Hello World: MS SQL Server - NOT!

One of the things I probably should have mentioned is that I am a fan of books. It's an expensive hobby, especially for technical stuff. I tend to get the book, use it for about two weeks. After that, it's only role is to keep my bookshelf from floating away. Still, I find it helpful to have some ideas and instructions to inspire me. Having pages to fold, write upon and stick postits on is also helpful. Presently, I am using Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# and VB by Wrox. It seems to be covering my learning experience perfectly well though with a little more introductory info that I need. (I am already pretty good at both html and sql.) That said, it's got me moving along.

Anyway, my goal today is to activate SQL Server and touch it from both Visual Studio and a web page. I'm an ambitious sort.

So, I have browsed my book and found that Visual Studio will create a database for me. Cool beans.
I start out by looking at the configuration manager. It's got a bunch of stuff I don't know what it is. I look at my book and it suggests SQL Server Management Studio Express. Cool. I go get it, install, and find that it has all kinds of stuff I don't about, too. Another tool available, though.

After some browsing and thinking, I discover that VS (I can only type Visual Studio this one more time) has a thing in it's view menu called Server Explorer. I'm happy to say that it seems to see my account. There is an item called Data Connections. A right-click yields a menu that offers to Connect or, woo hoo!, Create a New Sql Server Database. It's easy to use and obvious as well, so I type type type and click go. It tells me that it can't connect to the database. I remember seeing somewhere that you need to turn on more access methods to use it from the web.

My book explains that I need to use the Configuration Manager to turn on pipes and tcp. I do it and am confronted with the (perfectly reasonable) message that these won't take affect until the database server is restarted. A little google lets me know that the Management Studio is the tool for that. I hit my server, right-click and select restart. Access Denied!!

I groan thinking of the trauma I had the other day with a similar message and IUSR. Google is my friend, though. The answer is that I need to run the program as an administrator. I have not clue how to do that but, google tells me that I can run anything as an administrator by right-clicking and choosing, get this: Run as Administrator. It's pretty much like sudo. If it needs to, it will ask for an admin password, and then run the program with uber-privilege. Done and Done. The server restarts.

I head back to VS and try it out. I'm thinking, Oh Goodie! No dice. Still gives me the same error that comes down to the fact that it can't locate my sql server. I head back to the manager program to see if it will do anything other than restart and, yes, it will create a table and looks good.

But, now it's time to get out of here because I can't stand it any more. I cannot for the life of me figure why a set of programs and services that are designed to work together don't. It's not like it's some sort of compromised environment. It's a fresh install of everything. As far as MSSQL goes, it's totally vanilla. I wish I could say it's a billion times easier on Linux or Mac, but it's not. However, they at least have the excuse that 1) nobody charges for LAMP, and 2) they are not written by a single company and sold as a turnkey solution. Arrrrgh.

Still, it's fun.