Hitchhiker's Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server: Best Practice Architectures and Examples / Edition 7

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Since 1994 when he wrote his first “Hitchhiker’s Guide”, William Vaughn has been providing developers all over the world the intimate details of how SQL Server can be accessed and managed from RAD languages like Visual Basic and Visual Basic .NET. With the 7th Edition, Bill has completely rewritten this encyclopedic work from cover to cover–giving readers his insightful views on how applications should be built to maximize both developer and code performance. Visual Studio and the languages it hosts have never been as sophisticated as they are today–the same can be said for SQL Server. This makes it even more important for developers to understand how to best leverage their features without being held back by their complexity. That’s what this book is all about–making it easier for developers regardless of their know-how.

The 7th edition is unique in that it’s designed to provide not only up-to-date tutorials on the latest development tools provided by Visual Studio and SQL Server, but also a solid platform of architectural advice and rich examples for developers trying to choose between the myriad of platform options. Beginners and experts alike will find comprehensive step-by-step instructions that can make the reader’s introduction to the latest versions of Visual Studio and SQL Server far easier.

Key topic coverage includes:

•  Data access architectures and how to choose the best strategy for Windows Forms, ASP.NET,

do these make sense and how much will they cost to build and maintain?

•  SQL Server and relational database fundamentals and inner-machinery.

How does SQL Server work andwhy is it important that developers know?

•  Making the development experience more productive through judicious use of the Visual Studio toolset, and how to know when the wizards can help.

•  Using the latest ADO.NET data provider efficiently and safely.

•  How to protect the security of your database–and your job–by avoiding common mistakes.

•  How to build secure, efficient, scalable applications in less time with fewer resources–how to create faster code faster.

•  How to leverage the potential of SQL Server CLR executables and knowing

when these features make sense.

•  How to work with your DBA to maintain database integrity and security.

•  Working with the new Visual Studio report controls to expose your

organization’s data safely and easily with or without leveraging existing

SQL Server Reporting Services technology.

William R. Vaughn is the President of Beta V Corporation and a Microsoft MVP. In 2000 he retired from Microsoft after 14 years to focus on mentoring, speaking, and writing. His specialty is data access application design especially when connecting to SQL Server–over the years he’s written 12 books on the subject. He’s a popular speaker at technical conferences all over the world where his wit and no-holds-barred technical insights win him rave reviews. William is also a member of the prestigious INETA Speaker’s Bureau. His works include articles for SQL Server Magazine and a bi-weekly editorial for Processor Magazine as well as books published by Microsoft Press and Apress.

The book includes a DVD that contains a wealth of examples as well as several sample databases used to illustrate points discussed in the book. Authenticated readers will also have unrestricted access to the book’s supporting web site, www.hitchhikerguides.net, where additional examples, online forums, and other supplementary materials are available.





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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
For years, Bill Vaughn's Hitchhiker's Guides have been the secret advantage wielded by thousands of SQL Server application developers. Now Vaughn's thoroughly revamped his classic. His Seventh Edition doesn't just reflect Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 superficially: It truly captures how their improvements enable more robust, high-performance databases.

This go-round, you'll find far more coverage of Visual Studio, now a full-fledged database development environment. (Vaughn illuminates what the tools can and can't do and warns you away from them when necessary. That's the charm of these books: always independent.)

