Adventures in Machine Learning

Mastering SQL Server 2019: Installation Upgrades and Learning Resources

Installing SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an essential process for anyone working with databases. Whether you’re a seasoned IT professional or just getting started, it’s important to have the right tools to efficiently manage data.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to install SQL Server 2019 and SSMS as well as configuring, customizing, and connecting to SQL Server.

Installing SQL Server 2019 Express

SQL Server 2019 is Microsoft’s newest and most powerful relational database management system. SQL Server is available in different editions, with features catered to different needs.

For those who want to try out SQL Server for the first time, the best option is to download and install SQL Server 2019 Express. Firstly, navigate to the SQL Server 2019 Express download page on Microsoft’s website.

Locate SQL Server 2019 Express, download and save the file to your desktop or preferred location. Once the download is complete, double-click on the setup file to begin the installation process.

During the installation process, you’ll be prompted to customize components. This is your chance to decide which components to include or exclude, depending on what you need.

For example, you may not need the Full-Text Search feature or Integration Services, if you only want to try a basic installation for developmental purposes. After customizing the components, you’ll be asked to configure the server instance.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to select the default instance or choose a named instance. The default instance is the most common option, but users can create a named instance for better organization.

It’s essential to ensure that the instance name is unique to avoid conflicts with other installations on your machine. Lastly, you have the option to install Java, R, and Python.

SQL Server 2019 comes with built-in support for these languages, allowing users to run scripts or machine learning models directly from the database. To install these components, select the corresponding checkbox during the installation process.

Installing SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a free tool designed for managing, configuring, and administering SQL Server. SSMS provides a user-friendly interface for developers to interact with SQL Server, eliminating the need for using command-line tools or coding directly in SQL.

Firstly, navigate to the official SSMS download page on Microsoft’s website. Download the latest version of SSMS that matches your SQL Server edition.

After downloading, run the setup file and follow the prompts to install SSMS. Once installed, open SSMS and connect to SQL Server.

Connection strings specify how to access servers and databases, including authentication mechanisms and other parameters. To connect to SQL Server, open SSMS, click “Connect”, and enter the appropriate connection string details such as Server name, Authentication type, and Login credentials.

Aside from SSMS, there are other alternative tools for managing SQL Server, such as SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), Visual Studio, Azure Data Studio, and PowerShell. These tools have different features and functionalities, which cater to different needs.

It’s essential to evaluate which tool is best for your scenario.


In this article, we’ve covered the essential steps on how to install SQL Server 2019 Express and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). We’ve also discussed how to customize components during installation, configure the server instance, and connect to SQL Server.

Learning how to install and configure SQL Server and SSMS is a crucial skill for developers, database administrators, and IT professionals. It’s essential to understand the installation process and the best practices for customizing components and configuring server instances to prevent conflicts and ensure optimal performance.

Using SSMS or other alternative tools for managing SQL Server can help you work efficiently and effectively with your databases.

3) Upgrading from Previous Versions of SQL Server

Upgrading your SQL Server to the latest version can provide better performance, security, and features for your databases. If you’re currently running an older version of SQL Server and planning to upgrade to SQL Server 2019, Microsoft provides an easy-to-use upgrade assistant to guide you through the process.

Firstly, launch the SQL Server Installation Center by clicking on the Start menu and navigating to the SQL Server folder, then selecting the Installation Center. Once you’re in the Installation Center, choose the “Upgrade from a previous version” option to start the upgrade process.

During the upgrade process, the upgrade assistant will analyze the current SQL Server instance and check for compatibility issues with SQL Server 2019. It’s essential to resolve any issues that arise before proceeding with the upgrade to prevent compatibility problems and data loss.

After the compatibility check, you’ll be asked to select the components to upgrade, including the SQL Server Database Engine, Analysis Services, Integration Services, Reporting Services, and more. You’ll also have the option to keep or remove existing components, depending on your needs.

Once you’ve selected the components to upgrade, the upgrade assistant will begin the installation process. Depending on the size of your databases and the performance of your machine, the upgrade process can take a while.

