Start at the beginning: SQL Server Samples 101

Welcome everyone! The purpose of this blog is to chat about the samples and sample databases for Microsoft SQL Server. I'll be talking about some of the cool samples already shipping, and let you know about updates and new samples as time goes by. Please participate by sending in feedback on existing samples and suggestions for new ones.

If you have Microsoft SQL Server 2005, read the topic "Installing Samples" in Microsoft SQL Server Books Online (Books Online) to learn how to install the samples which ship with that product. You do have to go through some extra steps during installation of SQL Server to get samples installed. In particular, on the page where you select what to install use the "Advanced" button to activate the control which allows you to select the samples for installation.

Even better, you can get the latest version of the samples on the web at Right the December 2005 refresh is available there. You'll find MSIs with the samples in them, and also MSIs with various sample databases. Be sure to pick out the correct MSI for your computer's processor (x86, x64, or IA64). 

At you'll find the actual MSIs, and also two important documents, GettingStartedWithSQLSamples.htm which gives you a top 10 list of things to know about the samples, and SQLServerDatabasesAndSamplesOverview.htm which provides detailed information about all the samples and sample databases.

The readme files for the samples and a lot of other sample information is located in Books Online starting at [SQL Server 2005 Books Online / Samples and Sample Databases].

The samples cover the gamut of SQL Server technologies: CLR Integration, SMO, XML, Administration, Data Access, Full Text Search, Service Broker, Analysis Services, Integration Services, Notification Services, Reporting Services, Replication. The Integrated Samples show how to combine several of the above technologies to solve a particular business problem.

The AdventureWorks sample database provides an example of an enterprise class database schema for manufacturing, sales, inventory, purchasing, and human resource scenarios. The AdventureWorksDW and AdventureWorksAS sample databases demonstrate how to design and use a data warehouse and an analysis services project to gather business intelligence.

Thanks for taking a look at the samples. I hope they help you get up to speed faster on SQL Server 2005 and make your job easier and more fun.