On my personal blog a month ago I mentioned that I’d been learning more about SQL than I wanted to as a result of upgrading to Author-it v5. One of my readers asked:
As someone who just purchased (but has not yet installed) AuthorIT 5, your comment of “learning more about SQL than I wanted to know” in the same paragraph in which you talked about your AuthorIT 5 work in recent weeks makes me a bit leery.
Could you explain what’s up with the SQL work, and when and why it’s needed with AIT?
Here’s my response:
SQL is NOT essential for Author-it v5, but it improves performance—according to Author-it ‘Author-it v5 has been optimized for SQL’. Also, if you convert your v4.5 JET library to SQL before upgrading it to v5, you get Author-it’s SQL Connector at no cost.
I needed to provide an SQL library to a client, so I bit the bullet and decided to install SQL Express locally (Microsoft’s free replacement for MSDE which I *think* was a replacement for JET which is used for the *.ADL libraries in Author-it). That put me on a learning curve with SQL, and surprisingly the stuff from 10 years ago came back fairly quickly regarding backups and restores. Some of my learning curve was self-inflicted—I initially installed SQL Express on my server without realising that SQL Server was already installed, which caused a few conflicts that my PC guys had to sort out.
When I installed SQL Express locally, I had some issues with TCP/IP connections that Author-it Support solved for me.
Once SQL (Server or Express) is set up and you’ve got your libraries converted and linked to Author-it, it’s as though SQL doesn’t exist. You work in Author-it as you always did, it’s just that you’re connected to the SQL library NOT the JET library. The conversion from JET to SQL within Author-it is painless.
I guess what SQL gives you that you don’t have in JET is the facility to run SQL queries to give you reports on your database, and also the facility to schedule backups.