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What SQL Server Books Do You Recommend Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 6:18 AM
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Hello!
I 'was' a Coldfusion programmer - at some point about two years ago I realized I was having CF do things for me that the back end database would have done much better and faster. So, I started trying to learn more about SQL Server and use it for what it's meant to do (instead of hacking the front end app because I didn't know how to do it in the database!)
I started doing a lot of web searching and learned some very interesting things.

I have taken a couple of online courses through a local community college, which have been also interesting and taught me some things I hadn't stumbled upon in my various web searches. However, I was very disappointed by the text in my 'general' SQL Server class (covering transact-SQL). There was one 'technique', in particular, that was covered under sub-queries that I could NOT wrap my head around by reading the textbook. (I don't remember exactly what it was.) It was a technique that didn't offer very good performance, so it was very difficult to find information about it on Google. I finally stumbled upon it after a couple of hours of searching, and the web information allowed me to understand the concept enough to finish the homework. I also left a note to the professor that I realized that the query didn't totally reflect the textbook, but that I really couldn't understand from the textbook. I also commented the query and left a link to the page that I found that explained the concept.

So, I was stuck buying and using what I considered a less-than-adequate textbook. Fortunately, I didn't pay the $60 book price through the college's book store - I purchased it as an eBook for maybe $15.

A friend recommended sqlservercentral.com and that has, by far, been the best learning tool. Thanks, everybody

I have since been hired as an "almost DBA" - i.e. the company can't afford an actual DBA, but wanted to find someone with some experience and some desire to learn how to BE a DBA. sqlservercentral.com and web searches have helped me so much, but I know there are things I should be learning about and starting to implement that I don't even KNOW I should be doing That is where, I think, a great book would come into play.

I'm not much of a blogger, but I've considered starting one and capturing my journey to becoming a DBA, in hopes that it may be a good reference to other newbies. Maybe if I get ambitious and do so (and do it well), I could turn it into a book at some time!

Thanks again, everyone here. You are a wonderful resource for the community!
Post #1155973
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 7:05 AM


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I highly recommend subscribing to the SQLServerCentral.com lists. Just skim the e-mail for anything new you want to learn about. If it has nothing, delete it. If it's something interested, either save it to read later, or read into it then!

Your Microsoft white papers are always going to be a great source to learn from. However, coupling the reads with sheer experience and hands-on "lab tests" are going to really teach you.

I am currently reading SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) by Grant Fritchney. It's a pretty good read in regards to server administration for database servers. I would highly recommend watching his webcast at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Training/ first though. It's titled #6: Gathering and Interpreting Server Metrics. This will give you an idea of what to take/not take from his book.
Post #1156017
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 7:41 AM


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lrobbins (8/8/2011)
I highly recommend subscribing to the SQLServerCentral.com lists. Just skim the e-mail for anything new you want to learn about. If it has nothing, delete it. If it's something interested, either save it to read later, or read into it then!

Your Microsoft white papers are always going to be a great source to learn from. However, coupling the reads with sheer experience and hands-on "lab tests" are going to really teach you.

I am currently reading SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) by Grant Fritchney. It's a pretty good read in regards to server administration for database servers. I would highly recommend watching his webcast at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Training/ first though. It's titled #6: Gathering and Interpreting Server Metrics. This will give you an idea of what to take/not take from his book.


I've read both books that Grant has written on the subject. If you really want to know what to look for during performance tuning and some outstanding suggestions on how to make your code run faster, either book is an absolute "must read".


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
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Post #1156053
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 8:15 AM


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George Hepworth (8/7/2011)
I think theft of Intellectual Property is a big and growing threat to publishing technical books.
George Hepworth

I've talked to authors at SQL events who said their book was the hardest working months of 'lost revenue' in their lives. They work to write good material and within days of it being published, it gets pirated.


But I still like and buy good books. Looking at my bookshelf reveals another pattern: Specialization.

SQL has become such a large integrated package it takes multiple books to cover all areas. Among my recent books, I have Itzik Ben-Gan's 'Inside SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Querying' and Bryan Smith's 'SQL Server 2008 MDX'. Other specialty books on my shelf are the Wrox 'Professional' series including SSIS, SSAS and SSRS.

Allen Smith
GHT Data Consulting
http://www.ghtdata.com/


Allen Smith
GHT Data Consulting
http://www.ghtdata.com/
Post #1156079
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 9:39 AM
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I don't usually recommend books as none of my co-workers want anything to do with SQL. That being said I know when i look for books I pretty much go by author reputation. I have Grant's Query Performance book, I'll buy anything by Kalen delaney, Paul Randal or Kimberly Tripp, Itzak ben Gan, Lynn Langit, Joe Sack (I'm not sure if he writes anymore). If I know of the author chances are I follow thier blog and like thier writing style. Most of the books I buy are pretty specialized. I've just picked up Aln hirts Failover Cluster book, General books about SQL are a hard sell for me, I don't need a(nother) book that tells me about CRUD (unless it provides a hideous level of deep details).
Post #1156160
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 11:06 PM
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I have read several books on SQL Server.

I would recommend that a newbie reads books in the following order -

1. Starter - Murach's SQL Server 2008 for developers.

2. Refresher - Itzik Ben Gan's - T-SQL Fundamentals

3. Getting better level... - Ben Gan's Inside T-SQL Querying

4. Still better level - Ben Gan's Inside T-SQL Programming

5. Tuning - SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning by Grant Fritchey.

6. Reference - T-SQL Recipes a problem solution approach - by Joseph Sack

7. Books On-line is great for the first help on any topic!
Post #1156518
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:21 AM


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There are a number of books out there that are worth recommending. To simplify things, I just go straight to a reading list on Amazon provided by Robert Davis.

You can find the list here.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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MCM SQL Server


SQL RNNR

Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Posting Data Etiquette - Jeff Moden
Hidden RBAR - Jeff Moden
VLFs and the Tran Log - Kimberly Tripp
Post #1157025
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:29 AM


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SQLRNNR (8/9/2011)
There are a number of books out there that are worth recommending. To simplify things, I just go straight to a reading list on Amazon provided by Robert Davis.

You can find the list here.


Only 500$ worth of books, what a deal !

/end crappy salesman message



It's a nice list tho!
Post #1157029
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:39 AM


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Ninja's_RGR'us (8/9/2011)
SQLRNNR (8/9/2011)
There are a number of books out there that are worth recommending. To simplify things, I just go straight to a reading list on Amazon provided by Robert Davis.

You can find the list here.


Only 500$ worth of books, what a deal !

/end crappy salesman message


Some you can get significantly cheaper if you go for the 2nd hand version. I got both the mirroring and CLR for under $10 (excluding shipping)



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1157032
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:42 AM


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GilaMonster (8/9/2011)
Ninja's_RGR'us (8/9/2011)
SQLRNNR (8/9/2011)
There are a number of books out there that are worth recommending. To simplify things, I just go straight to a reading list on Amazon provided by Robert Davis.

You can find the list here.


Only 500$ worth of books, what a deal !

/end crappy salesman message


Some you can get significantly cheaper if you go for the 2nd hand version. I got both the mirroring and CLR for under $10 (excluding shipping)


I typically pick one or two off that list at a time and try to make my way through it. I haven't considered the second-hand book option for these though. I should do that.

Here is the second list I try to pick books off of from time to time.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
I have given a name to my pain...
MCM SQL Server


SQL RNNR

Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Posting Data Etiquette - Jeff Moden
Hidden RBAR - Jeff Moden
VLFs and the Tran Log - Kimberly Tripp
Post #1157035
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