5.0 out of 5 stars
It always goes with me, Dec 24 2000
Many SQL Server books give you the same information included already in Books Online. Perhaps with different words, or different order, but nothing completely new. Inside SQL Server 2000 is an excellent complement for Books Online, TechNet and MSDN. It covers similar topics, but it digs into the internal operations, explaining how SQL Server actually works, with unique information only available in this book.
I always want to know how things work internally, because it helps me to understand the behaviour of a system. In many cases, the published interface doesn't tell you exactly how the system work, and it could drive you to some misunderstandings. Here is where Inside SQL Server helps you. Kalen's unique access to the Dev team, she even has a desk in the same building as the dev team, gives her an unique position to write about the deepest features, and if you add her excellent teaching skills, you can get this unique result, where the hardest topics can be learned in an unusually easy way.
Chapter 3 "SQL Server Architecture" is a gem altogether. I couldn't do my work without it.
The "Internal Storage" section from Chapter 6 "Tables" is a classic, with renewed information for SQL Server 2000. As a SQL Server instructor, I don't see how I could teach without this information.
Chapter 8 "Indexes" has been modified a lot, to cover in a deeper detail the structure of SQL Server 2000 indexes. It helps you to understand why the Query Optimizer selects one specific query plan, and how SQL Server access data through indexes.
Chapter 9 "Modifying Data" is another special part of this book. If you want to know how page split works, how SQL deletes, updates and insert rows, and you want to see what actually happens inside the data page, this is your chapter, as it is "my" chapter.
However, the best part of this book, in my opinion, is the last part: "Performance and Tuning". You can argue that this is not a section for every database administrator or programmer, but if any SQL Server professional wants to convert a database system into an excellent system, this section is a must. Kalen has been involved in the creation of the excellent SQL Server Performance Tuning courses for versions 6.5 (MOC 665) and 7.0 (MOC 2013) and this section covers in great detail all the main topics a serious SQL Server professional should know.
If you are new to SQL Server, buy another book first, and learn as much as possible. Once you think you know everything about it, buy Inside SQL Server, and you will see how much you still have to learn.