Welcome to the first all-digital issue of SQL Server Pro. This issue marks an exciting change for all of us. Although nobody really likes change, one of the things you quickly learn in IT is that change is inevitable and necessary, but it can also be good thing. We’re not really making the move to digital in order to go green or to save money, although these might be good side effects. Instead, we’re moving into the next era of publishing to bring you a better product with more information and more features than ever before. The new digital format provides a readable magazine-like experience while incorporating other features that are impossible to include in print media.

Expert Advice Continues

Our new digital format will still provide the in-depth expert advice that you’ve come to expect from database professionals such as Itzik Ben-Gan, Michael K. Campbell, Denny Cherry, Tyler Chessman, Kalen Delaney, Andrew J. Kelly, Kevin Kline, Michelle A. Poolet, Kimberly L. Tripp, Paul S. Randal, William Vaughn, Richard Waymire, and many more. In addition to our technical content, we’re adding a host of new interactive features that you can use only in digital format. Some of the new features you can expect to find include video interviews, screen casts, podcasts, live web links, social media links to Facebook and Twitter, and RSS feeds. These types of interactive features will provide a richer, more informative and entertaining experience. In addition, the new digital format is designed to work well on Kindle and iPad devices, which have quickly become prevalent in IT. In the future, we will also be expanding our digital media to mobile devices.

This is definitely a year that will be packed full of exciting changes, with the recent release of SQL Server 2012 as well as upcoming releases for Visual Studio 11, Windows Server 8, and Windows 8. As the year unfolds, we’ll be bringing you a lot of in-depth coverage of the new features in SQL Server 2012. But we also know that not everyone upgrades to the newest releases right away and most of your time is spent working with existing releases. Therefore, we plan to continue to provide practical hands-on articles for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005.

In This Issue

In this issue, Michael K. Campbell covers "Troubleshooting Common SQL Server Problems" to help you learn about fixing common DBA problems and using dynamic management views. Itzik Ben-Gan kicks off a series of articles on T-SQL best practices, in which he explains the importance of rational thinking and using the NOLOCK T-SQL directive. In addition, Don Kiely covers the important new SQL Server 2012 security features, and Ann Lewkowicz shows you how to use the SSIS Script component to import data. In our regular Q&A column, Kimberly L. Tripp and Paul S. Randall help answer your tough SQL Server DBA questions. And in my SQL Views column, you’ll learn about some of the cool SQL Server Virtual Labs.

Of course we’re always looking at ways to improve the reader’s experience, especially considering that digital is new territory for us. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, let us know at letters@sqlmag.com.