Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Optimization Guide

Book Review

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Optimization Guide
by Jenney Lynne Fields
Copyright 2001
Prentice Hall

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Optimization Guide Find out more about this book,
or purchase it, from Amazon.com

With each new release of SQL Server, there are more and more books published on how to performance tune and optimize SQL Server. So far there have been three performance-related books published or announced for publication for SQL Server 2000. This was the first one to be released.

First of all, let’s take a look of what this books offers. In a nutshell, the book has been designed to teach you how SQL Server works under the covers and to show you how to performance tune and optimize SQL Server. Here are the topics that are covered:

  • Overview of SQL Server 2000

  • The Storage Engine

  • Query Processor

  • Hardware Considerations

  • Implementing High Availability Solutions

  • Application Considerations

  • Performance Tuning with Windows NT/2000 Tools

  • Monitoring and Configuring SQL Server

  • Automating SQL Server Tasks

  • SQL Server Profiler

  • SQL Server Query Analyzer

  • Index Tuning Wizard

So how come I think you should pass on this book? Right away when reading the book, I get the impression that the book was originally written for SQL Server 7.0, then later rewritten for SQL Server 2000. I might be wrong on this (I didn’t ask the author), but that’s the feeling I got. I noticed on several occasions the author got confused (or perhaps it was bad editing) about SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, and how each one worked. Sometimes 7.0 is discussed, other times 2000 is discussed, and other times both are discussed together. In many cases this may be appropriate, but I sometimes got lost about which version was being discussed, and as I said before, I ran across some mistakes. Nothing big mind you, but enough to bother me.

Another aspect about the book that bothered me is that it is not detailed enough in many of its explanations. I like detail (for example, like the detail you find in Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000), and it just was not there. I would also have liked to have seen more illustrations.

In addition, the book had very few examples. I learn by doing, and examples help me to better master technical content.

The book appears to be designed for DBA (administrator types) not for SQL developers. There was little material in the book of direct interest to SQL developers, especially how they can design applications to get the most out of SQL Server. As you probably already know, most SQL Server performance problems are in the applications themselves, not with SQL Server or the hardware.

On the positive side, I did learn a few new things I was not familiar with. The book is also easy to read and follow (even when the detail is lacking).

As I said at the first of this review, this is not a bad book. If your budget can only afford one such book, then I suggest you purchase another one that I have already reviewed on my website. But if you have the money, and like to read everything possible about SQL Server, then by all means go ahead and buy it. You will probably learn something new.




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