Below are SQL Server resources we have found useful for solving SQL Server problems. If you are a SQL Server consultant or the person who must deal with the SQL Server problems in your organization, we hope that you too may find them useful.
One of our most useful resources is our Newsletter Page where you will find dozens of articles on a variety of SQL Server Subjects.
SQL Server Technical Resources
Like most information technologies, SQL Server is evolving so fast that long before a book can be written and published, the information in it is at least partially obsolete. That is why we recommend getting most of your detailed technical information from web sources or monthly periodicals. Still, there are very useful books out there that deal in concepts and technologies that are slow to change. Those books often remain relevant for years.
Dan Tow’s book is a brilliant, platform-independent treatment of tuning SQL queries in a systematic and scientific manner. Dan focuses on the optimum order in which the query engine should access the tables involved. This is a critically important aspect of query tuning that is often overlooked in other SQL performance tuning books. This book attacks the subject rationally and develops a methodology and an elegant system of notation that allows us to positively determine the optimum join order of the most complex query.
As the author points out, the number of possible join orders increases factorially with the number of tables involved. An 8 table join has 40,320 possible join orders. That rules out trial and error for all but the simplest queries. It also turns out that analyzing and diagramming according to Tow’s method gives us a deeper architectural understanding of the query and the ability to recognize patterns in queries whose similarities are not readily apparent.
This is the complete reference for everything that goes on under the hood in SQL Server. No serious SQL Server person can afford to be without this book.
Novick Software Andy Novick has been a SQL Server consultant, programmer, writer and trainer for decades. He is the author of SQL Server User-Defined-Functions as well as countless articles and white papers on all aspects of SQL Server. All of these are available on his site. This is a very useful site in the best traditions of the early world wide web with free and open access to information. You don’t have to log in or give any personal information and you won’t be spammed by advertisers.
SQL Articles and WhitePapers
Many of our SQL Articles and Whitepapapers have moved to the Newsletter Archive. This will hopefully lead to easier site navigation. We are also cleaning out articles that are no longer relevant to current SQL Server versions.
Is your Java driver killing performance? If you are connecting a java application to SQL Server using the default configuration settings for the Java database driver, it could be killing application performance. Here is how to fix it. This short article by SQL Consulting president Kurt Survance was originally published by SQL-Server-Performance.com PAE and 3GB and AWE, Oh My!
Here is a paper by Chad Boyd that covers just about everything you need to know about setting up or troubleshooting AWE memory in SQL Server. Recommended reading.
Download SQL Server Tools
SQL Server installations are becoming increasingly difficult to discover, assess, and maintain in the enterprise due to the proliferation of personal firewalls, etc. SQLPing 3.0 is designed to remedy this problem by combining all known means of SQL Server/MSDE discovery into a single tool which can be used to ferret-out servers you never knew existed on your network so you can properly secure them. SQLPing also does brute force password cracking to identify weak passwords. Requires .NET Framework v2.
There are a number of full-featured third-party tools that allow you to simulate a realistic user load on your database, but none come at a better price than OSTRESS. With this simple command line utility, you can simulate any number of users executing single statements or sql scripts any number of times in your database. It’s good for analyzing blocking, deadlock or performance problems in a multiuser environment. This is an invaluable tool for developers, DBAs and others who don’t have the budget (or perhaps the need) for a more sophisticated tool.
You can download both the 32 bit and x64 bit RML Utilities from the link above. Make sure you get the right version