Visit the #1 education and community site for the SQL Server Community, for articles, resources, forums, sample scripts and book reviews.
Communities, Learning, and Events
If you need to learn a new technology fast, one of the best ways to get skilled up quickly is with a book.
Red Gate Books is a technical publisher specializing in database and programming technologies amongst other things. We seek out practitioners at the top of their game who have the urge to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
We now publish in all the current reading formats, including PDF, Kindle, and cellulose editions.
Featured bookView full description
Our books by topic
SQL Server Execution Plans by Grant Fritchey
(2nd Edition, October 2012)
Every Database Administrator, developer, report writer, and anyone else who writes T-SQL to access SQL Server data, must understand how to read and interpret execution plans. This book leads you right from the basics of capturing plans, through how to interrupt them in their various forms, graphical or XML, and then how to use the information you find there to diagnose the most common causes of poor query performance, and so optimize your SQL queries, and improve your indexing strategy...View full description
Inside the SQL Server Query Optimizer by Benjamin Nevarez
(1st Edition, November 2010)
This book will take you from the fundamentals of Statistics, Cost Estimation, Index Selection, and the Execution Engine, and guide you through the inner workings of the Query Optimization process, and throws in a pragmatic look at Parameterization and Hints along the way. View full description
An essential purchase for your SQL Server libraryAmazon.com review of Inside the SQL Server Query Optimizer
The Red Gate Guide to SQL Server Team-based Development by Phil Factor, Grant Fritchey, Alex Kuznetsov, and Mladen Prajdić
(1st Edition, November 2010)
This book shows how to use a mixture of home-grown scripts, native SQL Server tools, and tools from the Red Gate SQL Toolbelt, to successfully develop database applications in a team environment, and make database development as similar as possible to "normal" development... View full description
The goal of Defensive Programming is to produce resilient code that responds gracefully to the unexpected. To the SQL Server programmer, this means T-SQL code that behaves consistently and predictably in cases of unexpected usage, doesn't break under concurrent loads, and survives predictable changes to database schemas and settings. Inside this book, you will find dozens of practical, defensive programming techniques that will improve the quality of your T-SQL code and increase its resilience and robustness. View full description...
'Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server' should be required reading for all SQL practitioners.Amazon.com review of Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server
The Art of XSD by Jacob Sebastian
(1st Edition, April 2009)
When information is exchanged in XML format, you need an agreement between the sender and receiver about the structure and content of the XML document. This "agreement" takes the form of an XSD (XML Schema Definition Language) Schema. Jacob Sebastian's book explains all... View full description
Finally a book that can explain the principles of XSD schemas in an easy to understand way.Amazon.com review of The Art of XSD
SQL Server Execution Plans by Grant Fritchey
(1st Edition, June 2008)
Why is my query running slow? Why isn't my index getting used? In order to answer these questions, you have to ask the same return question in each case: have you looked at the execution plan? Grant Fritchey provides the only dedicated and detailed guide to this essential topic... View full description
To those of us that have struggled with optimizing queries, this books is a must and what is more… you do not have to be a rocket scientist to work through the book.Amazon.com review of SQL Server Execution Plans
SQL Server Transaction Log Management by Tony Davis and Gail Shaw
When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA's reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works. An effective response to a crisis requires rapid decisions based on understanding its role in ensuring data integrity. View full description
The Art of SQL Server FILESTREAM by Jacob Sebastian and Sven Aelterman
(1st Edition, October 2012)
FILESTREAM is implemented as an extension to the VARBINARY(MAX) data type and allows large object data to be stored in a special folder on the NTFS file system, while bringing that data under the transactional control of SQL Server. This book describes both the way it works and the implementation, administration and troubleshooting of it. View full description
SQL Server Concurrency: Locking, Blocking and Row Versioning by Kalen Delaney
Your application can have impeachable indexes and queries, but they won't help you if you can't get to your data because another application has it locked. That's why every DBA and developer must understand SQL Server concurrency and how to troubleshoot excessive blocking or deadlocking. View full description
SQL Server Backup and Restore by Shawn McGehee
A DBA's tasks, from day-to-day, are rarely constant; with one exception: the need to ensure each and every day that any database in their charge can be restored and recovered, in the event of error of disaster. In this book, you'll discover how to perform each of these backup and restore operations using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), basic T-SQL scripts and Red Gate's SQL Backup tool. View full description
Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for the Accidental DBA by Jonathan Kehayias and Ted Krueger
(1st Edition, November 2011)
Three SQL Server MVPs provide fascinating insight into the most common SQL Server problems, why they occur, and how they can be diagnosed using tools such as Performance Monitor, Dynamic Management Views and server-side tracing. The focus is on practical solutions for removing root causes of these problems, rather than "papering over the cracks". View full description
I'm adding it to my list of recommended books for SQL Server DBAs.Brent Ozar
SQL Server Hardware by Glenn Berry
(1st Edition, July 2011)
SQL Server Hardware will provide the fundamental knowledge and resources you need to make intelligent decisions about choice, and optimal installation and configuration, of SQL Server hardware, operating system and the SQL Server RDBMS. View full description
There's never been a book like this before, and it's a Herculean effort for anyone to pull off alone, and do it accurately. Glenn pulled it off.Brent Ozar
SQL Server Statistics by Holger Schmeling
(1st Edition, November 2010)
Holger Schmeling's work in SQL Server Distribution Statistics was first published as a pair of long articles for Simple-Talk. The booklet takes a practical, and well-informed approach to a subject that is not always easy to explain or understand... View full description
This is the book that will de-mystify the process of using Dynamic Management Views to collect the information you need to troubleshoot SQL Server problems. It will highlight the core techniques and "patterns" that you need to master, and will provide a core set of scripts that you can use and adapt for your own requirements. View full description...
