A Developers guide to SQL Server 2005
Bob Beauchemin and Dan Sullivan
I suspect that this is one of the best of the technical books on SQL Server 2005. The scope of SQL Server 2005 is now so wide that it is becoming difficult to really understand what is there. All the authors can do is to give the broad overview, to paint the whole panorama.
I suspect that, in ten years time, we will look back at SQL Server 2005 as the high-point in our faith in XML as a means of promoting interoperability between different systems. This integration and use of XML in the product is extremely impressive, and is explained well. The CLR, and the way it was implemented is described in some detail, and it is hard not to cheer at the design goals. It surely must result in a more resilient system. There are a number of fascinating sections that give a clue to the use of a SQL server as a hub, or coordinator to a distributed system as well as being a database/data processor. Service Broking, messaging, notification services and so on are powerful tools and give the clue to the way large corporate applications will develop over the next five years. Some of SQL Server 2005's most powerful features are hidden well away from the marketing-men's bullet-points.
It is comforting to a died-in-the-wool TSQL man that there are so many improvements to the language. The improved error handling by itself makes the hassle of upgrading worth while. This book covers all the details
If I have a criticism of the book, it is that the editors have dozed off in places. There are sections where the sentence structure relapses into a soporific remorseless 'subject-verb-object 'drone which is intensely soporific to the reader. I do not blame the authors who are locked in a different struggle; that of making sure they have covered the ground and explained everything accurately. Technical publishers must remember they have to engage with slightly bored readers who would much rather be in the pub, and the writing style needs a freshness and interest.