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SQL Express Edition: Technology behind the VisualGA.net Database Server
 
VisualGA.net is designed to utilize the power of Microsoft's SQL Express, a scaled-down version of Microsoft’s enterprise-level database application, SQL (“Sequel”) Server. Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions about what SQL Express is, how it is related to SQL Server, how it works, and why we chose to use it as our database platform for VisualGA.net.

“What is Microsoft SQL Express edition ?”
“How Does ‘Governing’ Affect Performance?”
“Why Did We Choose SQL Express as the VisualGA.net Database Platform?”
“So I Can Run VisualGa.net Off My Company's Existing SQL Server?”
“What If I Already Have SQL Express or SQL Server Installed on My Machine?”
“If I Install SQL Express Can I Get the Slammer Virus?”
“Where Can I Get More Information About SQL Express editon?”

“What is Microsoft SQL Express edition?”
SQL Express edition is Microsoft's first client/server database platform meant to be installed on non-server Windows operating systems. Companies that use SQL Express edition in database-driven applications like VisualGA.net are licensed to distribute it royalty-free to its clients.
SQL Express edition is the little brother of Microsoft's SQL Server enterprise database server, which provides the data storage for many of the world's largest companies. Built with the same core technologies as SQL Server, SQL Express edition employs a technique called "governing" to ensure that it won’t compete with the full version of SQL Server when subjected to a large number of connections. This prevents companies from using SQL Express edition in place of SQL Server as their primary database platform.

“How Does ‘Governing’ Affect Performance?”
Governing essentially throttles the performance of the database server. SQL Express edition will only use one CPU (processor) on the computer and can only access 1 gigabyte of memory. SQL Express edition does not throttle the number of database requests like previous versions.

“Does This Mean That VisualGA.net Can Only Scale to Eight Users Before Slowing Down?”
Absolutely not. The reason is the VisualGA.net desktop clients never communicate directly with the SQL Express database. VisualGA.net clients communicate only with the VisualGA.net server, which in turn maintains a minimal number of connections to the SQL Express database. This architecture allows the server to aggregate client requests into a handful of database connections, maintaining the minimum number of open connections needed to fulfill concurrent data requests. Since most data requests are extremely short (hundredths of a second), the number of database connections remains small even for many clients.

“Why Did VisualGA.net Choose SQL Express edition for the Database Platform?”
We picked SQL Express edition for two primary reasons:
Reliability: Because SQL Express edition is built on the same engine as SQL Server, it benefits from all the advances in reliability that are built into Microsoft's SQL Server database offering.
Scalability: The advantage of SQL Express edition is that it is 100% compatible with SQL Server. Thus, it is easy for companies with existing SQL Server installations to run VisualGA.net from it rather than SQL Express. The VisualGA.net code works equally well with both platforms.

“So I Can Run VisualGA.net Off My Company's Existing SQL Server?”
Yes, as long as you are running SQL Server 2012 or greater. For information on how to use SQL Server as your VisualGA.net server, consult your local IT manager for details. If you need more information, please contact VisualGA.net Customer Support.

“What If I Already Have SQL Express edition or SQL Server Installed on My Machine?”
No problem. When VisualGA.net installs SQL Express edition, it creates a "named instance" of the database, essentially its own, isolated database system—which operates independently of any other existing database on the computer. VisualGA.net uses the name "VISUALGA" for this instance. If you look in the VisualGA.net Server Services Manager, you will see "MSSQL$VISUALGA," which is your SQL Express named-server instance. You can also connect to this instance with tools like the SQL Enterprise Manager, using "MachineName\VISUALGA" (where "MachineName" is the name of your VisualGA.net Server).

“If I Install SQL Express edition Can I Get the Slammer Virus?”
No. Starting with version SQL 2008 R2 Express, Microsoft has already patched the software to prevent the spread of Slammer. However, if you do not provide adequate firewall protection for your SQL Server, you may not be immune to future viruses or worms. In particular, you should not permit connections to ports 1433 (TCP) and 1434 (UDP), both used by SQL Server, from outside of your trusted LAN.

“Where Can I Get More Information About SQL Express edition?”
Microsoft provides detailed information about SQL Express edition in its document Choosing and Using SQL Express edition as the Database Engine for Your Application.





 

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