Recommended application(s) to test SQL server 2008 Queries for vb.net application?
I am new to working with SQL databases (and databases in general) so I do not have a lot of experience with how queries work and how I can practice them. When I was first learning xml and XPath, I found XPath Visualizer incredibly helpful after someone on stack overflow mentioned it to me. Due to this, I am wondering if a similar tool exists for SQL databases? Basically a tool that will allow me to connect to a database, enter queries and see somehow what the results would be like.
I have looked online a bit, however I have found relatively few options in terms of any utility that would do what I want, and that looks reliable.
I will ultimately be writing an application to interact with an SQL 2008 server in vb.net, however for now I am just experimenting so I will know what I am doing when I actually want to create my application. So far I have managed to connect to the database using an OLE DB connection, but I am now looking for a way to experiement with queries without just querying and figuring out a way to interpret the results in my program. Basically I want to be able to remove the programming aspect of things so I can experiment with queries without needing to question anything in my code that is unrelated to the specific query. thanks in advance!
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio seems to be exactly what you're looking for. I'm not sure how you're currently setting up your database, but since you're writing a VB.NET app I assume you'd like to stay in the Microsoft family. http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=7593 There's the express version. There's quite a few useful tools such as query visualization.
Ideally you'd install it locally and actually make a database and work on that. You could also use http://www.sqlfiddle.com for some testing.
One of the best places to work with and learn SQL with real data is right here at Stack Exchange:
The entire site data is dumped monthly. A wonderful playground of data.
First choice: http://www.heidisql.com/
HeidiSQL is open source, free and is very fast and reliable. I find the interface is well thought out and it provides most of the features of commercial alternatives.
Second choice: http://navicat.com/
Has a lot of features, is very stable and is reasonably fast. I feel that it's interface is not as well thought out, which is why it's second on my list.
Hope that helps...
I am also currently learning SQL 2008. I have no idea how, but I stubmled across something online that allows me to practice.
Just type in queries and try them out against examples. The answers are there for you to compare, and the databases used are short and sweet. It has reference pages also. Great tutorial tool!
Please bump this respons up after checking it out for yourself. This will be useful for other SQL new-comers.
I think the http://sqlzoo.net/ suggestion is a good start. You said
Basically a tool that will allow me to connect to a database, enter queries and see somehow what the results would be like.
From what I've seen, that's exactly what you can do there.
SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is great for writing ad-hoc queries and T-SQL programming. It has also build-in debugger so you can run your T-SQL stored procedures step by step.
If you want to experiment with queries that writes changes to DB get know how to CREATE SNAPSHOT and RESTORE .. FROM SNAPSHOT, so you can re-try your queries easily. Snapshots are available only in Enterprise and Developer editions. You may download free 180-days Enterprise evaluation.
Use SQL Profiler to examine queries sent to SQL Server from your app.
If you have installation issues on your system, make clean Windows Server (eval) installation as virtual machine and then install SQL Server onto it.