Vaughn also spends more time on the "hows" and "whys" of stored procedures, functions, triggers, user-defined types, and aggregates. And, recognizing that many folks begin developing database applications without formal training, he's also added some outstanding "foundational" material on database architecture and design. The result: an even more useful book for an even wider audience. Bill Camarda, from the January 2007 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321243621
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 11/16/2006
  • Series: Microsoft Windows Server System Series
  • Edition description: Includes CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 1128
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.37 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM R. VAUGHN has worked in the computer industry since 1972. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas. He’s also been awarded an Honorary PhD. from the University of Advancing Computer Technology in Tempe Arizona. Bill spent his early years working in the mainframe data processing industry and transitioned to the personal computer side in the late 70s. Along the way, he worked for the Texas DPS Narcotics Service, EDS (where he was recruited by and worked for Ross Perot), at Mostek/United Technologies, Challenge Systems, Digital Research, and CPT Corporation. After having surfed the PC industry for many years, he began his Microsoft years in 1986 working for the Windows developer liaison team at Microsoft in 1986. For the next 14 years, he worked in various divisions at Microsoft including Microsoft University, the Visual Basic documentation and Visual Studio marketing and Internal Technical Education teams before retiring in 2000 to form his own company, Beta V Corporation. Bill has written seven editions of the popular Hitchhiker’s Guide (the 4th, 5th and 6th published by Microsoft Press) and books for APress, including the bestseller ADO and ADO.NET Examples and Best Practices. Peter Blackburn and Bill also coauthored the Hitchhiker’s Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services (Addison- Wesley). His latest work is Hitchhiker’s Guide to SQL Server Everywhere–his first e-Book. He writes lead articles for SQL Server Magazine where he is a contributing editor, MSDN, and others. Bill also writes a bi-weekly editorial forProcessor.COM magazine. Bill is a top-rated speaker at conferences worldwide, including keynotes and sessions at TechEd, DevWeek, Dev Connections, SQL Connections, VBUG, and many others. He is a Microsoft MVP and a member of the INETA Speaker’s Bureau.

PETER BLACKBURN has worked in the computer industry since 1981. He studied computer science at Cambridge University, England from where he holds an M.A. degree. Through his consulting company, Boost Data Limited, Peter has designed, built, and implemented small- and large-scale database systems including reporting systems based on SQL Server. He has contributed countless hours to the development and honing of Microsoft Reporting Services and remains directly involved with the development team. He is also a Microsoft MVP. He supports developers through newsgroups and beta programs, and trains teams of developers working with SQL Server and Reporting Services. Having worked closely with .NET since before the launch, Peter and Boost Data have ensured the technical accuracy of many leading .NET books. Peter lives in the United Kingdom and travels all over the world to consult, speak, and provide support for his fellow developers, fellow MVPs, his writing team, and Microsoft itself.


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Read an Excerpt


In 1992, Microsoft first launched Microsoft Access Version 1.0 as a competitor for FoxPro (which it bought), Btrieve, Paradox, PowerBuilder, and DBASE. Many think that this was Microsoft's first foray into the world of database engines. It wasn't—Microsoft introduced its first DBMS system in 1988 when it joined with Sybase and Ashton-Tate to launch its own version of SQL Server. While designed for use with OS/2, Microsoft quickly moved to leverage the considerable work they had been doing on their new NT operating system. This made the Microsoft version faster, smaller, and more competitive. It would eventually become the market leader in a very competitive DBMS industry.

Microsoft's first "RAD" development tool for Windows was created in 1991 with the introduction of Visual Basic. While Visual Basic took three versions to integrate data access into its user interface, Visual Basic was not the first Microsoft BASIC language to access SQL Server. That honor goes to Quick Basic after a Microsoft developer working on the SQL Server team built his own data access interface to make it easier to access SQL Server's only published API interface, DB-Library. Again, Visual Basic has evolved into the world-class Visual Basic 6.0 and more recently Visual Basic .NET languages. Much of the success of SQL Server can be directly tied to the ability of developers at all skill levels to create data access applications that leverage SQL Server's power, scalability, and flexibility.

I joined Microsoft in 1988 where I had the pleasure of serving as the first program manager for SQL Server. Our teams worked with Sybase early on andeventually helped create the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard. Later in my career, we helped bring together the Visual Studio family of developer tools and drive the Win32 API, customer requirements, and product specification for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. Since then, I have held many different roles at Microsoft and most recently have taken on the responsibility of Senior Vice President of the Server and Tools business unit that encompasses both SQL Server and the development languages.

During these years, we all witnessed SQL Server's market share grow steadily from an "all other" slice to over 50% market share and Visual Basic grow to be the most popular language on the planet. However, one problem Microsoft faced throughout this evolutionary period was documentation, training, and user-education. Since the SQL Server documentation team focused its attention primarily on SQL Server, and the Visual Studio User Education team focused primarily on user interface, tools, local data, and language issues, a gap was created that only someone familiar with both disciplines could tackle.

