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Book Reviews: Database

The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, HTML

May 24, 2004
Ken Henderson, Addison-Wesley 2002
This is the one of the three I find most useful, since I'm basing all my SQL Server development on stored procedures and this Henderson book contains quite a bit about that. It also contains quite a bit about XML and HTML as it relates to SQL Server, and I don't think that is very useful. There are such an enormous amount of incomplete implementations and gotcha's in SQL Server's XML implementation, that I have no urge whatsoever to try to use it. Also, but that's my take on things, I'm not sure it really gives you much of anything to be able to use XML the way it's implemented in this server. (No comments yet)

The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals

May 24, 2004
Ken Henderson, Addison-Wesley 2004
Another Ken Henderson book. These books overlap each other a bit, but not enough to supplant each other. I'm sort of reading all of them at once. (No comments yet)

SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook

May 24, 2004
Ken England, Digital Press 2001
Much more performance oriented than Ken Henderson's books, so it doesn't duplicate the information, but complement them. (No comments yet)

The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL, Ken Henderson

May 20, 2004
Addison-Wesley 2000
The book covers SQL Server 7.0, not even 2000, so you may wonder why I would go out and get a book that seems to be out of date. As I said, you may. I don't care, wonder away. All of Ken Henderson's books (there are three of them, and the other two are waiting on the shelf for my hungry eyes, so we'll talk about them another time) are very good reading on SQL Server. If you want to make a career out of SQL Server programming, I'd deem them requisite reading. Now I'm going off on a tangent... SQL Server programming seems to be a pretty good career, actually. It's of increasing importance for all programming, regardless of platform or language-du-jour. It's also the topic least well known, it seems. In my own opinion, I'm only barely competent in SQL Server, but when I see other people's code, oh my... I'm probably pretty much the top of the sad heap, excluding people like Ken Henderson, Joe Celko, who are again, miles ahead of me (I hate that!). So, it's definitely a moral-boosting thing, knowing more than average about SQL Server. Also not difficult, really. Ok, back to the book. Selfindulgence mode off. Eh... briefly... it's great! (3/2004) (No comments yet)

Inside SQL Server 2000, Delaney

May 20, 2004
MS Press 2001
This is actually the "Inside SQL Server 6.5 (or 6.0 or 7.0) book by Soukup, that has been taken over by Kalen Delaney and updated for 2000. Just as good and necessary as the previous books in the Inside SQL series. The only problem I have with this (and its predecessors) is that they're really weak on covering the security system; the roles, users and more. New stuff like user functions are in this one, making it a must to upgrade the book. (11/2002) (No comments yet)

Transaction Processing, Gray-Reuter

May 20, 2004
Morgan Kaufmann, 1992
A classic. A thousand pages, heavy pages. I'm a third on my way through it and hope to finish it before summer. Since it's a "must-read" I must read it. Seriously, though, it's a good read and I'm learning stuff. I'll let you know how things turn out, happy ending or not. Stay tuned. (2/2001) Meanwhile, I've progressed a bit. The reason for this intermezzo is that I found two pages about "Time Domain Addressing" in there. It didn't go into details, except to mention it exists. It turns out to be what I did in "Audits and Trails", but more. So I feel less of a fringe banana going on about it and, consequently, will go on about it forever from now on. You've been warned. (4/2001).

(11/2002): A year and a half later and it's still on my bedside table. Now I'm two thirds way through it. Just hope life is long enough for this.

(3/2004): Three years later... and it's still on my bedside table. The table has changed over the years, but the book hasn't. Actually, the table hasn't changed, but it moved from one country to the other and the book went back on the table in the new country. I'm three quarters way through it, but now it goes back on the shelf. Life, by the way, also seems to stretch just fine. (No comments yet)

Professional ADO 2.5 Programming, Sussman

May 20, 2004
This I haven't read yet, just leafed through. It's more of a textbook and contains quite a bit on data shaping etc. It could be me, but everytime I actually look for useful info on ADO, I still tend not to find it here but in the ADO 2.1 Reference. (No comments yet)

ADO 2.1 Programmer's reference, Sussman

May 20, 2004
This is the reference manual Mickeysoft should have written on ADO. Everything you really need is really there. One of the books I'm sure to totally wear out. Unless Sussman publishes a 2.5 or later reference before that. (No comments yet)

Inside SQL Server 6.5, Ron Soukup

May 20, 2004
MS Press 1997
A little while back, I was writing procedures and triggers for SQL Server 6.5. This book saved my butt. Almost anytime I ran into problems, it came through with the solution. If Oracle had books like this, I might even like them too. (By the by, this book has been superceded by "Inside SQL Server 2000".) (No comments yet)

Hitchhiker's Guide to VBasic & SQL Server, 5th ed., Vaug

May 20, 2004
MS Press 1997
You should never base yourself on just one book for any significant technology. For SQL Server 6.5, this is the "other one". Especially if you're using any VB or derivative language to program it. Stuff like how to get at stored procedures from VB. You know the kind of thing. (No comments yet)

MS SQL Server 6.5 Programming Unleashed, DeBetta,

May 20, 2004
Sams 1998
I don't much like the "unleashed" or "21 days" series or anything much Sams publishes. It's too much of an instant gratification thing with thick paper, thick tomes, thick letter type, thin substance. This one has a few nuggets of good info, but not much more than Sams average. It's just a measure of my desperation at the time I was working with triggers that I got this one. It was a fairly hairy "three-book situation" for a while, but I made it through. (No comments yet)

Lotus Notes and Domino 4.5, Forlini

May 20, 2004
New Riders, 1997
At that same place they had the SQL Server situation, they also had a Domino server. So I got this real impressive hardcover thing. Great window-stop, which turned out to be its main use ever since. (No comments yet)

OLEDB 2.0 Programmer's Reference and Data Access SDK

May 20, 2004
MS Press 1998
It's one of those books that have probably not been written by a human being but by some browser object with pagination features. Not to worry, this particular copy hasn't been read by a human being either. I have no idea why I bought it. (No comments yet)

ODBC 2.0 Programmer's Reference and SDK Guide

May 20, 2004
MS Press, 1994
The same comments goes for this one as for "OLEDB 2.0 Programmer's Reference". So much so that this morning I still believed this one and the that one were just one book on my shelf. It's not that I don't know the difference between OLEDB and ODBC; I definitely do, since I work in OLEDB. But these two books are so similar in their unhelpfulness that they count for one. (No comments yet)