on May 26, 2004
I usually prefer the Sybex books than the Microsoft books. But this book is really good. It is the best complement for the Self Paced Book. I wasn't ready for the exam until I finished this book. This book contains information useful not only for the exam but also for the real life.
I passed the exam two days ago and passed with 893.
I recommend this book for guys with SQL intermediate skills. Advanced user may find more useful the BOL, but maybe some samples will be useful. Beginners won't understand some sections.
This book uses examples to explain the theory (I love to learn using this way).
This book complements the SELF PACED training kit book in the following areas :
Accessing to data
Retrieve, filter, group, summarize, and modify data by using Transact-SQL.
Manage result sets by using cursors and Transact-SQL. Considerations include locking models and appropriate usage.
Analyze the query execution plan. Considerations include query processor operations and steps.
on November 3, 2003
As the author of SQL Server book, I would not hesitate to recommend Kalen Delaney's book or any of her seminars. Her book is a reference work that I keep handy on my shelf. Each time I hear her speak I am impressed with her knowledge and her ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.
Every published book serves a specific purpose - Inside SQL Server's purpose is to illuminate the internal architecture of SQL Server so that developers and admins can make better educated decisions and develop better databases. Within that purpose her book is excellent and well written.
Is it all things to all people? no. Does it do an excellent job of meeting its purpose? without question, yes. There are some reader reviews that seem to criticize Kalen's work for not meeting other needs, and I don't understand these comments. If you need a general SQL, T-SQL programming tutorial, XML/SQL, or introductory SQL Server book, Inside SQL Server is probably too focused on the internal workings of SQL Server and I'd recommend that you begin with one of the other excellent books on SQL Server. But, if you want to get deeper into the internals so you understand why you're writing code or tuning indexes, then there can be no question that Kalan's book is a must have on your shelf. Sooner or later, if you're serious about SQL Server, you should read this book.
on November 6, 2002
This book is very comprehensive and discusses, without wasting any space, what you should know if you want to call yourself expert in your role as a SQL Server DBA or even developer. You can find most of the information by using other Microsoft sources, mainly Books Online (BOL), but choosing between the two, I prefer the book thanks to it's pedagogical approach. It's also my first choice as a reference so I try to keep it within arms reach at all times.
As others have claimed, the coverage of the new features in SQL Server 2000 isn't complete, but neither is coverage of the old features. This is just a matter of limited space and doesn't affect my rating of the book since it covers the most important stuff and does it really well. If you already own the SQL Server 7 version of this book, the 2000 version might not add much value to you though.
SQL Server is a huge subject, not possible to cover completely in 1,000 pages. By the end of the book, the author has included a thorough list of suggested additional reading and he stresses the importance of also reading the SQL Server documentation, cover to cover.
I found this book to be the best I've read about the inner workings of SQL Server 2000 and have enjoyed it together with Ken England's SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook which fills in some gaps for those performance-oriented.
Brilliant as this book is, you still need to complement it with experience and Books Online to master SQL Server and all it's nitty-gritty details.
on November 27, 2001
This book is packed with vital information for SQL Server developers. Much of the information here is available nowhere else -- and much of the rest of it can be found only by exhaustive searches through Microsoft archives.
In addition, some of the material -- the section on locking comes first to mind -- is explained better in this book than anywhere else I've seen (and I have a wide shelf of SQL Server books.
Perhaps the book can be criticized because it doesn't try to cover every last feature in the product. But it could not, at least not in the depth that Delaney digs into the topics she does address. And the topics she covers are at the core of getting good performance from SQL Server and are crucial for writing high-performance applications. There are many books on the market that cover the whole product superficially -- this isn't one of those books, thankfully. Perhaps in the next edition, less space could be devoted to the TSQL language (many other books cover this well) and used to broaden the coverage in other areas -- but that's a minor quibble.
If you are a SQL Server developer and are only going to buy one book on SQL Server, this should be it.
on August 26, 2001
This is a great book! As someone who also manages Sybase databases and Mssql 6.5-7-2000 databases I have a good understanding of the internals. None of the automatic configurations in SQL are in Sybase. This book really adds and takes away from the book of the same title for sql 7. This is all that Microsoft did so if you are looking for a book that is going to be ALL BRAND NEW LITTLE WORDS WITH ALL BRAND NEW FEATURES then ask yourself this question. Is SQL 2000 a complete rewrite of the 7.0 code? The answer is NO! Therefore stop belittleing the author this book gives exactly what you are promised... the internals of sql 2000. They are significantly different from sql7 but there are alot of similarities. READ THE BOOK COVER TO COVER!!! You will then see what the author is trying to get accross. For me and my team this book is an indespensible tool to optimize sql 2000 with. If you know how it works then you will not be surprised when a new physical and logical architecture works and the old one did not even though it may be very similar. Simply put in my opinion any DBA that snubbs his nose at this reference is just exactly why Microsoft certified personnel have a bad reputation. Sure you can pass a test but can you maximize the throughput on queries in a Data Warehouse when you are dealing with tables that are 20+ Gb. For that matter can you put together the architecture that best serves the hardware config that you have to deal with because someone else bought it. Understanding the internals is all here... I recommend to you also Professional SQL 2000 database design. While this review is not ment to offend anyone it is ment to awaken you to something so important that no DBA can afford to overlook. The internals. Got Milk? Get it here from Kalen.
on August 3, 2001
As someone who already has alot of experience with the product, it's very nice indeed to have a book that covers the internals as well as this book does.
