Transact-SQL Language Reference Guide

Book Review

Transact-SQL Language Reference Guide
by Randy Dyess
Copyright 2002

I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible memory when it comes to details. I especially have a difficult time remembering Transact-SQL syntax, especially those commands that I don’t use often. Then there are those cases where I know a particular command exists to perform a specific function, but I can’t remember its name. And then there are those occasions when I need to use a command for the first time, but I am having difficulty finding a good example of how the command is applied.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Generally, when I have a problem remembering, I use the SQL Server Books Online as my resource. But it doesn’t always help out like it should. For example, it often includes more information than I want (making me wade through unnecessary data), it doesn’t always include good examples, and it doesn’t include undocumented commands. So what is a DBA or developer to do?

One option is to consider the newly available Transact-SQL Language Reference Guide. This is not a conventional paperback reference book, but an e-book that you can install on your desktop for easy reference. It is browser-based and searches are easy to conduct.

As you might expect from the title, the Transact-SQL Language Reference Guide is not designed for casual reading, but for quick lookup of information. It includes information on:

  • All documented Transact-SQL commands

  • All system stored procedures

  • All extended stored procedures

  • All global variables

  • Undocumented commands, stored procedures, and extended stored procedures

  • System tables

  • System views

In fact, there are over 1,800 pages in this e-book. Besides including the function and syntax for commands, you also get examples, over 1,100 in all, which makes learning new commands much easier. Another interesting feature is that on each page is a link to Microsoft’s website that does an automatic lookup of information on the command or object you are investigating. This makes it easy to locate additional information, especially things like related bugs, or other issues you need to know about.

When you download the e-book, a subset of the available information can be viewed. This is a great way for you to check it out for yourself. To view the entire book, you will need to purchase it and unlock the rest of the information. The license for the book allows you to install it on two of your own personal desktops, which is perfect for a copy at work and one at home.

If you are like me, and you can’t hardly remember your kid’s names, then the Transact-SQL Language Reference Guide may just be the reference resource for you.


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