50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
I just passed Microsoft's "Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition" for by 4th and final test to obtain my MCSD certification. This book was almost all I needed. I was glad Viera was comprehensive (1000+ pages); it was needed. This is also a great reference book. If you need to find a specific SQL programming detail in an area that you might not use everday this is the perfect book.
I did not want to buy a number of texts for this test and I researched which book to buy very carefully. There are some really poor ones on the market. I assure you this book is far out in front of the rest.
Microsoft's Training Kit book on SQL 2000 Database Design and Devlopment was somewhat useful but really almost an outline and incomplete in some areas. "Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming" and the "Transcender" tests are all you need (with maybe a little help from "Books On Line").
134 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2000
Rob Vieira's work is the one of the most enjoyable technical references in my collection. Read the author's comments, also posted on Amazon.com, for a sample of his writing style. This book is worth every penny of the retail price.
Rob does an excellent job explaining highly technical processes without losing the reader or skipping important details. The author covers many of SQL's features that are not well-documented by Microsoft, and he ties them in when important. At some point in the book I remember him explaining why BLOBs are so much slower when stored within a database than the computer's file system, and ways to handle the performance issue. He also gives the reader a heads up on how much overhead alternative processes use and saves us from some trial-and-error.
Below is a summary of the book's TOC. I hope I didn't butcher any information here. (number of pages in each chapter is approximate):
1) Particulars and History - N-Tier architecture, Certification, .NET (Now Visual Studio compiled to an interpreted language, like Java. Is Linux in Microsoft's future?)
2) RDBMS Basics: What makes up a SQL Server database?
3) Tools of the trade -- No, not your boss! Explains the usefulness of Books Online, Client/Server utils. Enterprise Mgr, Query Analyzer, etc.
4) The Foundation Statements or T-SQL -- 38 pages of the basics, starting with SELECT Statements and progressing through INSERT and DELETE statements
5) Joining Tables -- (~30 pages) INNER and OUTER JOINs, UNION, FULL and CROSS JOINs
6) Creating and Altering Tables -- explains both the SQL syntax and how to do it using the GUI tools
7) Constraints -- (~30 pages)
8) Normalization and Other Basic Design Issues -- (~50 pages) Reviews normal form, basic relationships, diagramming, Data types, and de-normalization
9) SQL Server Storage and index Structures -- (~40 pages) SQL's evolution. Indexes, B-Trees, WHEN and HOW to use indexes to improve performance, maintenance
10) Views (~30 pages) -- Creating views, using views to change data (Updating multi-table views are covered in ch. 15), Schema binding and Index Views.
11) Writing Scripts and Batches -- Starts with the basics; covers some of the @@ functions (It's most important that you understand these to efficiently use MSSQL Server).
12) Stored Procedures -- (~75 pages) This chapter is a monster. Covers SQL 2000's debugger as well as anything you can think of for stored procedures, including recursive use. Explains the importance of WITH RECOMPILE, among other things
13) User Defined Functions -- (~20 pages) UDFs, UDFs that return tables, Determinism, Creating "System" Functions.
14) Transactions and Locks -- (~35 pages) Covers fundamental database design issues for multi-user, complex-transaction environments
15) Triggers -- (~50 pages) Excellent chapter. Covers new Trigger features of SQL 2000 like Firing Order and INSTEAD OF Triggers for multi-table View changes.
16) Advanced Queries -- (~26 pages) Nested Subqueries, Correlated Subqueries, Derived Tables, Performance Considerations
17) Distributed Queries and Transactions -- (~30 pages) cross-server transactions
18) SQL Cursors -- (~36 pages) Why I bought this book. Covers a cursor's lifetime, scope, types of, performance considerations, et cetera. Must-know information.
19) A Brief XML Primer -- (~22 pages) I haven't yet read this chapter; hopefully it's as easy-to-follow as the rest. Covers XML Basics, Namespaces, Valid vs. Well-formed DTDs and Schemas, Transformations XSLT
20) Integration of XML in SQL Server -- (~70 pages) The FOR XML Clause, HTTP Access, Streaming XML
21) The Bulk Copy Program (bcp)
22) Introduction to Data Transformation Services -- (~50 pages) DTS Package Editor, Import/Export Wizard, Creating a simple transformation package, using DTS in place of bcp
23) Replication -- (~75 pages)
24) Advanced Design -- (~25 pages) Here Rob goes back to database design and arms us with the idea that you can bend the rules a little bit, and even tells us when it might be a good idea. He also goes into a little more detail on database diagramming.
