This is the definitive companion to Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. Ron Soukup and Kalen Delaney offer the joint perspective of the developer and the user in an extremely readable presentation. Ron led the SQL Server development team for a decade . Kalen has been working with the application designers and developers for almost that long. This is their guide to why SQL Server is the way it is and how it should be used. This book perfectly complements the reference material in SQL Server Books Online.
The book begins with the inside story of how the PC database giant Ashton-Tate partnered with Microsoft and then-startup Sybase to bring SQL to the OS/2 marketplace . The book goes on to trace the incredible history of the product and the partners . Ron and Kalen's firsthand account makes this a must-read . I cannot think of a more amazing story in our industry.
This book then takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of SQL Server, describing the key features and pointing out some highlights. It looks "under the hood" and describes how SQL Server works inside. Novice users might find this information too detailed, but it lays the groundwork for much that follows .
The book goes on to explain how to design for SQL Servergiving sage advice on application design, database design, physical data layout, and performance tuning. Ron and Kalen base their advice on having watched customers use (and misuse) the product for many years . SQL Server and the Microsoft Windows NT environment are unique in many ways. Although the book covers the standard design issues, it focuses primarily on the features that are unique to SQL Server. Incidental to this, Ron and Kalen show many of the pitfalls and common errors that designers and programmers make. They also impart their wisdom on what makes for both good and bad database design. Anyone planning to perform an implementation using SQL Server would do well to read this book first.
This book covers virtually all the extensions that SQL Server has made to the standard SQL language. Ron and Kalen take pride in describing these features. They often explain why these features were introduced, how they compare to the competition, and how they work. This book is not an SQL tutorial, but it does an excellent job of covering the intermediate and advanced features of SQL and SQL Server. The descriptions are accompanied by detailed examples that are included on the companion CD.
The book also explains how to install, administer, and tune SQL Server. The chapters covering these topics contain essential information that I had never seen explained anywhere else. It is very easy to get started with SQL Serverperhaps too easy. Some customers just install it and start using it without thinking much. Ron and Kalen walk the designer through capacity planning; hardware acquisition; Windows NT, network, and RAID configuration; SQL Server installation and licensing; security policies; operations procedures; performance measurement; and performance tuning. The book provides a valuable checklist for anyone planning to set up or operate a SQL Server system.
You'll find several chapters devoted to understanding performance, concurrency, and recovery issues. Throughout the book, you'll notice an emphasis on designing for client-server and Internet environments. In these environments, the server must process business-rules (stored procedures) or set-oriented requests, rather than record-at-a-time requests . The book explains both traditional Transact -SQL stored procedures, as well as user-defined external procedures and OLE Automation procedures.
Ron and Kalen give a clear picture of how SQL Server transactions work. The book first presents tutorial material on the ACID properties, isolation levels, and locking. It then explains how SQL Server performs locking, logging, checkpointing, and recovery. It also explains how SQL Server uses the Windows NT Cluster feature for high availability. This presentation is exceptionally clear. Understanding these issues is crucial to designing high-traffic and high-availability SQL Servers.
Ron and Kalen have constructed the essential companion to SQL Server. This firsthand account of how SQL Server works, why it works that way, and how to use it will be an invaluable reference for administrators and designers alike. We are all glad Ron and Kalen took the time to write this book. I certainly learned a lot from it, and I know you will too.
Microsoft San Francisco Research Lab