This book represents a major milestone in a journey that began a few months before the second beta release of SQL Server 2005, which at the time was code-named Yukon. It began with a new model for working with developers. We called this new model Ascend, and it represented a refinement of best practices that my colleague Roger Doherty and I had created or borrowed from others over the past 10 years at Microsoft.
In the beta 1 time frame, we focused most of our energy on helping developers get a leg up on the programmability aspects in this latest release of Microsoft's next-generation data management and analysis software. This included working with the common language runtime (CLR) and .NET integration, native XML, X-Query, and user-defined types. As we approached the second beta release, it was obvious that we needed to expand on our early success with developers and reach out to the DBA community as well as to application developers. Feedback from the first wave of customers and partners working with us in Ascend indicated that we needed to offer high-quality training on the fundamental architecture, administration, and components of SQL Server 2005. That is where Scalability Experts entered the picture. Don Petersen, another long-time colleague of Roger and me, was working on the SQL Server 2005 marketing team. He recommended that Scalability Experts help us build the DBA course for Ascend. After a meeting or two, it was clear that this was a winning strategy, so we plowed forward and built a five-day, deep-dive training workshop for DBAs. This book represents much of what was covered in that course, with the added value of having refined the material over 30 deliveries of our training workshop worldwide.
Organizations today face numerous data challengesfor example, the need for faster and more data-driven decisions, increasing the productivity and flexibility of development staff, and pressure to reduce overall information technology budgets. At the same time, requirements for scaling the infrastructure are constantly increasing. Much of this challenge falls squarely on the shoulders of DBAs. Like the workshop the material was drawn from, this book will help DBAs and application developers learn how to apply the new capabilities of SQL Server 2005 and understand why it will provide greater value and more flexibility, and how it will make enterprise-level features more affordable, scalable, and secure. This book will also help architects understand and better leverage the significant improvements in SQL Server 2005 to design more efficient, more scalable, and more secure solutions.
As this book's title suggests, SQL Server 2005 represents a major change in the way data management and analysis software are viewedand the critical role of the DBA in managing that change. The skill and commitment to quality we experienced while working with Scalability Experts really shows in this book. It is sure to be one of the DBA's best guides to the workings of this exciting new product. Enjoy.
Group Manager, Evangelism Programs
P.S. Congratulations to Scalability Experts on winning the Microsoft Advanced Infrastructure SolutionsData Management specialization excellence award two years in a row (2004 and 2005).