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SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2 – My Review

Volume 1 was packed full of knowledge and a very welcome edition to my bookshelf! With the bar already set high, how then would SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2 fair?

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Variety is The Spice of Life

For those new to the MVP Deep Dive titles, the books are a wonderful collection of individually themed chapters, each authored by a different Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server. The authors write on a specific theme of their own choosing, ensuring a delightfully diverse content range within the SQL Server subject space.

SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2 is split into 5 core parts:

  1. Architecture
  2. Database Administration
  3. Database Development
  4. Performance Tuning and Optimization
  5. Business Intelligence

As Data Professionals, we all know that the breadth of our subject domain is far too great for any one person to truly master. This book provides a unique perspective to learning about SQL Server by bringing together the chosen works of MVPs, who are each highly skilled in their own respective areas. The only rule set out was that it must not have been covered in the previous volume, so it’s all new content again this time!

With such a wealth of content on offer there really is something new and interesting to learn in this book for every Data Professional.

My Highlights

Regular readers of the blog will know that I’m a Database Administrator at heart and although I have dabbled in the dark arts of BI (on perhaps a few too many occasions for my liking), my preferred area of interest is with the former.

With such a rich variety of content to feast upon, here are just a few of the chapters that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Multi server management (Rodney Landrum) – An essential read for DBAs that work in large environments. Tips on how to make life easier, of course are always great to read!
  • Over Normalization ( Chris Shaw ) – This piqued my interest because I see it out in the field an awful lot and I’d often wondered how many data professionals actually take it into consideration.
  • Storage Design Considerations (Denny cherry) – The man needs no introduction and with such a wealth of enterprise scale experience, I’m always intrigued to read his work.
  • T-SQL Bad Habits to Kick – (Aaron Bertrand) – How many of these are you (sorry I mean your developers) guilty of?
  • Performance Tuning Tips for UDFS (Kevin Boles) – Again, something of a performance tuning essential is shared here as it’s something that I see on consulting engagements a lot.

My Verdict

Different authors obviously have different styles of writing and with 60 MVPs involved it’s certainly an eclectic mix. Jam packed full of SQL Server goodness and with something here to appeal to all tastes, I consider SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2 a must have title for Every DBAs Bookshelf.

Comment on Community

I honestly cannot express enough just how awesome our community is. You’ll often hear folks talking about it as a #sqlfamily because of the character, dynamic and phenomenal spirit found within. This book is another great example of what #sqlfamily is all about. Sixty sql community members coming together to share their knowledge and give back to the community by supporting the children of Operation Smile.

Those super nice folks over at Manning Publications generously sent me a copy of the book, that I may share my thoughts on it here with you. It only seemed fitting then to make a donation of my own to Operation Smile.

If you would like to find out more about Operation Smile or to make a donation please visit their website.

John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (Blog | Twitter) is a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) of SQL Server and publisher of the free SQL community ebook DBA JumpStart, an inspiring collection of advice for Data Professionals, written by 20 SQL Server experts. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor(MCC) award, John is a prolific blogger and can be found regularly writing about SQL Server and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.


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