What Would You Like to See in a New Book on Indexing?

I am currently in the early stages of writing an outline for a new book on indexing, targeted towards novice DBAs. While this topic has been done to death in hundreds of articles, presentations, and books, I think there is still room for a book that makes the topic easy to read and easy to understand for beginners. The focus on the book would be on the essential (not esoteric) indexing skills that DBAs need to perform their job on a day-to-day basis.

I would really appreciate your advice and feedback on what such a book should include. For example:

  • What part(s) of indexing do you find very easy to understand?
  • What part(s) of indexing do you find the most difficult to understand?
  • What topics do you think I should include in the book that would be of the most help to you?
  • What topics do you think I should not include in the book because they are not helpful for the typical DBA?
  • Can you provide me URL’s of articles on indexing that you think are particularly good, or particularly bad?
  • What’s the best book you have ever read on indexing? What’s the worst book? And why?

If you have any feedback on any of the above topics (you don’t have to answer all of the above question), please post them below. The more feedback I get, the better I will be able to write a book that will best fit the needs for novice DBAs. Once the book is done, it would become freely available as an eBook, just as all my recent books have been.

3 thoughts on “What Would You Like to See in a New Book on Indexing?

  1. I have received feedback on this posting, but it has been posted elsewhere. Below is a summary of the feedback so far.

    –Don’t just write a rehash of Books Online. Try to offer some new perpectives.

    –Would like to see specific examples of how indexes are implemented. In other words, include less theory and more real-world, practical advice.

    –Include a discussion of the most common indexing mistakes, and how to avoid them.

    –Keep the content easy to read, so that it doesn’t melt your mind.

    –Include a discussion of “covering indexes” and how they should be implemented.

    –The easiest indexing concepts to understand include the types of indexes, such as clustered, non-clustered; what happens when you have too many indexes; the problems caused by index fragmentation. Some of the harder parts of indexing include: indexing internals, such as how they are stored and accessed.

    –When should clustered indexes be used? When non-clustered indexes should be used?

    –Discuss how to identify missing indexes, unused indexes, or duplicate indexes.

    –How does indexing work with LOB objects?

    –What’s the best way to maintain indexes?

    –How do you identify the ideal fillfactor for an index?

    –Include how statisics are related to indexes, but don’t overdo it.

    –How do you use Management Studio to manage indexes?

    –What DMVs can you use to “peek inside” indexes?

  2. I would recommend going over pad index and fill factor in detail with real world examples.

    SQLServerPedia is a great resource for Index Management and Index Performance Tuning.


    I hope this helps.

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