I guess it's important to understand that this is not a book for newcomers to SQL Server, nor is it a "how-to" book. This book is useful when you want to know what happens to your database when you perform an INSERT on a table with a clustered key. It tells you how the TEXT fields are stored, which allows a DBA to make an intelligent decision about when and if to use such a field. I obviously could go on and on. As far as I can tell, this is the *only* book out there that will give you that kind of information.
Since this isn't a sequel or trilogy, I was expecting that there would be some redundancy between the 7.0 and 2000 version of the book simply because that same redundancy exists in the real product!
If you are already an experienced DBA and are looking for an understanding of the internals so as to make better tuning decisions, then by all means,get this book. If you're new to SQL Server and you stiil don't know the difference between WHERE and HAVING, then you may be disappointed in this book, because it's not going to teach you how to use the EM and QA.
on July 31, 2001
I would also disagree with the negative reviews here that rate the book at one or two stars. It is no where near that bad.
I am an experienced Oracle DBA who needs to support new SQL Server database applications in my company (a relatively new and unavoidable trend) so my concerns were questions concerning the history of the product, the memory and file architecture and internals, the support tools, the SQL interface, the optimizer, the database objects, etc. This books provides all this information and more.
If you are looking for a step-by-step installation and/or maintenace guide with lots of screen graphics or a design or special feature book (XML, etc), this is not the one for you. If that is the case it is not the fault of the writer. The book's front cover clearly says "The definitive guide to the architecture and internals of the premier enterprise class RDBMS" (a very debatable but not misleading statement). On this point the book definitely delivers. For the experienced DBA, it is well organized and not at all badly written.
on July 22, 2001
First of all, let me strongly disagree with low rates that some other reviewers gave to this book. I don't think it's correct to lower the rating just because the contents didn't change much since "Inside SQL Server 7". SQL Server 2000 is very much like SQL Server 7.0 (adding XML is the only major difference). It's a companion to the product, so it should be just a next iteration of "Inside SQL Server" series.
Then it seems that some reviewers probably expected to find how to program SQL Server using ADO, XML, ODBC etc, and instead only found a description of internals. While I agree that the books should have covered XML implementation better, I'd remind that the title of the book is "INSIDE SQL Server"! And I was really pleased with how much of SQL Server internals were exposed to the general public.
Perhaps I liked the book so much because I'm working now on a propriatary database implementation, and for me it was really useful to learn how SQL Server is implemented. But any serious database developer should understand how query execution is planned, how records are locked, and what is a performance and storage cost of certain operations. And all these topics are presented in a best possible way.
on June 17, 2001
If you're looking to really understand the core engine of SQL Server and how to optimize your code, this is a really good book. If you're a database architect, this book may be a little too microscopic for you, lacking in design strategy. Surprisingly, I think this is actually a great book for the DBA - the discussions on the underlying mechanics are second to none.
This book is named very appropriately. The author does an excellent job detailing what goes on under the hood of SQL Server. As an example, she exposes the details of the Bulk Change Map pages in database files and how they work in relationship with the Bulk Logged recovery mode, new to SQL Server 2000. It's one thing to read and memorize what can and can't be accomplished in Bulk Logged recovery mode, but it's a totally different feeling being enlightened on why it works the way it works. There are many core principles in how SQL Server operates that the author describes in detail.
Here what I wished to have seen more coverage on: 1. Replication - this book does not cover replication. There are other books that show you how to point and click (I guess those point-and-click picture books will be called "Outside SQL Server 2000"), but none I've seen go into the "Inside" level. 2. Distributed Partitioned Views - This book shows how to create a distributed partitioned views, but it stops there. There are very important design considerations such as knowing where to place your data so as to minimize joins across the network. 3. Indexed Views - Same as distributed partitioned views - ends at the "how to create". I'd like to see how it works under the hood. 4. One way to classify this book is that it is very "server-centric". Many of us work on systems of database servers that work in concert under the application layer. I'd like to see more inter-server ("system-centric") insights.
It really wouldn't be fair for me to ask for clustering or log shipping in this book - those really aren't developer issues. Clustering is much more of a Windows 2000 feature than a SQL Server feature. If you're interested in clustering or log shipping, check out the SQL Server 2000 Admin Companion and the SQL Server 2000 Resource Kit.
Given the microscopic details packed into about 1000 pages, I found myself relying on Books Online for supplement. Many times, however, this book is actually more in depth than Books Online. I do agree with a few other reviewers that there's a lot of similarity with the version 7.0 of this book; however, there are many aspects of the products that are the same as well. If you really read the two books, though, you'll find that the 2000 version of the book is actually more in depth than the 7.0 version.
on May 27, 2001
I consider myself an expert SQL Server Database Administrator and hold the MCDBA, MCSE, and MCSD certifications. I consult on VLDB projects for IBM, EDS, and many others.
I recently picked up this book in hopes of getting up to speed with the latest version of Microsoft's award-winning DBMS. Those hopes were quickly dashed as I compared the previous edition with this one and realized they were largely the same.
The biggest hole is the complete lack of XML coverage. You cannot deny that XML is central to SQL Server, and more generally, to Microsoft's future plans (ever hear of .NET?) I suppose we could debate whether XML is "inside" enough to warrant coverage in a book like this, but I'd argue that it definitely is. The support was added to the server itself. You access the XML features from Transact-SQL, which the book makes a half-hearted attempt to cover. For my money, XML should have been covered in this book and covered in-depth.
But XML's absence isn't the only problem with the book. There's no coverage of high-availability topics like clustering, log shipping, and advanced backup/restore options. Instead, the book has only been minorly updated from the previous (version 7.0) edition.
All told, the book has major problems....