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Getting SQL Server Assistance

There are three principal sources of information from Microsoft about SQL Server:

  • The documentation installed as a local collection of SQL Server Books Online.

  • The SQL Server sites on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet.

  • SQL Server information on additional Microsoft Web sites.

If you do not find the information you are looking for in these sources, you can either post questions in the SQL Server community forums and newsgroups, or you can open a support case with Microsoft.

SQL Server Books Online documents the concepts and procedures required to use SQL Server. Books Online also includes reference material for the languages and programming interfaces for storing, retrieving, reporting, and modifying data using SQL Server.

Books Online can be accessed in the following ways:

  • A copy of SQL Server 2012 Books Online is published in both the MSDN Library and the TechNet Library on the Internet. The topics in these copies of the SQL Server Books Online include comments from the community, such as additional information and code examples from other customers. You can view the MSDN Library copy at the SQL Server 2012 Books Online.

  • You can use the Help Library Manager to install SQL Server Books Online on a local computer. For more information, see Add or Remove Product Documentation for SQL Server.

Both the copy of SQL Server Books Online in the MSDN Library and the Books Online files available through Help Library Manager are refreshed when Microsoft publishes an update to SQL Server Books Online.

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) provides online and offline services that help developers write applications using Microsoft products and technologies. The Microsoft TechNet Program delivers comprehensive technical resources that help IT professionals efficiently evaluate, deploy, and support Microsoft solutions.

Several sites on MSDN and TechNet provide a specific audience with links to the SQL Server information most relevant to their jobs, including the information in the copies of the SQL Server Books Online on MSDN or TechNet. These sites also contain information that extends the information available in SQL Server Books Online.

The following table describes these resources and their intended audience.

Resource

Audience

SQL Server Developer Center

Developers who are building SQL Server databases, reporting systems, and business intelligence solutions, and enabling their applications and Web sites to use these systems.

Data Access and Storage Developer Center

Developers who are enabling their applications and Web sites to use data stored using products such as SQL Server and Access.

XML Developer Center

Web site creators and application developers whose sites and applications utilize XML for data storage and manipulation.

SQL Server TechNet Site

Administrators and operators who plan, deploy, administer, and support systems that use SQL Server.

Additional SQL Server information is available from these Microsoft Web sites.

Resource

Description

Microsoft SQL Server

Provides pre-sales information about evaluating SQL Server as a data storage and business intelligence tool.

Microsoft Knowledge Base

Provides a searchable repository of SQL Server articles written by Microsoft support.

Microsoft Learning

Describes Microsoft training and certifications for SQL Server.

Microsoft Press

Lists Microsoft Press books about SQL Server.

If you have not found the information you are looking for in the product documentation or on the Web you can ask a question in the SQL Server community forums and newsgroups. You can also request help from product support.

Note Note

Please do not post questions in the Community Comments section at the bottom of the SQL Server Books Online topics in the MSDN Library or TechNet Library. Those sections are not monitored for questions, and you will usually not receive an answer. Please post questions in the community forums and newsgroups, which are monitored by other customers who can answer your questions.

The following table links to and describes these resources.

Resource

Description

SQL Server IT Professional Community

Provides links to newsgroups and forums monitored by the SQL Server community. It also lists community information sources, such as blogs and Web sites. The SQL Server community is very helpful in answering questions, although there is no guarantee of an answer.

SQL Server Developer Center Community

This site focuses on the newsgroups, forums, and other community resources that are useful to SQL Server developers.

Microsoft Help and Support

You can use this Web site to open a support case with a Microsoft support professional.

Microsoft products have a support lifecycle that defines how long support is available for each release. Microsoft support maintains a page that defines the Microsoft support lifecycle. The page contains links to other pages that specify the availability of support for Microsoft products. For more information, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

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