I have been working with SQL Server starting from version 6 in late 90s. Ironically, I had never suspected I will end up using SQL Server or using it throughout the rest of my entire career, and I have no plans defecting. The short story is I joined an incubator company which later became a spin-off a large enterprise where there were almost no Microsoft products used (I initially worked on a Mainframe DB2, then on Unix as a C programmer using Informix and Oracle). At that small start up initially like company all the repeated attempts to install an Oracle database by a vendor have failed. Our CEO was enraged, the deadlines were pressing when my fellow contractor brought a set of freshly purchased MSDN CDs one morning into our office. He exchanged a few words I did not catch with our project manager and vanished in the coldness of our server room. Short time later he re-emerged with a smile on his face and a bunch of us emotionless hearing him say we have a SQL Server database setup for us to use in our belated POC. Frankly, our old-school CEO and many other managers took this optimism with a lot of skepticism. Months later the project went live, on time, all written in VB4 and T-SQL code. And it worked very well.
Back then our primary goals were data processing speeds, storage capacity, CPU utilization, scaling and transactional sanity. Fast forward into today all the aforementioned concerns remain as valid. However, what changed is that there are more options to tackle these issues up, in different ways, faster and more efficiently if not with a lower budget. What is new and improved under a DBA or developer’s belt in terms of tooling and capabilities Getting Started with SQL Server 2014 Administration book is going to cover.
Indeed, the book has the right timing and is right on the spot covering well the unique and most massive advancement in the entire RDBMs world – InMemory data processing, delayed durability And it does not stop there, the reader will get known how to create databases in Windows Azure, backup into the Cloud or restore from it, creating hybrid AlwaysOn environments, performance enhancements and a few more topics. So this is a book SQL Server 2014 Enterprise specific and for a modern DBA.
Alas, the book does not cover any other aspects of even a junior DBA, e.g. there is no mention on how to install SQL Server 2014 on premises, securing it up, choosing a backup strategy, monitoring. Likewise, several other topics that are actually new in this build are also amiss as Lock Priorities, T-SQL (1 change), tempdb performance and the new security roles.
To continue on the negatives, one general comment I have is that the book has no enough in-depth feature coverage for non Enterprise grade releases, should have more examples, the book should have been expanded beyond the 80 or so pages of useful content to include the management tools overview, performance troubleshooting, auditing, etc. even for a ‘getting started’ book. Thing is, the life of even a novice DBA would be very demanding in terms of achieving acceptable application response time, feature suggestion, or just the time to fix an issue.
I am giving this book a 2.5 rounded up out of 5 mark as I can hardly see how it outweighs the benefits of the MSDN help or the waste amount of online articles.
Disclaimer: I received the copy of the book for free from the publisher.