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SQL Server version 7.0, which was released in late 1998, offers broad availability of solutions tailored for business operations, data warehousing, electronic commerce, and mobile computing. SQL Server 7.0 provides a comprehensive platform that makes it easy to design, build, manage, and use data warehousing solutions which enable your organization to make effective business decisions based on timely and accurate information.

Microsoft's SQL Server has sold millions of copies since it was first introduced. SQL Server can run on either Windows NT (4.0 or later) or Windows 95/98. SQL Server's price/performance records have allowed many companies to have the power of an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) for a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago. Microsoft continues to develop and market SQL Server, which should continue this trend for many years.

The code base for MS SQL Server (prior to version 7.0) originated in Sybase SQL Server, and was Microsoft's entry to the enterprise-level database market, competing against Oracle, IBM, and, later, Sybase itself. Microsoft, Sybase and Ashton-Tate originally teamed up to create and market the first version named SQL Server 1.0 for OS/2 (about 1989) which was essentially the same as Sybase SQL Server 3.0 on Unix, VMS, etc. Microsoft SQL Server 4.2 was shipped around 1992 (available bundled with Microsoft OS/2 version 1.3). Later Microsoft SQL Server 4.21 for Windows NT was released at the same time as Windows NT 3.1. Microsoft SQL Server v6.0 was the first version designed for NT, and did not include any direction from Sybase.

About the time Windows NT was released, Sybase and Microsoft parted ways and each pursued their own design and marketing schemes. Microsoft negotiated exclusive rights to all versions of SQL Server written for Microsoft operating systems. Later, Sybase changed the name of its product to Adaptive Server Enterprise to avoid confusion with Microsoft SQL Server. Until 1994, Microsoft's SQL Server carried three Sybase copyright notices as an indication of its origin.

Since parting ways, several revisions have been done independently. SQL Server 7.0 was a rewrite from the legacy Sybase code.

The History of SQL Server
IBM invented a computer language back in the 1970s designed specifically for database queries called SEQUEL, which stood for Structured English Query Language. Over time the language has been added to, so that it is not just a language for queries but can also be used to build databases and manage security of the database engine. IBM released SEQUEL into the public domain, where it became known as SQL. Because of this heritage you can pronounce it as "sequel" or spell it out as "S-Q-L" when talking about it. Various versions of SQL are used in today's database engines. Microsoft SQL Server uses a version called Transact-SQL.

Microsoft initially developed SQL Server (a database product that understands the SQL language) with Sybase Corporation for use on the IBM OS/2 platform.

When Microsoft and IBM split, Microsoft abandoned OS/2 in favor of its new network operating system, Windows NT Advanced Server. At that point, Microsoft decided to further develop the SQL Server engine for Windows NT by itself. The resulting product was Microsoft SQL Server 4.2, which was updated to 4.21.

After Microsoft and Sybase parted ways, Sybase further developed its database engine to run on Windows NT (Sybase System 10 and now System 11), and Microsoft developed SQL Server 6.0-then SQL Server 6.5, which also ran on top of Windows NT.

SQL Server 7.0 now runs on Windows NT as well as on Windows 95 and Windows 98. Although you can run SQL Server 7.0 on a Windows 9x system, you do not get all the functionality of SQL Server. When running it on the Windows 9x platform, you lose the capability to use multiple processors, Windows NT security, NTFS (New Technology File System) volumes, and much more. We strongly urge you to use SQL Server 7.0 on Windows NT rather than on Windows 9x. Windows NT has other advantages as well. The NT platform is designed to support multiple users. Windows 9x is not designed this way, and your SQL Server performance degrades rapidly as you add more users.

SQL Server 7.0 is implemented as a service on either NT Workstation or NT Server (which makes it run on the server side of Windows NT) and as an application on Windows 95/98. The included utilities, such as the SQL Server Enterprise Manager, operate from the client side of Windows NT Server or NT Workstation. Of course, just like all other applications on Windows 9x, the tools run as applications.

A service is an application NT can start when booting up that adds functionality to the server side of NT. Services also have a generic application programming interface (API) that can be controlled programmatically. Threads originating from a service are automatically given a higher priority than threads originating from an application.

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