The database we will be using is the PUBS database. The PUBS database includes a fictional set of information about
- titles and
- the sales of their associated books.
The database is often used as a model database that you can experiment with, as is the case with this course.
When you install many of the different database packages on the market, this database is often included as a learning tool. We are also using it in this course, both in the online Web-based query tool, and in the Access database that is available.
If you are using Microsoft Access, you will be able to download the PUBS database directly for Access. If you are using any other database, you will need the scripts provided to populate the database with the required data. Both the Access database and
the scripts are available from the course Help area.
The two main tools for administering the database system and running SQL queries are
- Enterprise Manager and
- Query Analyzer.
You can access both by clicking -> Start -> Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server.
Enterprise Manager provides an easy-to-use user interface for managing the database system
In order to run SQL queries, you need to use Query Analyzer. Load Query Analyzer by clicking Start -> Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server
Six databases are already installed; four of them are related to the database system in some way and best left alone unless you are sure of what you are doing. However, the Pubs and Northwind databases are both example databases that you can play around with and modify. Click the plus sign next to the Northwind database to reveal more details.
Click the plus sign next to User Tables to see the tables that the database contains. Click next to a particular table to see the columns in the table. The second half of the Object Browser, called Common Objects, shows the various functions that the database system supports and acts as quite a handy reference guide.