This is the definitive companion to Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. Ron Soukup and
Kalen Delaney offer the joint perspective of the developer and the user in
an extremely readable presentation. Ron led the SQL Server development team
for a decade. Kalen has been working with the application designers and
developers for almost that long. This is their guide to why SQL Server is
the way it is and how it should be used. This book perfectly complements the
reference material in SQL Server Books Online.
The book begins with the inside story of how the PC database giant
Ashton-Tate partnered with Microsoft and then-startup Sybase to bring SQL to
the OS/2 marketplace. The book goes on to trace the incredible history of
the product and the partners. Ron and Kalen's firsthand account makes this a
must-read. I cannot think of a more amazing story in our industry.
This book then takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of SQL Server,
describing the key features and pointing out some highlights. It looks
"under the hood" and describes how SQL Server works inside. Novice users
might find this information too detailed, but it lays the groundwork for
much that follows.
The book goes on to explain how to design for SQL Server?giving sage advice
on application design, database design, physical data layout, and
performance tuning. Ron and Kalen base their advice on having watched
customers use (and misuse) the product for many years. SQL Server and the
Microsoft Windows NT environment are unique in many ways. Although the book
covers the standard design issues, it focuses primarily on the features that
are unique to SQL Server. Incidental to this, Ron and Kalen show many of the
pitfalls and common errors that designers and programmers make. They also
impart their wisdom on what makes for both good and bad database design.
Anyone planning to perform an implementation using SQL Server would do well
to read this book first.
This book covers virtually all the extensions that SQL Server has made to
the standard SQL language. Ron and Kalen take pride in describing these
features. They often explain why these features were introduced, how they
compare to the competition, and how they work. This book is not an SQL
tutorial, but it does an excellent job of covering the intermediate and
advanced features of SQL and SQL Server. The descriptions are accompanied by
detailed examples that are included on the companion CD.
The book also explains how to install, administer, and tune SQL Server. The
chapters covering these topics contain essential information that I had
never seen explained anywhere else. It is very easy to get started with SQL
Server?perhaps too easy. Some customers just install it and start using it
without thinking much. Ron and Kalen walk the designer through capacity
planning; hardware acquisition; Windows NT, network, and RAID configuration;
SQL Server installation and licensing; security policies; operations
procedures; performance measurement; and performance tuning. The book
provides a valuable checklist for anyone planning to set up or operate a SQL
You'll find several chapters devoted to understanding performance,
concurrency, and recovery issues. Throughout the book, you'll notice an
emphasis on designing for client-server and Internet environments. In these
environments, the server must process business-rules (stored procedures) or
set-oriented requests, rather than record-at-a-time requests. The book
explains both traditional Transact-SQL stored procedures, as well as
user-defined external procedures and OLE Automation procedures.
Ron and Kalen give a clear picture of how SQL Server transactions work. The
book first presents tutorial material on the ACID properties, isolation
levels, and locking. It then explains how SQL Server performs locking,
logging, checkpointing, and recovery. It also explains how SQL Server uses
the Windows NT Cluster feature for high availability. This presentation is
exceptionally clear. Understanding these issues is crucial to designing
high-traffic and high-availability SQL Servers.
Ron and Kalen have constructed the essential companion to SQL Server. This
firsthand account of how SQL Server works, why it works that way, and how to
use it will be an invaluable reference for administrators and designers
alike. We are all glad Ron and Kalen took the time to write this book. I
certainly learned a lot from it, and I know you will too.
Microsoft San Francisco Research Lab
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