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on 13 July 2010
Inevitably, the book contains good and bad, relevant and irrelevant stuff. But that will mean different things to different people depending on their backgrounds and different needs. The book is well edited and laid out, many of the disparate pieces are simply "a good (technical) read". I consider the book a welcome alternative to surfing the internet for information to broaden ones horizon and get inspiration. In particular to find out "what are all the other guys doing with SQL, those that specialize in other areas than myself [with a BI angle to my work]". If you ever find yourself confronted with some [to you] awkward and unfamiliar task this book might be a good starting point for identifying your options, because the authors generally write about what is practically important to them, what they know and care about and what is important to them. They do not just write to cover a certain curriculum, including everything that doesn't matter with all that does. In particular I would like to emphasize and recommend the couple of pieces included on XML storage and querying. All too many texts on SQL XML give the impression they are written by someone really only into relational SQL, to whom SQL XML is just a side show. Not so with the SQL XML texts in this book!
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on 21 July 2011
A collection of articles from a large number of experienced SQL Server MVPs. As a result of this it covers a wide range of features for SQL Server, but the quality of the articles varies greatly.
Having said that, you will no doubt find some fascinating nuggets of information within this. One of the biggest surprises I had was what I learnt from a very short article on the 'FROM' clause - something I thought was fairly basic and well understood by myself.
There are five divisions within the book:
Database Design and Architecture
Database Development
Database Administration
Performance Tuning and Optimisation
Business Intelligence
Most articles just provide a taster and further research is then needed to go into details. As an example, I found the articles on partitioning somewhat lacking, but there is enough information to know how to look further.
Some articles also cover interfacing with other languages - C##, VB.Net, LINQ and suchlike, and others aren't technical articles at all - 'What does it mean to be a DBA', for example.
When you receive the book there is an insert at the start that enables you to get a pdf file of this book too, a very nice addition for those with various e-books and electronic media.

Altogether an interesting book and recommended.
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on 9 May 2010
This book covers a lot of territory. Some of the articles are basic or make good points but talk in general terms when they could give specific examples or practices. Not too surprising with so many authors, topics and views. Overall it still gets 5 stars as it is an essential read for anybody who spends a lot of their time administrating or developing in SQL Server. If it stops people using nolock in queries I will be happy.
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on 11 October 2011
What can I say about this book? Err I guess that's what I'm here for so I'd better think of something.

Every day a schoolday? Well this book every day seems like doing a degree all over again every day.

Personally I thought I knew SQL server very well, just shows it's never too late to learn. A brilliantly written book, the subject matters are clear and well covered even the topics which at first appeared of little interest to me took on a whole new feeling and I got something from every chapter.

Worth every penny a must have in the DBA's armoury.
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on 16 May 2010
As the title suggests, a few focused subjects investigated in great depth.
Not for beginners.
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