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Introduction

One day I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation. . . . I’m here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards—and, of course, the whip God gave me.

—Truman Capote[1]

[1] Capote, Truman. Music for Chameleons (reprint edition). New York: Vintage Books, 1994, pp. xi and xix.

I wrote this book to get inside SQL Server. I wanted to see what we could learn about the product and the technologies on which it’s based through the use of a freely downloadable debugger, a few well-placed xprocs, and a lot of tenacity. The book you’re reading is the result of that experiment.

In my two previous SQL Server books, I focused more on the pragmatic aspects of SQL Server—how to program it and how to make practical use of its many features. As the title suggests, this book focuses more on the architectural design of the product. Here, we dwell on the technical underpinnings of the product more than on how to use it. It’s my belief that understanding how the product works will make you a better SQL Server practitioner. You will use the product better and leverage its many features more successfully in your work because you will have a deeper understanding of how those features work and how they were intended to be used.


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