Basic management is accomplished through Database Builder, Database Explorer
Table definition changes
You can add fields, or change field length on a live application without stopping it, or recompiling. (our experience applies to MS SQL Server Express and full versions). Provided you dont add them in the middle of the table definition. (You can do this to a native database, within the limits of having some spare space at the end of the block size. This restriction does not apply). Dont change data type, and it is best not to reduce the field length!
MS SQL Server tools database backup
Can back up the in use database this covers 7*24 hr operation
For MS SQL Express you need the management tools download which provides a manual backup option
Scripting allows for setting up as a scheduled task
A VDF app can trigger its own backup using embedded SQL
It is best to use full back up each time. Incremental back up is possible, but other than for huge databases where back up time is a problem, the complication of managing an incremental plus full backup schedule is not worth the effort.
Keep log files down in size delete after a backup as that log file (used when re-building the database) is no longer needed.
We use Semantec Backup Exec which includes auto scheduling features
MS SQL Server reporting options are worth looking at. Microsoft are well on the way to providing Crystal type reporting as SAPs licencing costs to Microsoft have become unsupportable.
In total, MS SQL Express has features that are not even in Oracle Enterprise
Avoid multiple installations of the server. You can run multiple MS SQL servers in one Server, but do not do this.
Instead, run multiple databases within the one Server. MS SQL Server will run many separate databases with no detectable overhead for each database. But multiple Database servers will fight each other for resources.
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