SQL Server professionals needing to quickly get up to speed in specific technology areas or wanting to increase their knowledge and boost their careers are seeking technical resources that provide quality, in-depth content in an easy-to-digest format. Readers' Choice voters selected the following winners in five technical-resource categories.

Best Book. The latest book from consultant and best-selling author Ken Henderson, The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals, claimed best-book honors in a competitive Readers' Choice category. The guide, published by Addison-Wesley Professional, looks at the fundamental technologies behind SQL Server, including processes and threads, memory management, Windows I/O, and networking, then covers SQL Server's architectural details in-depth. An accompanying CD-ROM includes source code for more than 900 examples as well as three tools: DTSDIAG for collecting performance and log data, the VBODSOLE Library of more than 20 COM-based functions for T-SQL, and DTS Package Guru, a .NET-based package editor for DTS. One voter noted, "\[The book\] challenges you to look past the GUI and under the skin of SQL Server."

Best Boot Camp. 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, an overwhelming favorite with readers, 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.

Best Computer-Based and Instructor-Led Training. "AppDev Professional Training for SQL Server 2000," a course by Mary Chipman and Andy Baron, won as both best computer-based training (CBT) and instructor-led training. The AppDev CBT course includes 14 modules, more than 20 hours of training, more than 1000 pages of printable courseware, hands-on labs, and sample code for building robust, scalable database applications. The course covers SQL Server installation and configuration; database design principles; the Query Analyzer programming environment; views, stored procedures, triggers, and user-defined functions (UDFs); backup and maintenance plans; security and tuning; and DTS, replication, XML, and Analysis Services. Readers called the CBT course "solid" and "easy to use." The instructor-led version of the course, provided as customized on-site training for groups of four or more, delivers 8 days of hands-on content.

Best Web-Based Training. LearnKey's "SQL Server 2000 Administration" Web-based training course, delivered by SQL Server MVP Wayne Snyder, gives network administrators the knowledge they need to install, configure, and administer SQL Server 2000. By the end of the course, participants are prepared to administer SQL Server and are ready to pass SQL Server 2000 Administration exam 70-228, which provides core credit toward MCDBA certification and elective credit toward MCSE certification. The Web-based course consists of seven sessions and 21 hours of interactive training. Readers who voted the course as tops in Web-based training noted its quality content and ease of use.

Best SQL Server Technical Resources
Best Book
Addison-Wesley Professional, The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals, by Ken Henderson
877-575-1430, 617-848-6500
http://www.awprofessional.com/titles/0201700476
Price: $54.99
Best Boot Camp
Unisys, "SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) is Here. Now What?"
800-874-8647, 610-648-2586
http://www.unisys.com/db
Price: No charge; just register at http://www.unisys.com/datacenter/sql64
Best Computer-Based and Best Instructor-Led Training
Application Developers Training Company (AppDev), "AppDev Professional Training for SQL Server 2000," by Mary Chipman and Andy Baron
800-578-2062, 952-943-1363
http://www.appdev.com
Price: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and downloadable AppDev d*Learning from $95 to $1695; pricing for customized on-site training varies by number of students and length of class
Best Web-Based Training
LearnKey, "SQL Server 2000 Administration," by Wayne Snyder
800-865-0165, 435-674-9733
http://www.learnkey.com
Price: Single-user license, $555; multi-user license, $1385