SQL Server 2000 has been out for years now. But Microsoft hasn’t stood still. We’re not just talking about three Service Packs. There are huge improvements to SQL Server’s XML and Web integration (especially SQL XML 3.0). There’s new support for ADO.NET and the entire .NET Framework. There are new Notification Services for automating information delivery to subscribers. And of course, there’s a new 64-bit version for truly gigantic databases (in late beta as we write this).
SQL Server 2000 Unleashed hasn’t stood still, either. It’s followed right behind Microsoft, adding coverage of a wide range of new features that Microsoft’s added to SQL Server 2000. In this Second Edition, the authors have also expanded quite a bit of their First Edition coverage -- notably, their chapters on Query Analyzer and SQL Profiler.
Weighing in at more than 1,500 pages, this book is anything but padded. It’s useful from start to finish. The most exhaustive coverage is dedicated to the core database product itself, day-to-day administration and management, to programming with Transact-SQL, and to the database engine’s newest features. On the other hand, when it comes to features like DTS, Analysis Services, and full-text search, you have to settle for…well, really solid discussions of the fundamentals. Even here, the stuff’s darned good -- just not quite as deep.
If you’ve been around the block a few times with SQL Server, this book will help you accomplish far more, far more efficiently. For example, you’ll find nearly 400 pages on performance optimization -- utterly crucial in this age of constrained IT budgets. The authors walk you through SQL Server’s internals -- how it manages memory, processes, and I/O; how its tables and indexes are structured “under the hood.” Once you understand that, you can really go to work on improving performance.
You’ll find detailed chapters on query optimization and query analysis, followed by a practical review of performance monitoring (what to monitor and what the numbers mean). You’ll understand how locking impacts performance and what you can do about it. There’s a complete “short course” in high-performance database design. Last but not least, there’s a far-reaching discussion of optimizing SQL Server configuration options for performance -- everything from affinity masks to user options.
There’s exhaustive coverage of T-SQL, including its newest datatypes, user-defined functions, and indexed views. You’ll start with simple INSERTs, UPDATEs, and DELETEs; move through cursors, views, stored procedures, and triggers, and finally master transactions and distributed transaction processing.
But we’ll save our greatest hosannas for the authors’ practical coverage of SQL administration. If you’re a DBA, this book is truly the single source resource it aims to be. From installation and upgrades to client configuration and database creation, you’ll find it here. You’ll learn all you need to manage tables and indexes, enforce data integrity, backup and restore databases, manage users -- and of course, improve SQL Server’s traditionally less-than-stellar out-of-the-box security.
The whole book’s on CD-ROM (so you won’t have to lift it!) The disc also contains goodies ranging from T-SQL code and data replication scripts to XML examples and sample stored procedures (plus loads of trialware). This book’s a big winner -- in more ways than one. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.