I've used SQL Server Management Studio before, but only when the server is already up and running.
I need to start from the beginning and create my own instance on the local computer.
The instructions I'm getting, is just put "." on the server name and use Windows Authentication. But that gives me a "server not found" error.
Can someone please help? I'm using SQL Server 2012 Management Studio.
I really thought it would be just like Access, create my tables and start creating queries.
Your best bet over here to install XAMPP..Follow the link download it , it has an instruction file as well. You can setup your own MY SQL database and then connect to on your local machine.
After installation you need to connect to Server Name : localhost to start using the local instance of SQL Server.
Once you are connected to the local instance, right click on Databases and create a new database.
For anyone still looking to do this in 2020. So long as you are purely using it for development purposes you can download a full featured version of SQL Server directly from Microsoft at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-downloads.