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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True involved learning, 27 Jun. 2009
By 
FJ McManus (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Pro SQL Server 2008 Analytics: Delivering Sales and Marketing Dashboards (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) (Paperback)
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ADDITIONAL TO REVIEW BELOW:
I am now half way through this book. However the database is missing a couple tables and one of the tables has not been filled with data for a particular crucial column. These have caused two exercises not to work. I have had to create the missing tables and fill with believable data so that the exercises return something in the ssrs reports.

I am offically changing the score for this book to 3* (I can't change the * rating above). And will keep my rating as such until the database is fixed and redeployed onto the Apress website). When this happens, I will edit this review. In the meantime, I probably wouldn't bother buying this book.
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Another excellent piece of work by the authors at Apress. As always, It's very hands-on all the way through. This particular book goes a bit further than other Apress books I have used before in that each chapter ends with a few practice bits which you are forced to work out for yourself. Nice touch which really drums in the chapter's lessons.

I strongly recommend also studying the SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services book. There doesn't seem to be any logical reason why they brought out two books that both teach the same stuff - ie SQL SSRS 2008. However, I completed the Reporting Services book and it was all new for me then (never used SSRS before). I decided to go through this book to drum it in a bit more and it is definitely worth it. You could do them in either order.

Also, there are almost no errors in the text or software. Believe me that is good, ALL study books I have used have errors in the text or software. This book has the fewest I have come across. Well done Apress.

One problem I have is that the source code is one MASSIVE, complicated SQL Database. I just want to learn about SSRS, not everything else in sql. It doesn't help if the data feeding the reports are views that use lots and lots of tables and complex sql code. It would be much better to have a very simple pretend business so that I could familiarize myself with the source data for an hour or two and then be able to understand the resultant ssrs reports that I create during the exercises.

There is another issue as well. The examples often use the current systemdate. The data in the sample database is mainly made up of 2006 to 2008 stuff. So some queries return no data because I haven't had the common sense to go back in time to 2008 (before this book was written).
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