SQL Server has always distinguished itself by, among other things, its management tools. One of the earliest design principles for the team was "It just works." We accomplished this by replacing the usual database knobs and levers with intelligent defaults and adaptive behavior. We never felt that we could or should remove all administrator control. Instead we delivered Enterprise Manager in SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000. Enterprise Manager grew a huge fan base over the years. So it was with some trepidation that we undertook a massive rewrite, yielding SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in SQL Server 2005.
The most nerve-wracking experience for software developers is receiving the user initial feedback on a new product or feature. We released an early version of SSMS in SQL Server 2005 Beta 1. You might recall this as Yukon Beta 1. When we received the summary of an early user survey, we were delighted to find SSMS as the most liked new feature in the beta release. At the same time, we were mortified to also find it as the most disliked feature!
Getting past our bewilderment, we realized that we were getting incredible feedback from our users. In fact, we found out that we had two distinct user populations. We had taken our management tools in the direction of supporting DBAs as developers in addition to administrators. The feedback told us we were on the right track, but that we had serious work to do. The users that felt like developersthat is, those that wrote and maintained scripts, schemas, stored procedures and other objectsloved the new paradigms in the product. This affirmed our assumptions and research. The users that felt like administratorsthat is, they worried about users and user access, backup and restore and other operationshated the new paradigms. We had assumed that most DBAs were both developers and administrators. With the amazing growth of SQL Server, it is not surprising that DBAs have specialized.
Armed with user feedback, we made substantial changes to SQL Server Management Studio. Your authors were in the thick of the action. They shaped the feature set and the user interface you use when you manage your SQL Server. They know the tool set inside and out. I had the privilege of working with them for five years. I'm delighted to see them write this book and deliver their insights, their advice, and a behind the scenes perspective.
Several chapters stand out. Chapter 4 covers administration, vital to keeping your server running optimally and securely. DBAs receive constant requests to move data for users. SQL Server 2005 features Integration Services, the successor to Data Transformation Services. Chapter 16 covers this new and improved tool. And as the guy who drove Business Intelligence in SQL Server, I of course recommend the coverage of this topic in Chapter 13. BI is growing rapidly in our industry. Even if you are not engaged in BI, this chapter is worth your time. You will be getting requests for Business Intelligence in the future.
Enjoy this book, and enjoy SQL Server 2005!