SQL Server professionals need to keep up-to-date and continually increase their knowledge in specific technology areas to remain competitive in the field. These professionals need technical resources that provide quality, in-depth content in an easy-to-digest format. Readers' Choice voters selected the following winners in two technical-resource categories.

Best Training Course (Computer-based, Web-based, or Live). Unisys's technical seminar "SQL Server 2000 (64-Bit) is Here. Now What?" looks at the architectural features of Intel's Itanium II processor, the benefits of 64-bit SQL Server, and how to leverage both technologies for improved performance. The seminar features Raj Gill, a SQL Server MVP and CTO of Scalability Experts, discussing limitations of the 32-bit environment, relational and business intelligence (BI) benefits of 64-bit SQL Server, Windows Server 2003 64-bit clustering enhancements, migration from 32-bit to 64-bit, and enhancements coming in SQL Server 2005. Readers said they appreciate the in-depth nature of the material and the ability to train at their leisure. Note that AppDev Training's "SQL Server 2000 Professional Training" came in a close second.

Best SQL Server Book. A First Look at SQL Server 2005 for Developers (Addison-Wesley Professional) by Bob Beauchemin, Niels Berglund, and Dan Sullivan claimed best-book honors in a highly competitive Readers' Choice category. The book shows working developers how to take full advantage of SQL Server 2005's key innovations. Readers get practical explanations of SQL Server 2005's new data model, built-in .NET hosting, SQL-99 compliance, and more. Virtually every key concept is illuminated by sample code tested with Microsoft's public beta. Key coverage includes: SQL Server 2005 as .NET runtime host, security, reliability, performance, writing procedures, functions, and triggers in .NET languages, leveraging T-SQL enhancements, the XML data type and XML query languages, SQL Server 2005 as a Web Services platform, client-side coding, ADO and ADO.NET enhancements, SQLXML, mapping, ObjectSpaces, and using SQL Server 2005's built-in application server capabilities. Michael Otey's Microsoft SQL Server 2005 New Features (McGraw-Hill) and Brian Larson's Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services (McGraw-Hill) tied for a close second.



Best SQL Server Technical Resources

Best Training Course


Unisys Corporation, "SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) is here. Now What?"
800-874-8647
http://unisys.com/datacenter/sql64
Price: Contact vendor for courses and pricing

Best SQL Server Book


Addison-Wesley Professional, A First Look at SQL Server 2005 for Developers
by Bob Beauchemin, Niels Berglund, and Dan Sullivan
617-848-6000
http://www.awprofessional.com/title/0321180593
Price: $44.95