Free eBook on SQL Server Maintenance Plans Now Available

BRAD_MAINTENENCE_PLANS_135My new eBook, Brad’ Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans is now available as a free, 269 page PDF eBook. The book is designed for part-time or novice DBAs who want to learn how to properly create Maintenance Plans using the tools that come with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in SQL Server 2005/2008.

These two tools include:

  • Maintenance Plan Wizard – a Wizard that steps the user through the process of setting up basic Maintenance Plans, with limited options.
  • Maintenance Plan Designer – a drag-and-drop GUI interface in SSMS that facilitates the design and creation of more flexible, customizable maintenance plans.

Unfortunately, neither tool is especially easy to use or well documented. However, with the guidance I provide in this book, they can become powerful tools in helping the novice DBA to perform critical maintenance tasks, and so help to ensure SQL Server’s performance and availability. In addition to learning how to use these tools you will, along the way, pick up a lot of good, general advice on SQL Server database maintenance. I also tell you when not to use these tools, as there are many cases when it is more appropriate to use T-SQL or PowerShell scripts to perform database maintenance.

If you get a chance to read the book, please post your feedback here. While I spent a lot of time trying to include as much content as I could, I realize that I did not cover every possible way to use these tools, nor cover how they should be used under every possible SQL Server environment.

A paperback version of the book should become available at within the 60 days.

PS: If you haven’t read my blog on A Time and Place for the SQL Server Maintenance Plan Wizard, please do so. It explains why I decided to write this book. Author Central Page

If you are a book author, now allows authors to promote their books with a new author’s page. The new feature is called Author Central.

Mine is at:

The page allows you to add a photograph, a short bio, your blog RSS feed, and even a discussion forum. So if you are a SQL Server, or other author, be sure to take advantage of this new feature to help promote your books.

Free E-Book on XSD SQL Server Schema Collections

image Whether you like it or not, as a SQL Server DBA or Developer, you will eventually have to learn about XML and XSD (XML Schema Definition Language). XML has become, and continues to grow, as a popular format for exchanging data. If you are not up to speed on this technology, check out the this free e-book by Jacob Sebastian called The Art of XSD: SQL Server Schema Collections.

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SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Early Access Edition Now Available


SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, a new book written by 53 SQL Server MVPs, is now available as an eBook, and will be available in paperback in November.

The book, which is edited by Paul Nielson, Kalen Delaney, Greg Low, Adam Machanic, Paul S. Randal, and Kimberly L. Tripp, includes 59 chapters divided into five sections:

  • Database Design and Architecture
  • Database Development
  • Database Administration
  • Performance Tuning and Optimization
  • BI Development

All of the SQL Server MVPs donated their time to write and edit the book, and all royalties will be donated to the  War Child International charity.

If you will be attending the PASS Community Summit this November, you will be able to purchase a copy of the book there, and even get it signed by many of the authors. I wrote two chapters for the book, and will be at the summit to sign your copy, if you are interested.

Free eBook: “Protecting SQL Server Data”

SQL Server security expert, John Magnabosco, has just authored the new book, Protecting SQL Server Data, the first book of its kind to be devoted to the protection of SQL Server data using encryption.

Covering both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008, the book handholds the reader, step-by-step, throughout this entire topic, from beginning topics, all the way to the most advanced.


Below is a list of the chapters from the book:

Chapter 1: Understanding Sensitive Data
Chapter 2: Data Classification and Roles
Chapter 3: Schema Architecture Strategies
Chapter 4: Encryption Basics for SQL Server
Chapter 5: Cell-level Encryption
Chapter 6: Transparent Data Encryption
Chapter 7: One-way Encryption
Chapter 8: Obfuscation
Chapter 9: Honeycombing a Database
Chapter 10: Layering Solutions

If you have been shying away from learning about SQL Server encryption because of a lack of any good sources to learn about it, now you don’t have any excuse, especially since the book is available as a free eBook from Simple Talk Publishing and Red Gate Software.