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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A First Look at Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for Developers
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bob Beauchemin, Niels Berglund, Dan Sullivan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The best there will be until the revised version next year


Databases are at the core of most software projects these days and there is a fair amount of competition between software vendors for a bigger share of a lucrative market. However, it would be fair to say that only DBAs really know what their database servers are capable of and maybe only half of them really everything that their software can do. One of the biggest arguments for this First Look At SQL Server 2005 book then is as a prospectus for all the developer-related features and functional nooks and crannies that the next incarnation of SQL Server (codename 'Yukon') will contain.

Split over seventeen chapters and two appendices, this very thorough book covers the ins and outs of four main topics - SQL Server as a CLR host, XML, enhancements to the existing features of SQL Server 2000 and notification services - that should be of interest to developers looking forward to a world of Whidbey and Yukon. Topics such as security and XQuery aren't exhaustive - they'd each take up a book on their own - but all the main points within the context of this book are covered. Indeed, with the exception of Chapter 14, which covers a feature since removed from SQL Server 2005 but is well written anyway, each chapter is clean, concise and packed with useful information.

The author team of three have produced a book that at times goes as deep into detail as Don Box's Essential .NET does while treating 'lighter' topics such as Microsoft's new enhancements to T-SQL, in no less detail but in an easier to read style. The main focus of this book are the new opportunities for developers to utilize Yukon but administrators can also take a lot away from this book having been made aware of areas that developers may focus on. In all, this is an excellent preview book on developing with SQL Server 2005 in mind and should be kept around until the revised version comes out for the actual release of this new database.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Opinions on software design worth the price alone.


I bought this book shortly after picking up the Waite Group's C++ Primer Plus. I have a Computer Science minor, but primarily programmed in Pascal before deciding to learn C++. The book is not at all easy to read as mentioned in previous reviews but the amount of information combined with the author's (obvious) understanding of how best to use many features of the language makes the reading worth it. DO NOT buy this book and expect it to be a Primer or a tutorial for a beginner. If you do, then you have no business writing a bad review about it because this was not the intent of the book.
As mentioned, the writing style is disorganized and I haven't even tried to read it 'cover to cover'. Usually what happens is I use the Waite guide to get my feet wet on a concept, jump to Eckel's "Thinking in C++" for a more in depth explanation and finally open up Stroustrup's book for the 'final word' on how and why to use the concept.
Finally, the last 3 chapters of the book are worth the price alone. Sure, not all of the discussion will have personal relevance when he talks about software projects and the pitfalls, but there is a lot of a good advice and points to ponder. Design is the hardest part of the programming process (or at least the most important) and it's nice to see a book that treats the subject with both authority and respect.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server(TM) 2000 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (It-Administrator's Pocket Consultant)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best for administration


I haven't found a better book for sql admins. This book is extremely informative. I worked for a year with SQL 7 and have been studying and working with SQL Server 2000 for a year and a half. I passed Exam 70-228 in large part due to what I learned from this book. If you are looking for a how-to book that shows just exactly how to accomplish tasks associated with creating and maintaining SQL 2000 this book is for you. This is an excellent book if you want to understand how SQL Server 2000 works as well.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out, Second Edition (Inside Out)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, Craig Stinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Ultimate Windows XP reference


This book is an essential for anyone with the new Windows XP system that wants to know the nitty-gritty. Some parts do only refer to the XP professional system, some users of the home version may find themselves skipping several sections (and wishing they had paid extra for XP professional, like myself). Even the casual user will find this a great reference. Written in a *much* better style than some of the other Inside Out books, such as Access 2002.