A Detailed and Example-Driven Tutorial: ‘Pro SQL Server 2005 Assemblies’
Review by SQL-Server-Performance.Com
Pro SQL Server 2005 Assemblies
By Robin Dawson and Julian Skinner.
296 pp. Apress. $49.99.
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The integration of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and the associated opportunities to run code written in .NET in your database is undoubtedly one of the pervasive improvements in SQL Server 2005. While earlier versions restricted you to re-track to Extended Stored Procedures, which had to be written in languages like C, C++ or Delphi, in order to gain access to methods and objects beyond the scope of T-SQL, you now can write code in more commonly used languages such as VB.NET or C#. While poorly written Extended Stored Procedures could destabilize or even crash the whole server, now the CLR governs all and allows for much greater control over database objects not written in T-SQL, not to mention greater security and stability. The integration of the CLR vastly extends the capabilities given to a database developer or administrator. But, as with all new things, you need to make an informed decision on whether or not it makes sense to use the new features, and if so, when and how to use them. This book helps you explore the CLR and what it can do for you in SQL Server 2005.
Here’s what the book covers:
- Introducing Assemblies
- Writing a Simple SQL Assembly
- The SQL Server .NET Programming Model
- CLR Stored Procedures
- User-Defined Functions
- User-Defined Types
- User-Defined Aggregates
- CLR Trigger
- Error Handling and Debugging Strategies
- Integrating Assemblies with Other Technologies
The book includes many well-explained code samples written in C#. A working knowledge of this language surely won’t hurt. However, a VB.NET developer will also find the work valuable because all the samples are available in VB.NET from the publisher’s Web site.
This book relieved some of the resentments I had against the integration of the CLR into SQL Server 2005, mostly because the authors provided good examples of where the use of the CLR actually makes sense. It is notable that the authors do not only focus on the positive aspects of the CLR integration, but also point out the limitations and possible pitfalls. They recommend that you weigh the use of .NET database objects on a case-by-case basis. There is no need to write only CLR code from now on. Or to migrate existing T-SQL to CLR. T-SQL is still the first choice when it comes to data processing. The only potential candidates for migration are those cases where one has pushed T-SQL to its limits — complex mathematical calculations, for example.
If you need to cope with the CLR in SQL Server, this book is definitely worth reading.]]>