25) Analysis Services -- (~50 pages) OLAP, OLTP, Data Mining, and which to use. Dimensional Databases, OLAP Storage Types, Data Warehouse concepts, DTS (Validation, Scrubbing, Migration, Validation), meta-data and teh Repository, Data Mining, Analysis Manager
26) Full-Text Search -- (~25 pages)
27) English Query -- (~55 pages)
28) Security -- (~40 pages)
29) Performance Tuning -- (~35 pages)
30) Administration Overview -- (~40 pages)
31) Advanced DTS -- (~35 pages) DTS Object Model, The Package Object, Dynamic Properties Task, The MultiPhase Data Pump, Optimizing Data Loads in DTS
32) Scripting Administrative Functions with WMI -- (~50 pages) I've only briefly gone through this chapter, but from my experience in working with WMI, it's a bear to teach yourself. WMI is one of the most powerful features of Windows. It has its own Query Language, WQL, similar to SQL, which programmers can use to remotely draw information and automate core features and settings within windows as well as administer an SQL server. The syntax of WMI scripts is similar to that of ADO/SQL, only with a more complex object model and deeper hierarchy than ADO.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2001
Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming is an essential component of your library if you are a MS Active Server Page developer.
My library consists of Beginning ASP, Professional ASP, Beginning ASP Databases, Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming, and Vbscript Programmers Reference, all published by Wrox. Combined with MSDN, I have yet to run into a ASP problem that I could not solve.
This book in particular will help you leverage the power of SQL Server. Specifically, the ability to form complicated stored procedures that contain limited logic will help you tune and manage your web application. This book also offers a nice foundation of basic SQL and solid relational DB design tips. I was particularly impressed with the explanation of all the fun tools that SQL Server ships with, but that no one ever shows you how to use.
With ASP development, developers more and more find that they are forced to develop applications quickly and without the help of a dedicated DBA. A well-normalized, solid DB is the foundation of any good web application. If you blow the DB design, you will pay the price for the entire life of the application. Buy this book and spare yourself the pain that comes from a bad database, and learn some neat tricks along the way to make your code more stable and professional.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2002
This book is great if you want to learn how USE SQL Server 2000. Be prepared to read, though. It's not really meant to be a reference. If you don't like to read, you'll hate it. (I use it as a reference, but only because I've read it cover to cover and I know where to look for answers). This book was really all I needed to pass the MCP exam. When I took the exam, I was right out of college with no IT experience other than computer science coursework. I think that says a lot about this book (I'm not sure what that says about the MCP exam).
Here are some things to remember about SQL Server 2000:
1) Your best REFERENCE manual is Books Online... hands down.
Another reviewer complained that if, for example, you wanted to
find out the order of the arguments for a SQL Server function, this book does not allow you to do that quickly. That's true, but so what... use Books Online.
2) Your best bet for learning SQL Server 2000 as a whole is to
read this book cover to cover.
3) Don't expect to learn advanced topics from a book that provides an overview (like this one). If you want to learn DTS, buy a book on DTS... same with XML... same with WMI.
Also in this book is a great chapter on Stored Procedures and examples of how to most effectively use what little error handling options you have in T-SQL.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2002
If you're anything like me, you may be considering this book as a study guide for 70-229. I recently took this exam and passed with a 909. The author had a hand in writing this exam and it shows. This book is without doubt the best text you can buy to prepare for the exam. Sure it doesn't cover everything in the exam, but it comes damn close. Buy this book, read it religiously and if you can afford it buy the Transcender materials too. You will pass.
On the other hand, some of the negative comments you may read here are pretty spot on. The chapters on replication and DTS are weak-in some places really weak. And yes, it is absolutely loaded with unnecessary screen shots. If you are an SQL server guru you don't need this book. If however you are new to SQL server, I would've thought it would be a pretty handy one to have on the shelf. Oh, and in my opinion the author writes pretty well. It's a lot easier to read than most of the books in my collection anyway.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2002
I used this book and Thearon Willis' "Beginning SQL Server 2000 for VB Developers" (also from WROX) to study for the Designing and Implementing Databases using Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (70-229) test. Robert Vieira definitely knows SQL Server. I also have his Professional SQL Server 7.0 Programming book. I have read his 2 books religiously from cover-to-cover.
The first 12 chapters of this book provide a solid foundation in SQL Server 2000 but Vieira augments those chapters with some advanced thinking. Chapter 12 - Stored Procedures is probably the heart of the book and this chapter is one of the best in the book. I have read this chapter several times and learned something new every time.
Chapter 13 through Chapter 18 contain advanced SQL Server 2000 features and Vieira does an outstanding job explaining them. I found a lot of questions on the exam came from those chapters.
Chapters 19 and 20 are concerned XML and how this technology is constantly changing. The author does an outstanding job of explaining XML.
