Most helpful critical review
XML is completely absent
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....