The good news is that setting up your SQL Server clients to communicate with the database server is usually easy. The SQL Server installation program can be run on your client machines, and it will install the core data access components along with the SQL Server tools (applications) that you will need.
Before you can install the SQL Server client-management tools and various library files, make sure that the computer meets the following requirements:
Processor?Intel or compatible (Pentium 166 MHz or higher).
Memory?32MB of RAM (minimum). Some editions of the software require 64MB.
Hard disk space?95MB of available disk space (for client-management utilities only).
Operating system?Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 (all versions), Windows Me, and Windows 98. Windows XP supports some editions of SQL Server 2000 and if you want the connectivity only, Windows 95 will work as well.
Network software?Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows XP, and Windows 95 have built-in networking software. (If you are using Banyan Vines or AppleTalk ADSP, you need additional network software.) Novell NetWare IPX/SPX client support is provided by the NWLink protocol in Windows Networking.
After you have established that you meet the minimum requirements, you are ready to start your client installation. You can install the client software in two common ways. The first, and most obvious option, is to run the SQL Server 2000 installation program. This option allows you to install both the client tools and the connectivity software you need.
The installation definition screen that is displayed as part of the SQL Server install allows you to select the components that you would like to install. On this screen, you have the option of installing the Client Tools Only, the Server and Client Tools, or the Connectivity Only (see Figure 9.2). With the Client Tools Only option, you get both the client relational database-management tools and the connectivity components. With the Connectivity Only option, only the relational database client connectivity components are installed. Included in the connectivity components is MDAC 2.6 (Microsoft Data Access Components), which is a requirement for connecting to a SQL Server 2000 named instance. A later version of the MDAC software is installed when SQL Server 2000 service packs are installed.
The SQL Server 2000 Installation program installs the client tools, by default, on the same partition on which Windows is installed. Often, this drive has the least amount of space available, but Microsoft does not support a way to change where the tools are installed.
Also, be aware that the new SQL Server 2000 tools will replace any SQL Server 7.0 tools that might have been previously installed. It is possible to run both SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 7.0 on the same machine, but the SQL Server 2000 tools will be launched instead of the 7.0 tools once the 2000 tools have been installed.
The other option for installing SQL Server 2000 client software is to utilize the sqlredis program. Sqlredis is a self-extracting executable file that can be launched independently of the SQL Server 2000 installation. It can only be used to install the client connectivity components; the client tools are not part of this install. The sqlredis executable file can be found in several directories on the SQL Server 2000 installation disc, including the ..\STANDARD\x86\other\.
The sqlredis program is often used as part of the setup process for an application that utilizes SQL Server 2000. The installation is silent and installs all of the client connectivity components needed to support a variety of application clients. OLE DB and the ODBC core components, the Microsoft OLE DB provider for SQL Server, the SQL Server ODBC driver, and the default SQL Server client Net-Libraries are all installed with sqlredis.
I highly recommend the use of the sqlredis program as part of your application's installation routine. One alternative is to include the individual connectivity component files in your application install, but this can prove to be problematic when new versions of the connectivity software (MDAC) are released. The crux of the problem is that many of the connectivity files are dependent on each other, and you might find that certain functionality on the client will not work if the complete installation is not done.
Microsoft typically releases several service packs for SQL Server. These service packs primarily contain fixes to the initial release of the software or previous service packs. It is a good practice to monitor the release of these service packs and apply them to your SQL Server environment. This includes the deployment of the service packs on your client machines. The service pack installation is very reliable and will ensure that all of the latest connectivity software, including MDAC, is in place.