It’s essential to keep an eye on the process and ensure there are no errors or warnings. After the installation is complete, you can verify the success of your upgrade by checking the SQL Server instance properties.

You can also perform tests on the databases to ensure they’re running correctly. Upgrading SQL Server to the latest version is an essential task to keep your databases up to date and prevent security vulnerabilities.

It’s essential to follow best practices and verify the success of the upgrade to ensure optimal performance.

4) Learning SQL Server 2019

Learning SQL Server 2019 is an essential skill for anyone working with databases, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional. SQL Server provides a vast array of features and functionalities, and mastering these features can provide better performance, reduced downtime, and cost savings for your organization.

There are many resources available for learning SQL Server, including books, online courses, forums, blogs, and documentation. Microsoft also provides extensive documentation on SQL Server, including tutorials, how-to guides, and examples.

For those who want to learn SQL Server’s query language, Transact-SQL (T-SQL), there are many online courses available, including Microsoft’s official T-SQL course. This course covers the basics of T-SQL, including functions, variables, operators, and stored procedures.

Users can also practice T-SQL using SQL Server Management Studio’s query editor. SQL Server also has different learning tracks for users with different levels of expertise.

These tracks provide users with a clear path to learning SQL Server by breaking down the learning process into levels, from Beginner to Expert. These tracks are useful for those who want to learn SQL Server comprehensively and efficiently.

SQL Server is a complex and powerful database management system, and learning SQL Server 2019 is an ongoing process. It’s essential to stay up to date with the latest features and best practices to leverage SQL Server’s full potential.

Utilizing available resources and learning tracks can help you achieve your SQL Server learning goals and succeed in your database management career. 5)

Conclusion and Further Learning

In this article, we’ve covered the essential steps for installing and upgrading SQL Server as well as learning SQL Server 2019.

For those working with databases, it’s essential to understand SQL Server’s features, best practices, and the latest trends to optimize your database management. For those who want to continue their SQL Server learning journey, there are many resources available, including online courses, books, forums, and blogs.

Here are some recommendations for further learning:

1. Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn is an excellent resource for learning SQL Server, providing interactive tutorials, paths, and modules.

Microsoft Learn offers comprehensive learning tracks that cover SQL Server’s basics and advanced features for different roles. 2.


Pluralsight is one of the leading online learning platforms, providing courses on various technical topics, including SQL Server. Pluralsight offers courses on different levels of SQL Server, ranging from beginner to expert.

Users can learn SQL Server’s basics, data management, security, and more. 3.

Stack Overflow and Microsoft Tech Community

Stack Overflow and Microsoft Tech Community are great resources for asking technical questions, sharing knowledge, and learning from experts. These platforms provide answers to common SQL Server issues, best practices, and troubleshooting tips.

4. Books

There are many books available for learning SQL Server, ranging from beginner to advanced topics.

Microsoft Press provides many SQL Server books, including T-SQL Querying and T-SQL Fundamentals. 5.

Conferences and User Groups

Attending SQL Server conferences and user groups is a great way to meet other professionals and network while learning about SQL Server. SQL PASS is an organization that provides SQL Server events and a vibrant user community.

In conclusion, learning SQL Server is an ongoing process, and staying up to date with the latest trends, best practices, and features is essential to optimize your database management. Utilizing available resources such as online courses, forums, books, and events can help you achieve your learning goals and succeed in your career.

In this article, we covered the fundamental topics related to SQL Server, including installing and upgrading SQL Server 2019, installing SQL Server Management Studio, and learning SQL Server. We also provided recommendations for further learning, such as Microsoft Learn, Pluralsight, Stack Overflow, and attending conferences and user groups.

SQL Server is a powerful database management system, and having the right skills and tools is essential for any individual or organization working with databases. By following best practices and utilizing available resources, individuals can stay up to date with the latest features and optimize their database management practices.

Remember to continue learning and stay curious to succeed in your SQL Server learning journey.

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