I am writing some user documentation where I need to depict a Microsoft Server Express installed on a computer. (Note: in my user documentation, the idea is that Microsoft Server Express is installed on a computer that is used for typical end-user activities, such as word processing; it is not installed on a computer that is dedicated for the purpose of being a server).

My understanding is that Microsoft Server Express is a database server, because multiple databases can be "put into" it; and then any client can say to MS Server Express "please serve me the database named XYZ".

I know I have seen the cylindrical "hard drive" symbol used to represent a database. Is this the same symbol used to represent a Database Server, too?

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    In my limited experience, "database" is a cylinder (as you said), "server" is a rectangular box (like a computer tower), and "database server" is just a combination of these symbols. – Era Jul 27 '17 at 19:46
  • Thanks for your reply, Era. Would you be able to link to any webpage with these pictures? – silph Jul 27 '17 at 19:53
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This is the symbol for a Database:

enter image description here

This is the symbol for a Database Server:

enter image description here

  • although this confuses me just a little bit, because the computer tower, to my eyes, looks like a physical computer. Microsoft SQL Server Express is just a program installed on the physical computer, so I didn't think that it would use the "physical computer tower" symbol. – silph Jul 27 '17 at 19:56
  • Microsoft SQL Server Express is the first symbol, not the second. – Robert Harvey Jul 27 '17 at 19:57
  • Is not Microsoft SQL Server Express a Database Server? (That is, you can have multiple databases created "within" the same Microsoft SQL Server Express instance that is running). – silph Jul 27 '17 at 19:59
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    Don't overthink this; use the symbol that seems most intuitive for your particular diagram. Your decision as to which one you should use warrants no more than about 60 seconds of consideration. If someone objects to your choice, just switch it to the other symbol and get on with life. – Robert Harvey Jul 27 '17 at 19:59
  • It's a pity the MS SQL Server logo is so poorly designed and is not at all recognizable. Otherwise the classic cilinder with the product logo on top of it would work, or a laptop with the logo in the screen. But the MS SQL Server logo has no brand power and is cumbersome. – Tulains Córdova Jul 27 '17 at 22:09

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