History of Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server, commonly known as Windows SQL Server, is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. It has become one of the most widely used database management systems globally. In this blog post, we will discuss the history of Windows SQL Server and how it has evolved over the years.

The first version of SQL Server, known as SQL Server 1.0, was released in 1989 for the OS/2 operating system. This version was developed in collaboration with Sybase, a software company that also produced a relational database management system. Microsoft licensed Sybase’s technology and rebranded it as SQL Server. The first version of SQL Server was a basic relational database management system that allowed users to create and manage databases.

In 1992, Microsoft released SQL Server 4.2, which was the first version of SQL Server to be released for Microsoft Windows. This version provided better support for Windows and had several new features, including support for stored procedures, triggers, and views. The release of SQL Server 4.2 for Windows marked the beginning of the platform’s success as a relational database management system.

In 1995, Microsoft released SQL Server 6.0, which was a major upgrade to the platform. This version had improved scalability and performance, as well as support for distributed queries and transactions. SQL Server 6.0 was also the first version to support ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), a standard for accessing databases.

In 1998, Microsoft released SQL Server 7.0, which was a significant milestone for the platform. This version introduced several new features, including data transformation services, OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), and support for XML (Extensible Markup Language). SQL Server 7.0 was also the first version to use the Windows NT kernel, providing better performance and stability.

In 2000, Microsoft released SQL Server 2000, which was a major upgrade to the platform. This version introduced several new features, including support for data mining, database replication, and backup compression. SQL Server 2000 was also the first version to support the Windows Server operating system.

In 2005, Microsoft released SQL Server 2005, which was a significant upgrade to the platform. This version introduced several new features, including support for CLR (Common Language Runtime), XML data types, and database snapshots. SQL Server 2005 was also the first version to use the .NET Framework.

Since then, Microsoft has released several new versions of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server 2022. These versions have introduced new features, including support for high availability, columnstore indexes, and in-memory OLTP.

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SQL Server version timeline and upgrade path

Since the inception of Microsoft SQL Server in the late 1980s, there has been a rich lineage of versions, each introducing new features, enhanced performance, and improved security. From SQL Server 1.0 on OS/2 in 1989 to the current SQL Server 2022, Microsoft has continued to evolve its offering to meet the ever-increasing demands of data management and analytics.

Here’s a brief overview of the most recent versions:

  • SQL Server 2017 provided the capability to run on Linux, Docker containers, and also introduced support for Python for advanced analytics.
  • SQL Server 2019 extended the data virtualization feature by adding data lakes, improved data analysis through the introduction of Big Data Clusters, and enhanced the security features with Always Encrypted with secure enclaves.
  • SQL Server 2022 continues to build on these capabilities with additional improvements like Azure Synapse Link, a real-time analytics feature, and enhanced security through features like Azure Defender.

TLDR: Windows SQL Server has come a long way since its first release in 1989. Over the years, it has evolved into a robust relational database management system that is widely used by organizations of all sizes. With each new version, Microsoft has introduced new features and improvements that have helped to make SQL Server one of the most reliable and versatile database management systems available today.

If you liked this article and would like to know how SQL Server is licensed, check out this article.

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