Here are some resources I’ve come across over the years that have come in handy in working with SQL databases. I hope you find these products a helpful as I have.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to buy, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a small commission. I have used all of these productions and wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t feel they were solid product I’ve found useful. Please don’t purchase any of these productions unless you feel they are useful and provide you with value.
My Favorite Books
Microsoft EXCEL 2013: Building Data Models with PowerPivot: When Excel 2013 was released there was a lot of buzz around PowerPivot and I just needed to find out! Using this book, I was quickly able to step through the process of importing data from a SQL database, design a fact table, and quickly create some really cool interactive reports using PowerPivot. I was helping deploy Lync at a large company, we used this tool to hook into the ticketing system (Heat) to get up-to-date reports on problems by location. The book really helped!
SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL (3rd Edition): This book eases the reader into SQL. It is a great beginning book. It covers all the basic concepts of SQL and relational databases. Their approach to writing queries is to first write the query in English and through a series of transformations end with SQL. Great resource!
The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A: Donald Knuth’s classic set of books covering fundamental computer science problems such as searching and sorting. Note you can purchase the books as a set or individually.
The Mythical Man-Month: Learn why common sense sometime flies in the face of systems development project planning. In this famous book, Frederick P. Brooks explores the fallacy that adding additional people to a project reduces the deadline. In fact, Mr. Brook states it will increase!
Soul of a New Machine: Get a glimpse of what it took to design an create a mini-computer. Pulitzer prize winning author Tracy Kidder explores the inner workings of the now defunct company Data General as they prepare for their next generation mini-computer. I personally like the story about the mico-coder. He procrastinates until the very end, then “jams” and gets all the coding done in a week!
Refactoring Databases: Many operations, such as splitting a field into two are common repeatable exercises. Refactoring Databases explores common operations we perform to maintain our databases and the patterns they form.
SQL Server 2014 Administration: I like this book since it get to the heart of common DBA issues that you’ll need to master if you want to successfully operate large scale databases.
I have several affordable classes available for you to choose from. My free course Getting Started Learning SQL Server is very popular. Also, If you’re looking to really understand Joins and Subqueries, the I would recommend SQL 201.
SQL Backup and FTP: The software works with SQL Server (Express) 2005, 2008 and 2012. Backups can be automatically transferred via FTP or uploaded to Amazon S3, Dropbox or Google Drive clouds.
I recommend SQL Backup and FTP for four simple reasons:
- Backups up any Express Edition of SQL.
- Simple to use
- Perfect for backing up remote databases and shipping backups to your location.
- It is inexpensive to buy and free to try.
This software is free to try and a really great way to backup SQL databases at smaller or remote locations. I find the FTP capabilities handy to ship backups back to our central location where the backup sets are handled by file system. Through I haven’t use Amazon S3 or Dropbox with this product, I like the idea, especially with encryption.
MySQL Backup and FTP: This tool makes it easy to backup any MySQL database to a remote location or safely store your backup sets in the cloud. The tool is free to use can either ship backup sets back to your file servers via FTP or upload to the Amazon S3, Dropbox, or Google Drive clouds.
Snagit: I’ve been using this tool since Windows 3.1 to easily create and annotate screen captures. Sure, you can use Print Screen and past into paint, but Snagit makes the job so much easier. I especially like that you can quickly annotate your screen prints. This makes it a snap to create user guides or answer a quick user question.
Camtasia Studio: For window’s users this is the “go to software” for creating Screen casts. I use it to pose YouTube videos as well as create screen captures for customers. You can capture and send to video any portion of the screen. The tool makes it dead simple to edit and incorporate recorded audio.
SQL Manager for MySQL: As the number of MySQL databases I managed grew in number, I realized that I needed an easy way, through a single pane of glass, to quickly connect and manage all of them. SQL Manager really helped me out.
Also, I really like the wizards that help me quickly diagnose and fix common database issue.
A huge plus is being able to debug stored procedures.
Favorite Web Sites
SQLServer-DBA.com – SQL Server DBAs managing and tuning large scale and complex SQL Server databases.Everything else SQL server.
TidySQL – A real time saver. Use TidySQL to format your sql statements. It will automatically capitalize and indent your code for you!