The term SQL server covers any type of database server which makes use of Structured Query Language (SQL). An SQL server can be loosely defined as any database management system (DBMS) which can respond to queries formatted in SQL. Several companies offer both paid and unpaid SQL server packages, but the majority of users agree that by far the most useful type of SQL server is one which is open source. The pros and cons of an open source SQL server, as well as some information pertaining to the basic operation of this type of tool, can be found in the article below.
How does an SQL server work?
An SQL server is the program which provides the interface between the data stored on the disk drive and the user. The SQL server first reads the data on the disk and writes it to temporary memory. The server is then able to coordinate the user inputs, and modify the data stored in memory based on these inputs. There is some delay, though, between the point at which the user modifies the database, and the time when the SQL server writes the data to the disk again. This method of operation is much faster than writing to the disk after every change, since it allows data to be modified quickly in memory without having to read the disk each time, though it does make the modified data vulnerable to problems such as power cuts or computer crashes. Because of this, the SQL server keeps a 'transaction log' of the changes it makes in order to keep a 'safe' copy of the changes on the disk in order to guard against damage to the information stored in memory. The transaction log provides a way for the SQL server to keep track of what changes have been made to the database, and which of these changes have already been written to disk.
What is open source software?
Open source software is that which makes the source code of the program available for free, allowing users to make modifications and alterations to the code as they see fit in order to make a program work more efficiently, or to make it better suited to their particular needs.
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What are the advantages of an open source SQL server?
Using open source software holds an obvious advantage for those with knowledge of a programming language. This skill allows interested users to make modifications as they please, morphing and shaping the code in order to better suit their needs. Making modifications to an open source SQL server can allow the addition of new query terms specific to the particular attributes of the database of interest, and facilitate the performance of complex commands and the fulfilment of a large number of specific conditions in a hand-made query. The open source nature of a program such as this allows you to make the most of the database, permitting increased flexibility and endless creative possibilities. A second major advantage of the open source SQL server is the lack of licensing fees and maintenance costs associated with its use. While this free option often also removes your ability to have a qualified team of software and hardware engineers at your door with just a phone call, the money saved by eliminating the extortionate cost of licensing a paid SQL server for all of the computers in the company will more than make up any loss of maintenance and repair services.
Are there any disadvantages to an open source SQL server?
Despite the myriad benefits associated with open source software, there are several important downsides to using an open source SQL server. Because any user is able to edit the program's source code and publish their own flavours of the original, a perplexing plethora of software versions and offshoots are available to anybody wishing to install the program, making the first few hours of research into the required application incredibly confusing indeed. As well as this, some software versions are left completely orphaned after the key figures in their development move on to different projects, perhaps leaving you stranded with no updates or bug fixes in sight. For this reason, it's critically important to be flexible when making use of an open source SQL server in order to avoid being stranded with an incompatible or abandoned version of the code.
With the guide above, you should have no problem obtaining a basic understanding of the basic operation as well as the pros and cons of a, open source SQL server. This article should act as a foundation for further research on the subject, allowing you to collect some more of your own information about this incredibly useful and interesting topic.