Free eBook: Defensive Database Programming

Simple-Talk Publishing has released a new free eBook: Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server, by Alex Kuznetsov.

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.

Too often as developers, we stop work as soon as our code passes a few basic tests to confirm that it produces the ‘right result’ in a given use case. We do not stop to consider what other possible ways in which the code might be used in the future, or how our code will respond to common changes to the database environment, such as a change in the database language setting, or a change to the nullability of a table column, and so on.

This book is filled with practical, realistic examples of the sorts of problems that beset database programs, including:

  • Changes in database objects, such as tables, constraints, columns, and stored procedures.
  • Changes to concurrency and isolation levels.
  • Upgrades to new versions of SQL Server.
  • Changes in requirements.
  • Code reuse.
  • Problems causing loss of data integrity.
  • Problems with error handling in T-SQL.

You can download the eBook in PDF format here.


The Book of Red Gate

I’m a pretty big fan of RedGate.  I use a few of their products almost religiously.  Their SQL Compare product is probably the most used tool in my toolbox.  I follow their blogs & evangelists, regularly consume their free eBooks, and generally admire the company as a whole.  Their “Ingeniously Simple” mantra is really what keeps me coming back.  I even started to apply for a job there once.  However, the small requirement to live in England killed it for me.  So it’s no surprise that I would read The Book of Red Gate.

It’s not so much a book, as it’s a compilation of all things that RedGate represents and the day-to-day nuances that is RedGate.  It’s also the quickest 76 pages that I’ve ever read.  All in all, it’s a fun short book that is an insight to what goes on around the RedGate campus.

You can download a pdf version of the eBook here.

Free eBook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft Press has released a free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server R2, by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner. There are 10 chapters and 216 pages. Here is a quick overview of the chapters:

Chapter 1: SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions and Enhancements
Chapter 2: Multi-Server Administration
Chapter 3: Data-Tier Applications
Chapter 4: High Availability and Virtualization Enhancements
Chapter 5: Consolidation and Monitoring
Chapter 6: Scalable Data Warehousing
Chapter 7: Master Data Services
Chapter 8: Complex Event Processing with StreamInsight
Chapter 9: Reporting Services Enhancements
Chapter 10: Self-Service Analysis with PowerPivot

You can download the ebook in PDF format here.

Update your readers to follow my new syndication feed at

First Microsoft Certification Exam

I’ve signed up to take my first Microsoft Certification exam. I will be taking the MCTS Exam 70-433: SQL Server 2008 Database Development exam. The date is scheduled for May 26th with 3 hours allotted. I’m hoping that it’ll be a breeze, since I’ve been writing TSQL for so long, but I’m still nervous.

The book I’ve been reading is from Microsoft Press: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – Database Development Training Kit, by Tobias Thernstom, Ann Weber, Mike Hotek, and GrandMasters.  So far it’s a really quick read.  The part that I really like about this book is that there is a summary at the front of the book that states the exams specific objectives and where it’s located in the book.  There are also practice tests included for studying.

Wish me luck!

Free eBook: How to Become an Exceptional DBA

Brad McGehee is one of my more favorite authors of SQL literature. How to Become an Exceptional DBA is one of his more popular books.  It’s really a career guide for novice and experienced DBAs, alike.  It shows step-by-step methods for how to differentiate yourself from the crowd.  Most of it is common sense, but it’s a good reminder for how to be an exceptional DBA.

You can download a free pdf version of this eBook here.

Free eBook: Don’t Just Roll The Dice

One of the blogs that I follow is the Business Of Software, by Neil Davidson.  Neil is the co-founder and joint CEO of Red Gate Software and the organizer of the Business of Software conference.  Back in October, Neil released a free eBook, Don’t Just Roll the Dice.  It’s a useful, short book on how to price software.  It includes theory, practical advice and case studies so that software pricing isn’t a roll of the dice.

You can download a pdf version of the eBook here.

Free eBook: Getting Real

37signals is one those companies that you just can’t help but notice.  And once you do, you won’t be able to keep from following them and their philosophies.  They are the guys that invented Ruby On Rails.  They follow the strict mantra that software products should be built with the least number of features possible.  Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application is a new book written by the crew at 37signals.  This practical book details unconventional methods to deliver value, fresh perspectives, and inspiration.  At 200 pages, it’s a surprisingly quick read.  I read it the entire book from my iPhone while waiting at and in-between various appointments.  The book is made up of small essays that are easy to digest and understand.  It has amazing insight on building lean software that any starting company or entrepreneur will find immensely valuable.

You can view a web version of this eBook here.