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The Rational Guide to SQL Server Notification Services

By Joe Webb

Published by Rational Press 2004

ISBN: 0-9726888-1-1


I recently received the task to get myself familiar with SQL Notification Services for a project I’m working on…basically our customer requested that we use SQL-NS and nobody on the team had experience with it so I got the task. I was kind of looking forward to it because it seems like cool technology but was kind of hesitant because there seems to be so little information out there about it.


To assist me with the task, the company ordered me a SQL-NS book (I’ll cover that one in another post) which was a nice resource, but oh my gosh was it a HUGE book to go through…and I was allotted 1 week to get up to speed on this. Thankfully I discovered Joe Webb’s book by Rational Press – because Rational Press (in my opinion) puts out quality books that are manageable, i.e., I was able to sit down and read this through in one night to become familiar and then refer back to it as needed.


I really enjoyed the no-nonsense way in which the book was written. It covers the bare essentials you need to get the job done and gives enough supporting material without overwhelming you. This book was split into three sections.


Section 1 is a quick and helpful overview/introduction to SQL Notification Services followed by a high level architectural overview and a look at the core framework upon which SQL-NS is built. Definitions are provided for key terms related to SQL-NS, diagrams are drawn which provide a good overview of how all the pieces fit together and it’s written in such a concise manner that I found it easy to read and digest for a topic I had thought was going to be much more complicated…don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think SQL-NS is *easy* but it’s much more manageable to me now ;)

Section 2 gets to the heart of the matter – walking the reader though the development of a Notification Services application. The instructions provided are very clear and easy to understand and are augmented by diagrams, code samples and even screen shots which make it easy to follow along.


Section 3 sees the reader building the application and testing it. You have an added bonus if you register your copy of the book online to download the test application itself. I personally haven’t gotten to the point where I’m ready to test my own applications but I’m looking forward to it once I iron out a few things with the project I’m working on.


Now – all in all this is a great resource if you are looking for a quick and relatively painless introduction to SQL-NS…but I will warn you (as Joe Webb warned me) that this book is slightly dated because it targets SQL-NS 2.0 versus SQL-NS 2005 which just shipped with SQL Server 2005. For example, in Section 3 where the focus is on NSControl to manage SQL-NS instances, you can now do that via SQL Management Studio instead of just using the NSControl command line utility (though you still have the option to use the command line). Additionally with SQL-NS 2005 you have support for 64 bit and .NET Framework 2.0. There are other changes but overall as I stated before the book remains an excellent intro to the subject especially since the book is such a quick and enjoyable read.

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 1:19 PM Book Reviews | Back to top

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