At the beginning of this year, my introductory text to SQL Server, appropriately titled Introduction to SQL Server, became available for sale. The book is intended to be useful for someone new to SQL Server, typically an end user who is faced with getting data out of Microsoft SQL Server. In this text we had four main goals:
- Introduce SQL Server in a good light to those who are new to it.
- Introduce basic SQL queries for those who have never worked with the language before.
- Show some of the built-in features for SQL Server (and its stack) to report on data contained within a SQL Server database.
- Show some of the other tools you can use (like Microsoft Office and Quest's Toad) to make your experience with SQL Server easier.
If you're a hard core DBA or developer, then there isn't a whole lot new in this text for you. But every one of us knows end users who are new to SQL Server or who could benefit from an introductory book. That latter segment is who the target audience is. A lot of it is born out of mine and Bert Scalzo's experience trying to support and help folks new to a database platform, especially our specialty (Bert wrote the original book for Oracle and we adapted this one to make it SQL Server specific). In many cases it can be frustrating trying to learn a new technology and often times a simple book with some exampes can make things easier and give a person the confidence to try and figure it out. That's what this book is for.
For those who are interested, here is the Table of Contents:
- Terminology: Introducing basic database and SQL Server specific definitions
- Preparation: How to connect; how to create an ODBC connection
- SQL Server Management Studio: How to use SQL Server Management Studio (especially the GUI interface).
- Database Objects: Understanding tables and how they work.
- Basic SQL: Basic transactions, SELECT (including WHERE), INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE (one table)
- Advanced SQL: ORDER BY, GROUP BY, HAVING, DISTINCT, and joins
- SQL Server Reporting Services: How to use the web interface and running through building a report using the wizard.
- TOAD: How to use Quest's Toad with SQL Server.
- Microsoft Office: How to use Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access with SQL Server.
- Database Sandbox: How to install your own copy of SQL Server Express.