The chapters toward the end of the book are concerned with advanced features that an administrator might need to know but the knowledge is helpful in my employment and I use DTS almost every other day. In order to comprehend SQL Server 2000, these chapters should definitely be read. That would have been impossible without Chapters 21 through 31. This book rates as a 5-star in my book and I highly recommend this to any serious SQL Server developer and/or administrator. I will also be using this book for the 70-228 exam.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2001
Rob's book for SQL Server 7.0 was the best book I could suggest for developers new to programming TSQL. The 2000 edition continues his style with new information on functions, xml, and other new features of SQL 2000 but he still presents everything (this book is over 1300 pages long) and presents it clearly.
There are other books out there, but this one is the best. Rob really knows what he is talking about - I haven't found any errors or bad advice - something that just isn't true for the other entry level TSQL programming books (even those from MSPress). Most importantly - this book reads well, its not a regurgitation of SQL Books Online, its real explanations written with an everyman tone.
Alot of topics (mostly covering different services of SQL 2000) are not covered completely (if it did, the book would require a forklift). If I have one complaint, its the chapter on WMI which seems to have been written by a different author and just tacked onto the end of the book - its there, but it just doesn't read as well. If your looking for an advanced book - check out Ken Henderson's Gurus Guide and Ben-Gan / Moreau's Advanced TSQL (which I'm reading now and is great). But if your a newbie, this is it.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2002
Starting out fresh in SQL server, I first read most of Thearon Willis' "Beginning" book. With many years of IT experience, I quickly switched to this book, and am very impressed. I feel it has delivered on its hope to make me a competent (SQL Server) database developer.
The strongest points in my opinion include:
- SQL Server basics, and essentials such as data storage, index structures, locks, constraints, transactions, triggers, advanced queries, cursors, security, replication, bcp, full-text search, and XML output and reports from SQL Server.
- An easy-reading writing style that puts information into my brain quickly and relatively easily.
- Solid scope.
Many other sections I may take a little for granted given experience with databases, but are more than adequate and packed with pain-saving wisdom and useful tips.
What the author knows he can't accomplish in one book is clearly spelled out. There are solid overviews of performance tuning, DTS, WMI, and Analysis Services, and advice to look elsewhere for more information. One exception is Database Administration, which is reviewed well, but does not suggest looking for other sources of information in addition to this book (likely because a programmer perhaps doesn't need to... but an administrator must.)
There are few typos, plenty of examples (but no exam-type questions), and good chapter introductions and summaries. 32 chapters and 5 Appendixes are all VERY well organized, from easier to more difficult (generally). One thing I like is that if I get bored or stuck on one item, there's "always" another chapter I'll enjoy.
This is the best technical book I've read so far and I've no intention to put it down until its read 3 times over. Great value!! 70-229 is within reach.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Occasionally I have the need to leave my IBM/Lotus programming platform and interact with data stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2000. I even have it running on my laptop as a higher-end alternative to Access. I found that the book, Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming by Robert Vieira (Wrox) is a very good reference for manipulating data in that environment.
Vieira concentrates specifically on the programming aspects of SQL Server 2000 as opposed to teaching you how to administer the server. He does touch on an administration overview in chapter 30, but it's not something you'd read in order to pass an administration exam. Although the title does say "Professional", this does not mean you have to be a veteran SQL programmer to benefit from it. The earlier chapters cover the fundamentals of RDBMS technology, as well as how SQL is used in a SQL Server 2000 environment. The further you get into the book, the more you'll find subjects that are either more advanced or cover techniques you'll use in application development, such as how to build triggers and stored procedures. While you will learn all these skills within the SQL Server 2000 platform, the core technologies are transferable to just about any RDBMS. Time spent with this book will continue to pay off regardless of what database system you need to use at any given time.
While the content is technical, the writing style is conversational and approachable. It's actually quite easy to read the material and digest the concepts without trying to fight against the author's style. If you have need to work with SQL Server 2000 from a development standpoint, this is definitely a book to consider to guide you along the way.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2005
In early 2000, I was asked to learn ASP and SQL. First I picked up Beginning ASP 2.0 Programming and later Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming. This SQL book made both programming SQL Server and administering SQL Server easy to understand. It was also an invaluable resource for passing the MCDBA exams.
Robert Vieira is a wonderful, wonderful technical book author and this book is still one of my favorites nearly 5 years later after I bought it. It is one of the few books that I couldn't put down -- I read it cover to cover within a few weeks. I very much recommend this title for anyone learning SQL Server programming or administration. And even though its "Professional" and not "Beginning", it's still a great beginners guide. While it's also decent for moderately experienced programmers, experts will find Ken Henderson's "The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL" to be of much greater use.
As previously stated, this book focuses not only on programming but administration too and people who enjoyed the admin basics will find that Brian Knight's Admin911 picks up where this book leaves off.