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Review of SQL Server 2000 Programming

By: James Crowley
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Review OfProfessional SQL Server 2000 Programming

SQL Server 2000 Programming claims to be a comprehensive guide to SQL Server 2000, and at a hefty 1390 pages, you can't argue with that. Being a programming guide, it concentrates only on issues that affect an SQL Server developer, but it still covers topics such as Database Administration to a reasonable level.

The book begins with a brief history of databases, the different editions of SQL Server 2000 available, and the pros and cons of the different architectures, such as 2 tier, n-Tier, and a brief mention of .NET. Finally the chapter covers the massive array of data access models, including ADO, ODBC, OLE DB, and JDBC.

Chapter 2 essentially serves as an overview of the rest of the book, covering database objects (tables, views, stored procedures, event logs, diagrams, filegroups, users, user-defined data types and full-text catalogs). Already you start to get a feel of how extensive this book is going to be. Fortunately, the author's style ensures you are not overloaded with information all at once.

In the next chapter, we get an introduction of all the various tools included with MS SQL Server 2000; an area which is often neglected. The next few chapters cover the foundations of T-SQL (the version of SQL used in MS SQL SERVER), and then covers the creation of tables, joining tables, and constraints, both using T-SQL, and the Adminstration MMC.

We then get introduced to design issues that the developer needs to take into consideration, including data normalization and table relationships. The book continues in a similar style for the next few chapters, taking an in-depth look at Index structures, views, stored procedures, user-defined functions, transactions, triggers, advanced queries and sql cursors.

Given the growing importance of XML, and the fact that SQL Server 2000 includes some considerable advances in this arena, the author includes 2 chapters on this, covering the basics of XML, and then goes on to the integration of XML with SQL Server.

The rest of the book continues to cover Data Transformation Services, Replication, Advanced Design, Analysis Services, Full-text indexing, creating an English Query application, Security, Performance Tuning, Administration, and finally an extensive reference section in the back listing both standard and system functions.

The whole book is written in an accessible style, and has an extensive index for those just wanting to dip in and out. Whenever the author explains anything, plenty of examples are included, making it easy to get to grips with.

Those taking a Microsoft Certification in MS SQL Server 2000, will be interested to know that the author himself is involved in setting the Microsoft exam, and this book does cover the majority of topics in this exam, but as the author says, this book is far from being an exam-cram!

Anyone needing to get to grips with SQL Server 2000 for their development projects, even if they have no previous experience of using SQL Server, will find this book immensly useful. However, given it's size (almost 1400 pages), it is far from a 'Learn SQL Server 2000 Programming in 24 hours' style book. The book is both thorough and extensive, and leaves no stone unturned.

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