SQL Server professionals wear many hats. Whether your title is DBA, developer, business intelligence (BI) architect, systems administrator, or something in between, you're probably responsible for many different tasks. One of your hardest jobs is just staying up-to-date with best practices in all the technology areas you work with. You may feel like you operate in crisis mode—always behind and putting out fires instead of looking ahead to proactive solutions. Who has time to scavenge through all the documentation, Web sites, and newsgroups to find the best way to implement and optimize all the SQL Server solutions you work with?

Never fear—help is on the way. We've collected a set of best-practices checklists that give you the tips you need to work with key SQL Server technologies and perform a multitude of everyday tasks. Our tips and checklists cover you end-to-end. First, Michelle Poolet gives an example of a change-management tool that will simplify tracking not only database change requests but also time and costs. Kalen Delaney's log-backup tips should hang above every administrator's desk, and Mike Otey's checklist for ADO.NET is a must for programmers. If you're thinking of moving your development to SQL Server 2005's Common Language Runtime (CLR), Microsoft expert Gert Drapers gives you the essentials to consider. And Itzik Ben-Gan has some great tips for your T-SQL–only coding. Finally, Peter Blackburn brings together two of today's hottest SQL Server topics—security and Reporting Services—with his quick-and-dirty security checklist for anyone already responsible for or interested in getting started with Reporting Services.

Let us save you the scavenging. Just tear out the pages and post them in your office where they'll be useful. We don't mind; we're here to help.