3 Replies - 1557 Views - Last Post: 27 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

#1 Tenderfoot  Icon User is offline

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Learning more MS SQL

Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:53 PM

Howdy database administrators,

I've been to a couple of minor MS SQL courses and know the basics, but would like to know more. I was wondering if you could recommend any learning resources for me? I.e. e-books or tutorials. My long term goal would be to prepare for a microsoft certification.

All I ask is that it's about MS SQL, and that it's using SQL Server Management Studio. I wouldn't mind re-learning all the basics either, in case I missed something when I did so the first time. I'm only familiar with the very basic functions, like select from, where, this and that, inner joins, updates, primary keys, foreign keys and such. And a vague understanding of procedures.

So what I need really I think, is an introduction to MS SQL - something that would show me how to build a solid database, how to connect it, and preferably how to use it, maybe with a program or a website or some such.

Alright, I don't know, I'd just like some suggestions, so throw what you can at me, I'd appreciate it. :red_indian:

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Replies To: Learning more MS SQL

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is online

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Re: Learning more MS SQL

Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

Sounds like you are at the point where you just now need massive quantities of information (aka a nice thick book on the subject). So books to take a look at would be something like SQL Server Unleashed, SQL Server Bibles etc.

These types of books are typically pretty comprehensive and great for reference books later. They are not always the easiest to read from cover to cover, but for instance if you are foggy on stored procedures, you can quickly jump to that section and there they would list all kinds of stuff about what they are and how to use them.

Just go to Amazon.com and type in "SQL Server" and you will surely hit an unleashed/bible type of book in the first page or two of results. You can then read the reviews, browse the chapter topics and see if any work for your needs.

:)
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#3 Tenderfoot  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning more MS SQL

Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:17 AM

Thanks! I looked for and found a couple of books. The first one I came across was "Beginning SQL Server 2008 Administration" from wrox.com, and while looking for that one, I found Beginning SQL Server 2008 Programming, which seemed to be more what I was looking for. Based more on queries, creating databases and such. So I think I'll get those 2 along with SQL Server 2008 unleashed.

Out of curiosity though, is there any scenario where it would be better to start with "Beginning Server 2008 Administration" than Programming? I would think that knowing how to develop a database would come in handy when trying to learn how to administrate one, but I'm not sure. Anyway, +1 for your post. ^^
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#4 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning more MS SQL

Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

I would like to recommend something to you, but the only books I can think of to recommend are very advanced. It's been a long time since I started out.

Whether to look towards programming, or administration really depends on your goals. But generally, I would recommend looking towards administration.

There are two types of programming with SQL Server. It's "supposed" to be a client-server environment with basiclly all the code on the server. So, your true SQL Server Developers learn T-SQL and then ins and outs of writing server side code like stored procedures, triggers, and scripts. Stored Procedures should theoretically be the focus.

The client applications may be written in .Net such as C# and VB.Net. There's a lot to be learned as a .Net programmer programming up against SQL Server. It "shouldn't" be done, but it happens all the time that people get hired to write T-SQL in their .Net code. (What they "should be" doing is calling stored procedures, but almost every time I see .Net code they've done queries against the database.)

Anyway, enough of my "soap box" on only accessing the database through stored procedures.

You definately should get a copy of SQL Server installed on your machine. MS offers a free version that has most of the capabilities of the standard edition that you'll need starting out. Playing with it is going to help more than anything.

The main thing in code is your standard SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements and getting comfortable with those. I strongly recommend getting comfortable with stored procedures as soon as possible too.

If you're looking to use a SQL Server database to store data in your programs, you still need to get familiar with a LOT of the administration stuff. You need to know the basics of creating a database, creating tables, defining clustered and non-clustered indexes, defining the transaction log and setting the recovery model.

As an administrator, the first thing you need to learn is how to do backup and how to define the recovery model. You need to know the difference between a Full, Incremental, and Transaction backup and how to perform them and restore them. The recovery model is typically Full or Simple and you need to know the difference and when to use which. Backups are EVERYTHING when you're an administrator.

Starting out, you definately want to stick with books that are easy to read on the subject. I would probably lean more toward the administration books unless you have a specific reason to go for the programming books (which should still be focused on writing stored procedures in T-SQL).

SQL Server on your own machine is suprisingly robust. You'll find it hard to break. And you'll learn the most by "doing". Sorry I don't have any good beginning SQL Server book to recommend; I haven't read a beginner book on the subject since at least SQL 2000. So, anything I could recommend would be at least that old.
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