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Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services
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by Mike Campbell
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Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services
Title:
Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services

Publisher: Addison Wesley

Authors: Peter Blackburn and William R. Vaughn

Pages: 740

ISBN: 0321268288

 

Pros: Most importantly, this book provides dependable and thorough coverage of SQL Server Reporting Services (SRS). There isn't much fluff in this book - but it reads incredibly well, and continuously delivers valuable content, page after page. This book is a true triumph in technical writing - it provides excellent, insightful, information about SRS in a very approachable and practical way; and manages to not only provide a core understanding of the major concepts and principles surrounding SRS, but manages to provide exceptional insight into advanced topics, as well as SRS limitations and compensating techniques. A lot of thought and effort went into this book. It's a must have for anyone doing SRS (2000 or 2005).

 

Cons: There really are no cons to this book. I wish, obviously, that it covered SRS 2005, but other than that, I can't think of any viable weakness of this book. Anyone doing SRS should just own this book. Period.

 

Summary: This book doesn't merely provide readers with a road map of SRS, it's a veritable field guide - replete with pictures of flora and fauna, warnings about poisonous plants and animals, recipes, and free travel vouchers for lodging in some of the must-see establishments that you'll visit along the way. As one would expect, this book starts off with an introduction that helps set the stage for SRS - explaining the need, and providing a 50,000 foot overview of how SRS delivers, and what the major components are. It then provides comprehensive information about installation, administration, security, and report authoring. It then goes into more detail about how to truly SQUEEZE SRS to make it behave and function in the ways that you need it to. While the tone of the book is generally in praise of SRS, this book doesn't pull any punches (well, it's not RUDE) about problems, issues, or limitations with SRS as it stood with SRS 2000. The authors' main goal isn't to sell SRS - it's to help you use it to meet your needs, so any problems or issues are sufficiently called out, discussed, and provided with decent work-arounds where applicable. (And a few of these work-arounds are worth the entire price of the book.)

 

Another great thing about this book is the flow and tone employed by the authors. There's know doubt that they did their research and know their stuff - but they don't come off as stuffy or unapproachable. One of my favorite things about this book is chapter 9 3/4 (that's right, chapter 9.75). What I love about it is that not only is it chock-full of excellent info, but it follows chapter 11. You might think that would be some sort of stunt, or gimmick - but the way the authors cover the reasoning behind this 'maneuver' and the way the information flows, this decision ends up feeling completely like second nature.

 

Sample Chapter: http://www.awprofessional.com/articles/article.asp?p=357694

 

Rating: 5/5



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