I highly recommend this book. If you're responsible for maintaining or developing SQL Server systems, you'll find something useful in this book that you can put to work, right away.Amazon.com review of Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views
Brad's Sure Guide to Maintenance Plans shows you how to use the Maintenance Plan Wizard and Designer to configure and schedule eleven core database maintenance tasks, ranging from integrity checks, to database backups, to index reorganizations and rebuilds. View full description...
The seventh volume in this collection brings you a compilation of the best articles we've seen over the past year, from over 50 authors. View full description...
Buy from Amazon.com : $29.99
Buy from Amazon.co.uk: £19.99
Free PDF download
Protecting SQL Server Data by John Magnabosco
This book holds the key to "encryption without fear". In it, John Magnabosco sweeps away some of the misconceptions surrounding SQL Server's encryption technologies, and demonstrates that, when properly planned and implemented, they are an essential tool in the DBA's fight to safeguard sensitive data. View full description...
SQL Server Tacklebox by Rodney Landrum
Inside the SQL Server Tacklebox you'll find day-to-day tools, scripts and techniques to automate and standardize SQL Server installation, document and report on your servers, migrate data and manage data growth, troubleshoot performance issues, receive notifications of impending issues, secure access to your servers and fight off the data corruption monster... View full description
SQL Server Tacklebox is a must have for the technical library of any DBA.Amazon.com review of SQL Server Tacklebox
How to Become an Exceptional DBA by Brad McGehee
(2nd Edition, July 2009)
A 2nd edition of Brad McGehee's popular "career guide" for DBAs, designed to help new and prospective DBAs find their feet in the profession, and to advise those more-experienced on how they can excel at their jobs, and so become Exceptional DBAs... View full description
The book is a quick read, and at the end, I was left re-energized. It had the effect on me of a professional motivational speaker, at a fraction of the price.Amazon.com review of How to Become an Exceptional DBA
SQL Server Stumpers Vol.5 by SQLServerCentral.com Authors
(1st Edition, June 2009)
Whether you're practicing for an exam or interview, or just wanting to see who's got the biggest SQL Server brain in your office, this book is perfect. Containing 100 SQL Server Central Questions of the Day, this book is a great way to test yourself or increase your knowledge. View full description...
Mastering SQL Server Profiler by Brad McGehee
(1st Edition, January 2009)
Brad McGehee's "from the ground up" guide to SQL Server's most powerful performance diagnostic tool... View full description
A single, comprehensive (and well-written) resource from one of the best!Amazon.com review of Mastering SQL Server Profiler
Under the Hood of .NET Memory Management by Chris Farrell and Nick Harrison
As well-engineered as the .NET framework is, it's not perfect, and it doesn't always get memory management right. To write truly fantastic software, you need to understand how .NET memory management actually works. This book will take you from the very basics of memory management, all the way to how the OS handles its resources, and will help you write the best code you can. View full description
Practical Performance Profiling: Improving the efficiency of .NET code by Jean-Philippe Gouigoux
In this book, Jean-Philippe Gouigoux provides both the theory and practical skills necessary to analyze and improve the performance of .NET code. By focusing on the 20% of code defects that account for 80% of performance loss, Jean-Philippe Gouigoux guides the reader through using a profiler and explains how to identify and correct performance bottlenecks. This book is for all developers who wish to boost the performance of their .NET code without having to embark on the steep slopes of tuning. View full description
The Complete Guide
In the Complete Guide .NET Performance and Optimization, Paul Glavich and Chris Farrell offer a comprehensive and essential handbook to anybody looking to set up a .NET testing environment and get the best results out of it, or just learn effective techniques for testing and optimizing their .NET applications. View full description...
Of almost a hundred Simple-Talk articles on topics of interest to System Adminstrators, we've chosen the best and most popular ones for an essential collection that packs a great deal of information about common tasks for the working System Adminstrator.. View full description...
Having worked with Exchange Server for the last 14 years, Jaap's Practical Guide to Exchange Server 2010 draws upon all that experience to deliver an easy-to-use guide to this latest platform, full of useful examples and top tips for SysAdmins, both new and experienced. View full description...
Mankind would benefit greatly if all technical books were written like this.Amazon.com review of Exchange 2010 - A Practical Approach
How do you price your software? Is it art, science or magic?
How much attention should you pay to your competitors?
This short handbook will provide you with the theory, practical advice and case studies you need to stop yourself from reaching for the dice. View full description...
Neil presents an honest, candid picture of the software world and how to work within it. Recommended!Amazon.com review of Don't Just Roll the Dice
Confessions of an IT Manager by Phil Factor
(2nd Edition, May 2009)
The software industry is, just occasionally, more absurd than one would dare to imagine. Having spent most of his working life in its clutches, Phil Factor has pretty much "seen it all" and what's more he's prepared to tell what he knows. The second edition of Phil's "Confessions of an IT Manager" contains Phil's full repertoire of tales of institutional mayhem and software projects gone awry. View full description...
You won't find a more bitingly funny take on the way the IT industry works.Amazon.com review of Don't Confessions of an IT Manager
Visit our rapid fire stackoverflow-style Q&A site for all things SQL Server. Ask questions, answer them, vote good answers up and bad ones down, build your reputation in badges.
Visit our online technical journal and community hub for SQL Server, .NET and Exchange professionals.