Key Components of Microsoft SQL Server

By Ken Withee

Part of Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Microsoft SQL Server product is made up of four primary components, three of them sporting acronyms. Use this list to identify the components of SQL Server and tell them apart.

  • Database Engine: This part of SQL Server actually creates and drives relational databases.

  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS): SSAS is the data-analysis component of SQL Server. It can create OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing) cubes — sophisticated programming objects for organizing data inside a relational database — and do data mining (pulling relevant data out of a database in response to an ad-hoc question).

  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS): SSRS is a component of SQL Server that provides reporting regardless of a database’s operating system.

  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS): SSIS is a component of SQL Server that does the Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process that cleans up and formats raw data from source systems for inclusion in the database as ready-to-use information.