The Web is both an invaluable information source and a huge potential time sink. You probably know that one of the richest resources for SQL Server technical information is Microsoft's Web site. Following are some of my favorite SQL Server white papers, all of which you can find at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/index.htm#w.

7. SQL Server 7.0 Query Processor


This paper contains a good summary of the query processing enhancements in SQL Server 7.0. It also describes the join strategies that SQL Server uses, intra-query parallelism, and the cost-based optimizer.

6. SQL Server 7.0 Storage Engine


This paper provides a good technical overview of the enhancements in the SQL Server 7.0 storage engine. The paper addresses the new page formats that SQL Server uses, file groups, data type storage, and SQL Server's dynamic locking mechanism.

5. Index Tuning Wizard for SQL Server 7.0


Ensuring that your application uses the correct indexes is one of the best ways to optimize your database applications. This white paper describes the architecture that the Index Tuning Wizard uses and provides a brief example of how the wizard works.

4. Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Security


This white paper provides a valuable summary of SQL Server 7.0 security enhancements and describes the internal implementation of SIDs, globally unique IDs (GUIDs), and system tables. In addition, this reference contains many useful T-SQL, Visual Basic (VB), and SQL-Distributed Management Objects (SQL-DMO) script examples.

3. SQL 7.0 Distributed Queries: OLE DB Connectivity


Finding detailed information about distributed queries in SQL Server Books Online (BOL) is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This white paper is one of the few good technical resources I've found that explains how to use distributed queries with OLE DB.

2. Using COM Interfaces to Expand DTS Functionality


Perhaps it's my developer bias or the fact that SQL Server Magazine originally published this article by Don Awalt and Brian K. Lawton as "Unleash the Power of DTS" (May 1999), but I consider this paper the best available reference for using the Data Transformation Services (DTS) COM object framework.

1. Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Performance Tuning Guide


Information about performance is always near the top of any DBA's wish list. This white paper provides a good set of guidelines for configuring and troubleshooting SQL Server performance problems. The paper also shows the performance counters that you need to monitor and explains how to use the performance tuning tools that come with SQL Server 7.0, such as SQL Server Profiler