From the very earliest versions of SQL Server, while working for Microsoft University, Bill Vaughn wrote SQL Server courseware, managed and mentored SQL Server trainers, and wrote books and articles. This entire body of work was focused on helping developers understand how SQL Server and development languages like Visual Basic and Visual Basic .NET can be used to best leverage the power of SQL Server. His efforts to tie SQL Server and Visual Basic together were continued while he worked for the Visual Basic user education team and since retired from Microsoft in 2000. I first met Bill in 1988, and he was often a thorn in my team's side as he lobbied for more emphasis on SQL Server and IT data issues and better access to SQL Server's sophisticated features. It was clear that Bill was not afraid to express his opinions on how the languages and tools should be adapted to handle what he called "IT data." I guess this is because Bill had worked predominantly with very large databases at Electronic Data Systems and earlier in his 34-year career. Since Bill came in contact with so many IT developers while at MSU, many of his ideas were tempered with real-world field experiences offered by his students and conference attendees. No, we don't always like what Bill says in his books, but we respect his point of view. When Bill sees an issue with SQL Server, or the languages, or how they interact, he lets us know through his books and articles. Clearly, Bill is an independent thinker, and while he certainly knows and endorses Microsoft technology, he's quick to point out what works, what doesn't, and how developers can work around the issues.

Over the last 22 years, Bill has contributed a significant amount of quality data access documentation and training. His efforts have also yielded (now) seven editions of his well-respected Hitchhiker's Guides, as well as three additional ADO and ADO.NET books—many of which have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Developers all over the world have learned to depend on and respect his vast body of work.

This most recent book has been a monumental effort for Bill. Working almost three years on this edition, Bill has drawn on many respected industry sources as well as many of my team members here at Microsoft. He's attended and actively participated in any number of professional conferences and been invited to our own Microsoft software design reviews where Program Managers gather feedback and suggestions from industry experts. His input was invariably on-target for the developer community he represents.

We're extremely excited by the success of .NET and, with 2.0, the opportunity for Visual Studio continues. One of the reasons I can heartily endorse Bill's latest book is that it simply makes it easier for developers at all skill levels to get up to speed quickly on .NET technology using prose that any of them can understand. I support his efforts and recommend this text strongly to developers.

Bob Muglia
Senior Vice President of the Server and Tools Business (STB), a part of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xxi

Acknowledgments    xxiii

About the Authors    xxv

Introduction    1

Chapter 1 Exploring Application Architectures    9

Chapter 2 How Does SQL Server Work?   87

Chapter 3 Relational Databases 101  245

Chapter 4 Getting Started with Visual Studio 273

Chapter 5 Managing Executables with the Server Explorer    349

Chapter 6 Building Data Sources, DataSets, and TableAdapters   391

Chapter 7 Managing Data Tools and Data Binding    461

Chapter 8 Getting Started with ADO.NET   497

Chapter 9 Getting Connected    549

Chapter 10   Managing SqlCommand Objects    627

Chapter 11   Executing SqlCommand Objects    693

Chapter 12   Managing Updates    749

Chapter 13   Managing SQL Server CLR Executables    793

Chapter 14   Creating and Managing Reports 923

Chapter 15   Summary and Wintry: Where We Are Now   1011

Appendix I    Installing the Examples and Test Databases  1015

Appendix II   Reinstalling the DACW and Other Missing Functionality in Visual Studio    1021

Appendix III Monitoring SQL Server    1025

Appendix IV Creating and Managing Server-Side Cursors 1039

Index 1051


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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    try understanding stored procedures

    In sometimes pungent commentaries, Vaughn and Blackburn give a detailed education about properly using SQL Server, where Visual Studio is also used, to make the front end code. There is a tangled history of how Microsoft developed SQL Server, Visual Studio and accompanying languages like Visual Basic .NET and ADO.NET. With perfect hindsight, the development trajectory performed by Microsoft might have been unnecessarily complex. But the book deals with SQL Server and Visual Studio as they now exist in the latest versions, as something you have to deal with. There is a brief chapter going over the basics of relational databases, and how to design a set of tables for your data. Generic stuff. But most of the text deals with many details specific to SQL Server. Out of the book's bulk, perhaps a key focus for you should be how to write and edit stored procedures. Vital in improving the efficiency of your overall system, by eliminating unneeded data flows from the server to the front end machine and back. Chapter 5 discusses these stored procedures. Forget for a moment about all that UI stuff. There is plenty of discussion in the book about that topic. Instead, you should try to clearly understand this chapter and be able to confidently write such stored procedures. Unglamorous backend details, but essential.

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