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SQL Server 2005: Changing the Paradigm

By Robert Pearl,

A book review by Robert Pearl

Now that SQL Server 2005 has finally been released, and the Ready to Launch tour is all behind us, as is the SQL Server Up & Running tour. Although the name implies that were all well-versed in everything SQL2K5, and all our systems have been converted over, if youre like most DBAs and the companies they work for, youve barely scratched the surface, or even deployed your first instance of Microsofts SQL2K5. Come on folks, service pack 1 is out, so no excuses. There is no doubt that SQL2K5 is the way of the future, so its time to start sooner, rather than later and get up to speed, and yes, up and running.

As you already know, SQL 2005 is no longer just a RDMS, but an end-to-end database, development and business intelligence platform. The breadth of changes in style, form and substance, as well as the countless materials out there on the topic, are enough to make ones head spin and understandably difficult to know where to start. In addition, one wonders what the implications are for businesses and the people in the IT field they employ, particularly the DBA. This is something that actually addressed in the beginning of the book.

Theres a lot to learn, so if youre looking for some much needed guidance and a way to dive in and find out about all these changes I have a great resource for you!

Changing the Paradigm is an in-depth comprehensive and well thought out book that is sure to please. Developed by one of Microsofts leading SQL Server specialist partners, Scalability Experts, Inc, it is available in paperback and published by SAMs.

Indeed, it is a definitive reference for understanding core functionality and new features of SQL Server 2005. This practical and in-depth guide is packed full of technical details, code samples, and best practices to help you maximize the performance and productivity of the premier relational database management system. This book does a great job of discussing all aspects SQL2K5, and deftly lays out in amazing detail the revolutionary changes in its architecture and internals.

Although written and published before the release of SQL Server 2005, based on beta 2, it is every bit as relevant now that it is RTM. Meant to give professionals an inside track on the future of the Microsoft relational database platform, the product and its enhanced capabilities, as well as its tremendous impact on business intelligence and the database industry, the book is worth every penny, and a must-have in your technical library.

There is a mountain of information here and yet is well organized into chapters and sections that will easily guide the reader to the relevant place. Surprisingly for a book that deals intricately with technical detail, it flows quite nicely, and is easily understandable by veteran SQL Server users, and newbies alike.

In fact, I just recently needed to put together a SQL Server 2005 presentation for the entire technology team at a client of mine. This team is comprised of DBAs, Infrastructure, Developers, Managers, Project Associates, Business Analysts, and to top off the pyramid the CIO of the company. The presentation was before a few dozen people ranging from non-technical to know-it-all gurus (and did I mention the CIO? I guess he falls under the non-technical category ;-)

As Scalability Experts are apt to point out, SQL Server 2005 is a new paradigm, one that brings something for everyone. So, how was I to bring something to everyone in less than the 2-hours I had to talk about SQL Server 2005? Well obviously, Id have to be very high-level, yet detailed enough to keep everyones interest. I decided to focus on talking about the new features and enhancements. So after surfing the internet to find some way to compact this information, I finally took a look at Changing the Paradigm, specifically, Chapter 4. This chapter, A Tour of New Features, is a marvelous summary of just about every feature new to SQL Server 2005. Consider this chapter the gateway to everything you wanted to know about SQL2K5, and were afraid to ask.

Summarizing the details on this fine book:

This powerhouse reference covers the entire breadth of SQL Server 2005 features including XML, SOA, .NET, business intelligence, administration, scalability, reliability, security, performance, and high-availability. The book opens by providing an overview of the paradigm shift across the database industry introduced by SQL Server 2005 that redefines the roles and responsibilities of DBAs. From there, the book proceeds chronologically through every key innovation and feature introduced by SQL Server 2005, its significance to both users and administrators and the philosophy behind the design decisions. Although designed as a comprehensive survey of the SQL Server 2005 platform, this book's individual chapters are also well suited for quick look-up of specific information.

I think its interesting to note, that the writing style reflects the passion in which the folks at Scalability Experts have been evangelizing the benefits of SQL 2005 at tours and lectures across the country, long before its actual release, and that is something that comes through the pages and makes this book an easy read and a great work. It is an intelligent reference that answers many questions and makes transitioning to SQL Server 2005 that much easier for DBAs and technical professionals.

In addition, to aid in this transition from SQL Server 2000 to 2005, available on their site is the SQL Server Upgrade Assistant, a FREE tool licensed from Microsoft that you can use to verify how well an application designed to operate on SQL Server 2000 will function when the database is upgraded to SQL Server 2005.

Much of the detail covered in the book was the similar to the material used at the SQL Road shows in 2005, which I wrote about appearing on this site. I also interviewed Raj Gill, co-founder and CTO of Scalability Experts, who spoke in-depth about the highly anticipated release of SQL Server 2005, and many others things you may find of interest. You can see read this interview in my previously published series On The Road Again, Part I and Part II.

For more information on the book, and how to order it today, you can go to the site here: Changing the Paradigm and also download sample code and chapters. Enjoy!

Written by: Robert Pearl, President
Pearl Knowledge Solutions, Inc.


Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved.

Note: Not to be reprinted or published without express permission of the author.

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