Database Fundamentals #1: Install SQL Server

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To get started with SQL Server, you need to install it. However, I’m not going to teach you how to do a SQL Server install. Instead, I want to point you towards a couple of sources of information, and, give you some alternatives to installing SQL Server.

Install SQL Server

As much as I enjoy sharing information with you through this blog, and despite the fact that I read a lot of other technology blogs and other resources online, the single best source of information on SQL Server remains Microsoft and their SQL Server Documentation. This information is up to date and very well maintained. Yes, I’m sure you can find somethings to complain about in there, but overall, it’s the starting point for all SQL Server learning and understanding. I will refer to it frequently within my Database Fundamentals blog posts. Plan on starting there.

You first have to download a copy of SQL Server. Go here and get a copy of the Developer’s Edition. That will come with everything you need to learn SQL Server.

To get SQL Server installed, let’s start with Microsoft’s documentation on the topic.  Then follow the instructions in that link. It’s for the standard, wizard driven, GUI version of the installation of SQL Server, but it’s good enough for most of us to get started on.


Another alternative is to skip doing SQL  Server installations entirely. Instead, if you have an MSDN account (and you can get a free account, just sign up with Microsoft), each account comes with free credits on Azure. With that, you can create a SQL Server virtual machine instance on Azure with everything installed. You can then go there and start learning immediately.

Another choice is to skip the server entirely and go with Azure SQL Database. The majority of the fundamentals I’m going to cover in this series are absolutely the same if you’re using Azure SQL Database of an actual instance of SQL Server. If you search my blog, I have quite a large number of Azure SQL Database posts that can help.


You can download and install SQL Server or use one of the cloud based solutions. Either way, you should now have an instance of SQL Server on which we can begin to play. The next post will introduce you to the primary tool you’ll be playing with, SQL Server Management Studio.


OK, fine, but what do you think?