Posted by: rcosic | 21/02/2008

Book Review: Pro SQL Server 2005

Title: Pro SQL Server 2005
Authors: Louis Davidson, Robin Dewson, Adam Machanic, Jan D. Narkiewicz, Thomas Rizzo, Joseph Sack, Julian Skinner, Rob Walters
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 704
Links: http://www.apress.com/book/view/1590594770

Overall mark: B+

Alltogether, finally good booklet.
The thema is generally well-known and clear, the chapters have good structure, no exhaugurated ‘touring the engine’ in the beginning, no appendices at the end, each chapter is one and only topic. I just say: on schedule.

First chapter: overview and installation. Good review of all versions of SQL Server, and features.
Second chapter: database technologies. Also good review of just differences and improvements from the previous version; no boring lamentations about the terms like database, table, instance, and so on. Just the differences. Short. Functional.

Chapter 3: Improvements for developers. Really good. Special review of differences and improvements for just programmers. In fact, I was astonished on how much new version of SQL Server 2005 gives, and that we don’t get spammed too much about that (for example: pivot, recursive queriesi, sampling, except, intercept, CLR, xml data type).

Chapter 4: Improvements for sys-ops. Again good (at least, I think, I’m not sys-op). Dynamic views are not such a breakthrough as DDL triggers – really useful thing. Indexes, partitioned views and tables, snapshots (I immediately get association with VMware and option to have multiple snapshots, but it doesn’t have nothing to do with it even conceptually 😉 ).

Integration with .NET. That’s all what we’ve waiting for. Shall we? As I’ve found out from the book, not really. .NET integration should be used ‘with caution’, only when we really have to use it, otherwise it’s too expensive of performance. Anyway, nicely explained thema, indeed.

SQL Server and XML. Just like .NET integration, two chapters. I guess it should point out the importance of the subject (it is one of the reasons that book didn’t get A). A new data type (xml) is explained, updating data through XML, ‘pinging’ of data via query methods, full-text query, dynamic views, and so on…

And now, the best part: overviews of additional technologies (features) – one per chapter:

– SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (chapter 9)
– Analysis Services (chapter 10)
– Service Broker (chapter 12)
– Integration Services (chapter 14)
– Notification Services (chapter 16)

Each of these chapters is, although short, good and remarkably explained. In each of them we can find main ‘rules of engagement’ these different components along with on how should we use them. It’s interesting that Apress printed each of this topics as separate book. So, if you’re interested about it more, get it and read it one by one. Who wants it, let him grasp.

Oh, yeah… There are some messed up chapters. Advanced functionality of database is little bit meshed with mentioned features, but what a hack. We will forgive the guys in Apress for such lapsus. There are:

Security (chapter 11)
Automation and Monitoring (chapter 13)
Database Mirroring (chapter 15)

Altogether, nice made book with some minor weaknesses which do not influence significally to readiness and qualiti of the book.

Happy reading!

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