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SQL Server 2005 Distilled

by Eric L. Brown

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Book Description
SQL Server 2000 has been one of Microsoft's most popular products ever, with more than 1 million licenses sold; there is a huge installed base. Robust sales of many books on SQL Server attest to this. The next release of SQL Server, version 2005, represents five years of development work by Microsoft. It will be a major upgrade from SQL Server 2000, with many major changes in the core technology. After a period of testing the new product, most companies are expected to upgrade to the new version. In fact, tens of thousands of companies have already been working with the beta. As companies evaulate whether and when to upgrade, they'll appreciate the advice of an insider such as Eric Brown, who was intimately involved in evangelizing about the product for three years. He knows what questions companies have, and what questions they don't even know they need to ask. They'll also appreciate the concise, dense "distilled" format - a handy, quick reference to the most common parts and new features of SQL Server 2005 delivered in a short and focused presentation. This book should appeal to anyone who works with SQL Server - administrators, developers, and technical managers alike. After they have read this book, then they will be ready to go on to one of the big, doorstop references to SQL Server; but this is the book they will turn to first

From the Back Cover

Need to get your arms around Microsoft SQL Server 2005 fast, without getting buried in the details? Need to make fundamental decisions about deploying, using, or administering Microsoft’s latest enterprise database?


Need to understand what’s new in SQL Server 2005, and how it fits with your existing IT and business infrastructure? SQL Server 2005 Distilled delivers the answers you need–quickly, clearly, and objectively.


Former SQL Server team member Eric L. Brown offers realistic insight into every significant aspect of SQL Server 2005: its new features, architecture, administrative tools, security model, data management capabilities, development environment, and much more. Brown draws on his extensive experience consulting with enterprise users, outlining realistic usage scenarios that leverage SQL Server 2005’s strengths and minimize its limitations. Coverage includes

  • Architectural overview: how SQL Server 2005’s features work together and what it means to you
  • Security management, policies, and permissions: gaining tighter control over your data
  • SQL Server Management Studio: Microsoft’s new, unified tool suite for authoring, management, and operations
  • Availability enhancements: online restoration, improved replication, shorter maintenance/recovery windows, and more
  • Scalability improvements, including a practical explanation of SQL Server 2005’s complex table partitioning feature
  • Data access enhancements, from ADO.NET 2.0 to XML
  • SQL Server 2005’s built-in .NET CLR: how to use it, when to use it, and when to stay with T-SQL
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio: leveraging major improvements in reporting and analytics
  • Visual Studio integration: improving efficiency throughout the coding and debugging process
  • Simple code examples demonstrating SQL Server 2005’s most significant new features

About the Author

Eric Brown's professional computing work began in earnest in 1996 when he began work at Multiple Zones International as a product manager. While there, he realized the next big wave was the Internet, and raced to get a job at a dot-com. He worked for three dot-coms before ending up on the SQL Server Product Team at Microsoft. At one point in his early DB years, they cut the edge of SQL Server capabilities by owning a 500GB data warehouse running SQL Server 7 and 2000. In the three years he was on the team, he ran “Yukon” readiness. Brown has written a column for SQL Server Magazine, and has written extensively about SQL Server for MSDN Magazine and MSDN online library. Since leaving Microsoft officially, he has worked on this book and started an e-commerce hosting company. He is now working for Quilogy as a senior consultant on the Business Intelligence National Practice.



Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
SQL Server 2005 Distilled

SQL Server 2005 Distilled


This book does not cover the entirety of SQL Server 2005. It doesn't include any fancy sample applications or tons of code. This book is about features. It is about understanding what the major features of SQL Server 2005 are designed to do. I strove to include an architectural discussion, usage scenarios, and interesting information about using the technology. I offer some opinions about how I'd expect a customer to really use a technology, as opposed to the marketing approach to presenting the technology.

In keeping with the Distilled series idea, I present not all the features, but the majority of the features that are new and significantly revised. Furthermore, I do not attempt to drill into every nook and cranny of the newest and greatest; instead, I describe them in a conceptual way. I process the features of SQL Server 2005 via a framework that includes an architectural discussion. By that I mean I focus on how the technology is designed. I also focus on customer scenarios. I tried to think in terms of the use-case scenario for the technology. In many cases, I try to offer a suggested "reality" usage based on customers' feedback about their experience with the product. The goal is to get you, the reader, up to speed on the "whats" and "hows" of SQL Server 2005. Chapter 6, "The Code Chapter," is the only chapter that includes any amount of code, and that code exercises the features in a simple manner, providing the nuts and bolts of the technique. I'll leave the creative and advanced techniques to the huge doorstop books that cover SQL Server 2005 in every detail.

How to Use This Book

If you're an IT professional who has to deal with databases on any level, this book is a great foundation for getting to know SQL Server 2005. Many books today are too intimidating; they start with an application and spend literally hundreds of pages exercising that code. Often they do this without so much as a breath about how the code fits into the bigger picture. This book is different in this way: You get to know many features without getting mucked up in deep details, and you see how the features fit together. I cover each topic individually, meaning that you could read any chapter on its own. You can keep the book as a reference. Or you might use this book as an "airplane read" that helps refresh your conceptual knowledge of SQL Server 2005. That's the goal of this book: You can read it as needed, without worrying about too much minutia or too many code samples.

Who Should Read This Book

This book is singular in that it's meant for technology decision makers, not hard-core developers or database administrators. (However, this would still be a good read for them, because it can be used to guide other learning about SQL Server 2005.) The technology decision maker will find the book invaluable, because you don't want to be caught at a cocktail party with your peers not knowing what the unified dimension model is.

How This Book Is Organized

Chapter 1, "Introduction to SQL Server 2005," is an overview of the entire product—especially the new features across the OLTP and OLAP sides of SQL Server 2005. I cover all the basics of what's new and, as such, what should work for everybody. Chapter 2, "What Everyone Should Know About Security," provides an overview of what has unfortunately become one of the most important issues in database technology. The security professional is the most obvious target for Chapter 2, but given the importance of security these days, everyone can benefit from reading it. The goal of Chapter 2 is to bring you up to speed on the essential security features. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on two particular audiences: the database administrator and the database developer. Chapter 3, "Enterprise Data Management," covers all the new aspects of database administration in SQL Server 2005. Chapter 4, "Features for Database Development," covers the features of SQL Server 2005 that are relevant to database application development. Chapter 5, "Overview of Business Intelligence," is about how Microsoft is both catching up and innovating in the reporting and analytics space. It is not an OLAP concept primer; I assume you know what dimensions and cubes are. If you don't, please see SQL Server Books Online. Chapter 6, "The Code Chapter," is all code. I decided to have a dedicated code chapter because I hate having to scan hundreds of pages to find the one line of code I'm looking for. This chapter isn't and can't be all-inclusive. I simply cover the basics and assume you'll read the other excellent Addison-Wesley books on SQL Server 2005. My goal is to show you how easy (as in the case of new security features) or how hard (as in the table partitioning capabilities) using SQL Server 2005 can be.



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