Book Review: SQL Server 2000 Resource Kit

, 2002-08-30

The SQL Server 2000 Resource Kit is a good sized book, more than 1100 pages. I like to begin 

these reviews by listing the chapters, a good way for you to gauge what percentage of a book 

might be of interest to you - here it is:

1 Introducing the SQL Server Resource Kit

2 New Features in SQL 2000

3 Choosing an Edition of SQL Server 2000

4 Choosing How to License SQL Server

5 Migrating Access 2000 Databases to SQL Server 2000

6 Migrating Sybase Databases to SQL Server 2000

7 Migrating Oracle Databases to SQL Server 2000

8 Managing Database Change

9 Storage Engine Enhancements

10 Implementing Security

11 Using Blobs

12 Failover Clustering

13 Log Shipping

14 Data Center Availability: Facilities, Staffing, and Operations

15 High Availability Options

16 Five Nines: The Ultimate in High Availability

17 Data Warehouse Design Considerations

18 Using Partitions in SQL Server 2000 Data Warehouse

19 Data Extraction, Transformation, and Loading Techniques

20 RDBMS Performance Tuning Guide for Data Warehousing

21 Monitoring the DTS Multiphase Data Pump in Visual Basic

22 Cubes in the Real World

23 Business Case Solutions Using MDX

24 Effective Strategies for Data Mining

25 Getting Data to the Client

26 Performance Tuning Analysis Services

27 Creating an Interactive Digital Dashboard

28 A Digital Dashboard Browser for Analysis Services Meta Data

29 Common Questions in Replication

30 Creating Merge Replication Custom Conflict Resolvers using Visual Basic

31 Exposing SQL Server Data to the Web with XML

32 English Query Best Practices

33 The Data Tier: An Approach to Database Optimization

34 Identifying Common Administrative Issues

35 Using Visual Basic to Remotely Manage SQL Server

36 Using Views with a View on Performance

37 Extending Triggers with INSTEAD OF

38 Scaling Out on SQL Server

I didn't read the entire book. No current need to know how to upgrade from Sybase or Oracle! I 

also don't do much work with Analysis Services so I skipped those chapters as well. The chapters 

I did read were clear and easy to follow. Rather than give you a chapter by chapter review, I'll 

tell you about a couple things that I found very useful.

Chapter 8 on Manage Database Change was very good. Think of it as a 'Best Practices for a DBA' 

chapter. The authors provide an excellent discussion of the role of the DBA in development. I was 

pleased to see them state that the DBA should NOT be a roadblock to development, something I 

think that happens far too often. They also presented some ideas about managing the transition 

from development to quality assurance to production. The concept of using scripts to apply all 

changes to the database was covered well along with the need to have a solid implementation and 

rollback plan. Read this chapter!

Chapter 35 is a short chapter that focuses on using DMO and SQL Namespace to perform 

administrative tasks. They provide the SQL Junior Administrator application on CD and discuss 

portions of it in the chapter. The premise for this app is that you want a way to let less 

skilled or experienced members of your team do certain tasks but not others. This particular one 

lets the user create logins, run a backup, even change columns in a table. As written I don't how 

useful you'll find the application, but you may find some value in using it as a starting place. 

More importantly, it'll get you thinking about how you could apply the idea to your own 

situation. For example, where I work we frequently create new databases and set up transactional 

replication. I've written a small application similiar to the Junior Administrator that creates 

the database on both publisher and subscriber, sets up replication, enforces db naming 

conventions, and even does some other configuration tasks related to the application that will be 

using the database. This app lets me heavily restrict what the user can do, keeps me from being 

the bottleneck, and it gets done exactly right each time! DBA nirvana.

Chapter 11 on Blobs was interesting too. Lots of good details about how blobs are stored and the 

pros & cons of using the text in row option. They also discussed how TerraServer uses blobs - 

good reading! 

The book includes a CD with an electronic copy of the book and a bunch of additional tools. I'll 

mention a couple of the tools here, we'll be publishing reviews of some of them over the next 

couple months.

Bulk Image Insert (BII) BCP for images!
Simple Log Shipper Very useful if you aren't running Enterprise Edition
Stored Procedure Builder Extracts scripts from SourceSafe and applies them

It's a pretty good book - I'll rate it a solid 4. Audience on this one is probably intermediate 

to advanced DBA's. Note to MSDN Universal Subscribers, as far as I know this material will not be 

included in the subscription. Book sells for $69.99 retail, cheaper at Fatbrain!

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