As I am still learning, I was thinking what is my favorite? The fact is I do not have a favorite. I read almost everything, both good and bad. (I remember, when I was visiting a friend of mine, I even started reading a query he wrote on his computer. Those days, we didn't enjoy internet, He has just bought a computer. He used books online and wrote a multi-statement query. That is the first time I saw a multi statement query. All those days, I was breaking my brain to some how write a complex process in single statement. )
Okay, Now for those who love to learn, Some of the sites I like to recommend:
- Books online. Whether you have SQL Server or not (you can have SQL Server Express Edition for free) you can have books online for free. For me this was the only source of information when SQL Server 6.0 was there. (was it the same name at that time?)
- Learning resources from Microsoft. Whenever a new version is released, Microsoft also releases a set of web casts and lab sessions. Please refer them at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/learning.aspx
- Dedicated SLQ Server sites. Some of them are:
- http://www.SQlServerCentral.com. I believe this is most popular site. It has a wide range of topics, for both novice and advanced users.
- http://www.sql-server-performance.com. Another wonderful site, dedicated to performance tuning and optimization. If you are a new user, and not much involved in administration, this may not be the best site for you. I see less articles now in this site, but this site contains a lot of tips and forums on performance.
- http://www.databasejournal.com/features/mssql/ This article periodically writes articles on various topics.
- http://www.simple-talk.com/sql/ I don't think I can say thing less than "Great" about this site. It is for those who already use SQL Server. real meat for SQL Server lovers.
- http://www.mssqltips.com/ A great site for small tips on SQL Server. More beneficial for database developers.
- http://sqlserverpedia.com Another growing site sponsored by quest software.
- Books: http://www.red-gate.com/about/book_store/index.htm is my first choice. If you have membership on safari online book store, you may be able to read a lot of them. I do not know how much it will cost. eCollege provides me (and all developers and DBAs) a free membership. (Another reason to join eCollege!) There are other sources for free e-books but I can;t list them here. There are many.
- Blogs: I believe now they are the best option for these days. They are small, and to the point (If you think this blog is an exception, that is not the point and you re going out of the point!) You have the freedom to read as many as possible every day. If you want to know about the blogs available on SQL Server, PASS has a directory of blogs at http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/BlogDirectory/tabid/66/Default.aspx. (Those who have not registered here yet, can register. The page contains the information). This site has many recognized blogs. (Yes. my blog is listed... ha ha ha)
- I found a site periodically offering level 400 web casts on performance optimization. you have web casts ready for downloads http://webcasts.sqlworkshops.com/webcasts.asp
- Quest software is offering a full day free virtual conference on troubleshooting and performance tuning. Quest announced that this event will happen on March 03rd. Check this link if you are interested: Quest Software SQL Server vConference; Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning. Remember that they have planned to have a session for each for beginners moderately experienced and advanced users.