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Smart Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 (Developer Reference) Paperback – February 4, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0735625808 ISBN-10: 0735625808 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (February 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735625808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735625808
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lynn Langit is a developer evangelist for Microsoft in Southern California. She's published three books on SQL Server Business Intelligence and has created a set of courseware to introduce children to programming at TeachingKidsProgramming.org. Read her blog at blogs.msdn.com/b/SoCalDevGal.

Customer Reviews

I've found this book to be really useful to introduce me into the realm of BI and Analysis Services.
Ricci Gian Maria
Descriptions of how to work in the BIDS envrionment and SSMS are rather sketchy and sometimes difficult to follow.
Björn
Overall, this is a good startup book for beginners not a reference guide for an experienced developer.
Rajkumar Ramasamy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jaewoo Kim VINE VOICE on March 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, explaining many of the concepts related to Data Warehousing, data mining, and business intelligence would be one of the most difficult challenges to any technical writer. That's why many SQL BI books (dating back to SQL 2000) are so poorly written and lacks crystal clarity of many of the key concepts. Once I was done reading this book, I asked myself one question, "Am I a better BI architect because I have read this book?". From a technical knowledge perspective, yes. From a BI process (plan, design, implement, debug, verify, performance tune) perspective, I felt I did not gain much from this book.

This book would be a good manual if you do not understand some of the key concepts (Dimension vs Measure, Star schema vs Snowflake etc). If you want to actually implement a Snowflake schema, SSIS, and customize the results, the book was lacking. In other words, the book does not focus on the nuts and bolts of SQL 2008 BI. It gives you more of a 5000 ft overview.

It doesn't help that the book has a writing style similar to a college math textbook. You may need to read many paragraphs more than once to obtain the golden nuggets of information. In books such as this, you want writers to be blunt and forthright and not meander using sophisticated prose. The book certainly could be shorter than the 700+ pages.

The writers seem to possess strong technical knowledge of SQL 2008 BI. They have much to offer in terms of key knowledge and concepts. To put it into an analogy, this is like a book that describes how a car battery works but lacks information on how to properly change the car battery.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Aussie on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I think it is a decent book to get a start on SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS. Maybe not for the most experienced MS BI developers, but certainly for those with less experience.
In some areas it goes into a fair bit of detail, in others it doesn't. The authors push quite heavily on the Data Mining bits.
Overall I felt it is a bit too much 'marketing talk' in favour of Microsoft - could probably have shortened the book by 50 pages if they had left that out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cal Zant on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently completed a business intelligence project at my company that included things like aggregating data from various sources into a centralized data warehouse, and then processing that so it could be accessed through both an OLAP cube and a relatively simple relationship database. I believe the project was a complete success, and am very happy with the both the functionality we provide to our end-users (who are regular business people, and not just analysts) as well as how easy to maintain and robust the end-solution is. I think that last part is what probably gets most companies. They develop some type of data warehouse for business intelligence, but it is a house of cards that just continually sucks their time because it is so fragile or always needs to be updated to allow a business analyst to slice or view the data in a new way. I can definitely see how you could end up there, and I believe this book was the primary contributor to the success of our project.

I work for a small business (currently ~65 employees), and right now our IT Team has three members: 1 system admin, 1 full-time developer, and me (my time is split half and half between software and business management). None of us had any experience with OLAP, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), or SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) ... although I had sat through a few sessions/workshops over these topics at conferences. Although it is counter-intuitive (especially to someone who is a developer at heart), I have come to believe in the notion that the sooner you start coding the longer it will take. So, I knew I needed to get some more in-depth expertise in these areas before we started the project, which is why I ordered this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rajkumar Ramasamy on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a good overview for BI solutions such as SSIS and SSRS. For an experienced BI developer, this book is not a right pick. There is a very good overview on all the BI terminologies and covers information required to design, develop and deploy SSIS, SSRS and SSAS solutions.

For a beginner BI developer, this is a good book to start with. There is some help on BIDS which will help for a new BIDs user, connecting to source control, design, develop, secure and deploy BI solutions. There is a step by step help to create and manage ETL. The book helps to understand MDX core functions and few extended functions and a little bit about DMX (Data mining). More data mining samples might help a beginner.

Was expecting little bit more on Excel reporting (which is commonly used) and SharePoint reporting (which is more likely a future common reporting tool). Overall, this is a good startup book for beginners not a reference guide for an experienced developer.
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Format: Paperback
For someone with no experience with the BI stack of SQL Server, this book provides a very nice introduction. I esp. like the sections on how BI projects are initiated and managed and what pitfalls to watch out for.

Unfortunately, the book suffers from several issues:
- too much fluff and filler (esp in the first 5 chapters), e.g the fact that the ETL process takes over 50% of any BI project is repeated at least 3 times. When it was first mentioned, i thought 'good to know that'; but by the third time, i couldn't help yawning. Too many sections are started off with an uninteresting paragraph of "We'll describe A, B and C in the following pages, blah, blah". This is fine if it's done once per chapter, but there are too many such paragraphs that I keep skipping thru the pages to find what I want to know. Personally I prefer a book to have an info-to-noise ratio of at leat 10 to 1, this book seems to have a bit too much noise (maybe 20-30%?)

- Descriptions of how to work in the BIDS envrionment and SSMS are rather sketchy and sometimes difficult to follow. At one point, the authors event bluntly stated that "it's so much easier for us to perform the steps than describing them". But that's exactly the point, as book writers, it's your job to clearly describe these things rather than expect readers to figure them out on their own. Sometimes just adding a few arrows to the screenshots would help a lot, but I guess the authors think their time is better spent adding fluff to inflate the book's size than touching up the graphics.
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