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I no longer subscribe to this magazine. It was good for a while (while I was a DBA), but as a developer, there is not much applicable information.
A majority of the content is geared toward database administration, even though development is a just as critical when implementing databases. Since database job roles are generally pretty segmented (administrator vs. developer), at least in larger corporate environments, this magazine would better serve its subscriber base by splitting it into two magazine more specialized content for these roles.
In lieu of receiving this anymore, I now rely on the SQL Server Books Online (BOL), the online MSDN Library (free), and The Guru’s Guide to Transact-SQL. (That book was written in 2000, and it is still just as relevant today, even on SQL Server 2005.)
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I have been a subscriber for several years, and glommed associates’ copies for years before that. The quality does fluctuate as regular columnists change. Right now, it has a fairly strong group of writers. Head and shoulders above than the rest — and alone worth the subscription price — is Itzik Ben-Gan’s monthly column on SQL querying.
Ben-Gan has written several books on SQL and SQL Server, including one of the “Inside SQL 2008” series. He writes very clearly, using minimalist code examples to illustrate his points. My reactions to Ben-Gan’s monthly columns range from “Jeez, didn’t know that was possible”, to “Ooo, gotta use that at work”, to “Huh?” when he exceeds my limited bandwith.
A few years ago, Kalen Delaney wrote a monthly column on SQL Server internals. It, too, was excellent and some of her columns were later incorporated into her “Inside SQL Server” series. Wish there were some way to bring her back.
Very thin, in terms of # of pages, and content. There are a lot of no-cost options on-line that have better information.
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