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J. Allen "Fatherjack" (UK)

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SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
by Grant Fritchey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 47.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book to have beside you when you are writing T-SQL, 26 July 2012
This is an excellent book, written to accompany SQL Server 2012 but a lot of the theory and recommendations equally apply to previous versions of SQL Server.

It's well structured, clearly written and will improve understanding of why things done one way are better than possible alternatives. Experienced DBAs or developers will find something to learn from this book, people new to the SQL Server or specifically T-SQL may need an intro to T-SQL to go hand-in-hand with this one as it is not set at an introductory level.

I have heard there were some early copies that Amazon managed to print with print-setting issues but they are offering free replacements for all of these so I have no issues with recommending it to anyone.

SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, Volume 2
SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, Volume 2
by Kalen Delaney
Edition: Paperback
Price: 31.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More top notch content from SQL Server MVPs, 3 Mar 2012
There is no doubting the quality and content in this title. If I am 100% honest then I was disappointed that this book is thinner than version 1, by some 160 pages but has a similar chapter count, this, to my mind, means we are not diving quite so deep. There are lots of new areas covered and lots of new names as authors so it is still well worth investing in.

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans (DBA Handbooks)
Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans (DBA Handbooks)
by Brad M McGehee
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.55

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent choice for any DBA that uses SQL Server Maintenance Plans or wants to understand them better, 2 Mar 2010
This book will enable any person responsible for data stored in a SQL Server database to ensure it is being managed to a required minimum with a small amount of effort and possibly limited experience. This is not a book long time DBAs who have scripts already in place to maintain their databases will get a lot out of, it's for the people who are becoming known as `Accidental DBAs'. Maybe you were closest to the server when the last DBA quit, or you are a system administrator with a new system based on SQL Server and you don't have a DBA in-house. Whichever way you have happened to find yourself looking after SQL Server databases, this book is for you.

It explains very clearly what a maintenance plan is designed to do, what it can and can't do and in some cases why you don't want it to do some things. Once the intent of each feature is established Brad then walks you through configuring the task options to your requirements and how it can be linked to or affects other tasks you need carried out on your databases. A clear format of what the task does, why you want it done (or not) and how to make it happen is followed in each chapter. Pitfalls and limitations of the various tasks are explained clearly and where there are options to avoid or work around these they are explained so that they can be implemented. The tasks are described with enough background information that someone unsure about SQL Server will clearly understand what the task is attempting to achieve and will then be able to decide whether that is something they want to apply to their systems.

While the majority of the book refers to the process followed by the Maintenance Plan Wizard Brad also explains how to make your own custom Maintenance Plan or alter existing plans with the Maintenance Plan Designer. Implementing schedules and operator notifications into your plan is explained so that a user can keep up to date with the status of any executions without having to read through the detailed reports along with using logic to control flow from one step to another within a plan and adding multiple copies of tasks in order to get the exact results needed.

If you have any databases in your remit and you are wondering how to look after them, or want a guide on how to make your existing maintenance plans more effective, then this book will be a valuable asset to you.

It could be as simple as reading this book for a couple of hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then over a similar time on Thursday and Friday you could have your SQL databases fully covered by a set of maintenance plans to ensure your data is well maintained and backed up.

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