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I just started a course on databases and I seem to need some sort of database interaction program, I was pointed towards SQL but I know nothing of it. I do have access to over 180 free programs from microsoft yet I have no idea what I need. I tried installing SQL server 2012, seems I needed to upgrade my service pack (OS) and I decided to go with SQL Server 2008. I chose to install "New SQL Server stand-alone feature or add features to an existing instalation". Finished that, but now I have no .exe. What do I need / what am I doing wrong.

I will provide more information if needed, now I don't even know enough about the subject to even ask a well formed question, I hope you can bear with me for now.

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I'd point you to use sqlfiddle till you get a hold of things. – Sathya Jan 2 '13 at 15:29
@Sathya Wow, nice find, this will help a lot. Thank you! – Kalec Jan 2 '13 at 15:31
you're welcome, @kalec – Sathya Jan 2 '13 at 15:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Kalec, I had this nightmare when I started too. It does become easier with time, and things do make sense but it is an upward struggle at first.

You need to install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) as well. I do recommend the 2012 Express version.

You have the database installed but no GUI to access it. The Management Studio is just the GUI

Please note, you may have to select Management Studio when installing it (I can't remember if it's checked by default).

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Yes, I was almost sure that was the problem, yet I had no idea what to google. Thank you! – Kalec Jan 2 '13 at 15:36
Please note, Express it the free version and there are some limitations so do speak to your course provider and check that this is OK. – Dave Jan 2 '13 at 15:37
I can't seem to find it. Is it integrated within something like Visual Studio? Never mind, found it within Visual Studio 2012. – Kalec Jan 2 '13 at 15:39
OK, this will confuse you, but, you can do the same things in VS as SQL to a point (such as creating/editing/querying etc). However, try and do it separately (is my advice). Uninstall SQL 2008 and 2012 from your machine, deleting all instances, and start again with the link I provided. During installation, make sure you select all options so you install everything. – Dave Jan 2 '13 at 15:41

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