collector to troubleshoot, tune, and monitor SQL Server 2008. The data collector collects different sets of data and stores them in a management data warehouse. You can adjust the scope of the data collection to suit your test and production environments.
Deliver relevant information
SQL Server 2008 drives broader analysis with enhanced analytical capabilities and with more complex computations and aggregations. New cube design tools help you streamline the development of the analysis infrastructure so that you can build solutions for optimized performance. Best Practice Design Alerts have been built into the design, and these let developers integrate real-time alerts at design time, which optimizes design. Dimension Designer enables easy viewing and editing of attribute relationships and also provides multiple built-in validations for support of ideal dimension design.
The new SQL Server 2008 Integration Services data profiling tool helps you improve the quality of data. You can analyze source data for a variety of properties such as data type, length, histograms of data values, and the strength of integrity relationships. This helps improve the quality of data going into a data warehouse.
Drive actionable insights
You can easily build reports with any structure through the redesigned Report Builder. It has the familiar look and feel of Microsoft Office 2007, including a ribbon interface and the ability to integrate powerful visualizations into reports.
SQL Server 2008 Standard provides new Microsoft Office rendering that lets users access reports directly from within Microsoft Office Word. In addition, the existing Excel renderer has been greatly enhanced to support features such as nested data regions, sub-reports, and merged cells. This lets users maintain layout fidelity and improves the overall usability of reports that are created in Microsoft Office applications.
Included with Windows SBS 2008 Premium, SQL Server 2008 lets you run your LOB and other mission-critical applications while lowering the cost of managing the data infrastructure and delivering insights and information to all users. This platform has the following qualities:
- Trusted—Run your most critical applications with very high levels of security, reliability, and scalability.
- Productive—Reduce the time and cost required to develop and manage your data infrastructure.
- Intelligent—Rely on a comprehensive platform that delivers insights and information where you want it.
For more information, see the following resources:
- What’s New in SQL Server 2008
- Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008 Standard for Small Business
- Using SQL Server in Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium
- Deploying a Small Business