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Review of SQL Server 2000 Programming (MSPress)

By Andy Warren,

This is a book for beginners. I work with two junior developers who have a lot of questions, so I tried to evaluate this book thinking "would this be a good book to suggest they read/use?".

It's an easy to read book. Large type, tons of screenshots that accompany the text. Perfect for someone learning Enterprise Manager and a little confused by some of the dialogs. It also doesn't delve deeply into any one subject, giving the reader just enough information in each area to get started, then moving on. About the only thing I noticed that was excluded was coverage of Profiler and really I can't argue with that - you have to really understand a lot of basic stuff before it makes sense to work with Profiler.

There were a couple things that disappointed me. One was not mentioning the importance of using 'set nocount on' in procedures. The other was about Begin/End blocks. They were mentioned, but I didn't see an explanation of the requirement to use them if you're going to execute multiple statements inside an if block - pretty important and a pretty common stumble for new users.

You can see the table of contents, index, and a sample chapter here. It's 720 pages (lots of pictures), runs about $34 at Amazon.

Balancing the pros and cons and going back to plan for evaluating in the context of the junior developers, I'll rate this one four stars out of five. I plan to take a look at a couple other entry level books soon, that should give me a better feel for how the book compares in it's class.

Our thanks to Microsoft Press for providing us with a copy of the book for review. We'll be giving it away to a lucky reader in an upcoming contest!

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