Secret SQL 7.0
DBAs will find this a handy, useful guide to SQL 7.0's hidden gems.
With all the changes Microsoft has
made in SQL Server from version 6.5 to 7.0, every DBA
needs a good reference to the ins and outs of the relational
database management system. IDG has updated its popular
Secrets guide with information that proves to be a useful
additional to any SQL Server reference library for new
and seasoned SQL Server users.
Chapters 1 and 2 discuss server specifications
and installation requirements and procedures. These
chapters are thorough enough to help anybody beginning
the SQL Server journey, as well as familiar users who
don't quite understand the implications of network protocol
options and the value of properly specified hardware
In chapter 3, "Basic Server Setup,"
a lot of the server configuration options, which are
often neglected, get discussed in detail. The authors
provide recommendations for optimizing the server configuration,
including a valuable review of "which default options
to change immediately."
No SQL reference would be complete
without reviewing the many uses of the Query Analyzer,
as discussed in chapter 4. Understanding how to use
the execution plans is valuable when experimenting with
alternative query options.
Administrators will appreciate the
information in chapter 6, "SQL Mail, Alerts, Jobs, and
Database Maintenance." Having these features available
doesn't do any good unless you know how to implement
them-and the authors do a great job explaining the process.
Chapters 8 through 10 cover a lot
of ground on using Transact-SQL, SQL Server's enhanced
version of ANSI-SQL 92. What you don't often find in
reference books about T-SQL is the difference between
SQL Server's rendition of the language and the standard.
This chapter reveals the nuances between the languages
and the future direction of the language and standard
specification for all relational database management
If you want more in-depth information
for monitoring and optimizing SQL Server, chapter 24
covers the Database Consistency Checker (DBCC) tool
and provides great examples on how to use many of the
more useful utilities and diagnostics available only
Chapter 19, "Practical SQL-DMO,"
focuses on using the Microsoft Management Console and
developing a custom snap-in; the code discussed is also
included on the CD. Although it's geared more towards
C++ programmers, it does give some insight into the
possibilities of extending the functionality of the
MMC and custom snap-in using the enhanced features of
the SQL-DMO interface.
The CD included with the book offers
some useful code, including time-saving maintenance
and administrative stored procedures. It also includes
an evaluation copy of SQL 7.0, handy for testing purposes
on a Windows 9x workstation.
The only caveat when using this text
as a reference is that there remains some of the old
information that was valid for 6.5, but not 7.0—in
particular, a handful of references to stored procedures
and system tables that are no longer valid. (It looks
like the authors didn't quite do as thorough a job reviewing
the material to make it reflect the current release.)
Some screenshots are obviously from the beta, which
isn't really a surprise with a book published so soon
after the final release. Overall, however, the Secrets
book is a valuable reference for DBAs and developers
because it provides practical coverage and examples
of many of the commonly used features and "secrets"
to using Transact-SQL, replication, SQL-DMO, and Microsoft
Nivine Zakhari, MCSE+Internet, MCSD, MCDBA, is an independent technical consultant and founder of MSPROS, a network of independent Microsoft Certified Professionals and solution providers based in Houston, Texas. She has been in engineering and IT consulting since 1993 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Houston.