Delaney makes extensive use of DBCC PAGE dumps to show what's going on in the databases that demonstrate concepts (incidentally, that utility is documented, as well as the others in the DBCC toolbox). In a typical section, DBCC PAGE is used to show how index pages work. There's careful attention to database structure at the byte level too, with conceptual diagrams that explain how pointers work and how strings of strings of bytes combine to represent stored data. It's the sort of detail you need if you'll be writing software for SQL Server 2000, or need to extract maximum performance from the DBMS itself. --David Wall
Topics covered: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 internals, especially data structures and the behavior of queries. Table design is emphasized, especially indexing decisions. Transact-SQL programming, including the use of cursors, gets lots of attention.
About the Author
Over 60 SQL Server MVPs contributed to this book, which was assembled and edited by Kalen Delaney and SQL Server legends Louis Davidson (Database Design and Architecture), Greg Low (Business Intelligence.), Brad McGhee (Performance Tuning and Optimization), Paul Nielson (Database Development), and Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp (Database Administration.)