By Edward Jones
SQL Server 2012, is the latest in a long line of Microsoft’s successful information database platforms. The current cloud ready platform enables a modern and accessible data-platform, with a user friendly interface which promises to aid organisations in unlocking breakthrough insights and enable Hybrid IT infrastructures to help move businesses forward by unlocking new business models.
As we head ever closer to the launch of SQL Server 2014, information on how to use the server to its full potential is seemingly endless; the internet hosts a wealth of information covering just about any topic regarding SQL servers. This isn’t limited to only the Microsoft servers, but its major competitors, too.
To spare you the task of sifting through it all, Firebrand has put together the Top 5 Resources for answering any questions regarding the SQL Server in its many versions, whether you’re an Administrator or Developer:
1. Microsoft Virtual Academy - http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/topics/product-sql-server-en
Microsoft Virtual Academy’s completely amazing, and completely free, SQL Server 2012 training is geared towards both database administrators and developers, with the purpose of providing training on implementing and managing database solutions. Its series of highly rated courses covers a range of vital information, including how to implement the powerful reporting features in SQL server and how to gain Mission Critical Confidence.
This website also provides practical Virtual Labs, which can be accessed immediately online, again for free, allowing you to evaluate and test the newest technologies. Worth investigating are the training and certification programs highlighted on this site – the range available promise to prove invaluable to career credentials and professional advancement.
2. TechNet – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sqlserver
As we’ve mentioned before, TechNet provides an invaluable source when researching the latest information on Microsoft Technology; it covers just about everything for both Admin and Developer roles. TechNet provides an assortment of different resources spanning a range of media platforms to help with installing, and making the most of, the SQL server.
For easily accessible information try the variety of interactive aids available, such as the simple Virtual labs which require no complex set up or installation and cover both older and updated versions of the server software. Also on offer are a series of handy ‘How Do I?’ videos covering specific tasks relating to the SQL server, and, if you’re still stuck on something there are forums and blogs so you can discuss any problems further.
For consistently up-to-date information on what is available, follow @SQLTechCenter.
3. Database Journal – http://www.databasejournal.com/
As the ‘go-to’ place for database administrators, The Database Journal Series index provides a long listing of articles, which contain more than three instalments. It covers database management and programming news and provides tutorials on all variations of SQL server. All information is categorized in simple, easy to navigate tables, making it completely user friendly.
Tables, tutorials, scripts and tips cover about every eventuality and any question you may have – but still this database acts as a portal to other useful web-information; it helpfully categorises links to where further information can be found online, again minimising your own search time.
4. SQL Server Central – http://www.sqlservercentral
With a community of over 1.5 million DBAs, developers and SQL Server users, SQL Server Central provides an efficient collective hub for Server users. Not only does this mean you can interact globally with others in the same position as you, but all article content is based on real world SQL server problems and experiences, encountered by the columnists themselves.
Alongside these articles, SQLServerCentral.com also provides links to articles and resources throughout the internet, popular forums to discuss specific issues, sample scripts, and helpful book reviews. In addition you can also sign up for a daily newsletter which highlights all recent articles, tools, editorials and forum posts which may be relevant to you
Also well worth checking out is the SQL Server Central Webinar Series provided by SQL Server Central and Red Gate Software. Each webinar lasts around an hour and features different topics and speakers.
5. SQL Server Blog – http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/
And finally, our last resource comes again from the brilliant TechNet and its aforementioned available blogs.
With Microsoft products being updated regularly and quickly, keeping ‘in-the-know’ about the latest products and technology proves greatly beneficial, especially when it comes straight from the source. This blog provides the official news from Microsoft’s Information Platform, and thus acts as a great starting point for finding latest updates, articles and data regarding the SQL server. The team provide regularly updated information, from articles and discussions, to interviews with the Microsoft VP himself. Following these blogs will keep you informed and current at all times.
So that concludes our compilation of our 5 favourite ‘go-to’ resources for help or information regarding SQL servers; whether you’re looking to chat to other like-minded people as part of a larger community, receive one-on-one assistance, or simply to just keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments.
Discovered something new or got something old, yet noteworthy, you think we’ve missed? Feel free to leave some feedback to let us know.
Ed Jones works for Firebrand Training heading up community engagement within the Marketing department. Ed spends his days thinking up topics for surveys, article titles and concepts for engaging infographics. You can check out a range of his most recent work via the Firebrand Press Page.