Not sure about this book !! First of all I found the book very uninteresting and found myself falling to sleep on certain chapters. Also I don't think this book is aimed at the beginner and although I passed the exam I would not put it down to the fact that I used this book as part of my study. I found there was quite a lot of usefull information missed out and some things were not explained at all. There were certain examples you were shown that included command line switched but you were never told what these switches did. There was next to nothing on BCP only 1 paragraph. I would advise anyone to tread very carefully when selecting this book and certainly dont use it as your only means of study. If you are studying for the exam then I think the New Riders one is more suited and provides more detailed explaination. The book is very repetative which makes for a very boring read. For example in one section that covered 2 pages of the book the words 'SQL Server' must have been used at least 100 times. All basic elements were missing. How to register a server was not shown at all apart from the screen that comes up when you first install SQL after that you were just expected to know ( OK this is very minor ). They also asumed that you already knew quite a bit becuase they were describing features and functions and just using pure technical jargon that just does not help at all.
This book does a good job of giving the reader the basics in a very dry, technical way. This is more of a technical manual. It does not do a good job in troubleshooting or in preparing for real world problems. It does cover about 80% of what is needed for the exam.
This book does do a good job of covering the material required for the 70-026 exam. Questions and labs are fairly reasonable as well. HOWEVER, while this book is reasonably complete, the writing is phenominally boring. This one will deffinately put you to sleep