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Using SQL Server Books Online

Microsoft SQL Server Books Online is the documentation set for Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Books Online covers the concepts and procedures required to use SQL Server effectively. Books Online also includes reference material covering the languages and programming interfaces for storing, retrieving, reporting, and modifying data using SQL Server.

Microsoft Document Explorer, the viewer for Books Online, includes many features designed to make it easier and faster to find information in the documentation set.

You can access SQL Server Books Online in the following ways:

  • From the Start menu - Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2005, point to Documentation and Tutorials, and then click SQL Server Books Online.
  • From SQL Server Management Studio - On the Help menu, click How Do I, Search, Contents, Index, or Help Favorites.
  • From SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio - On the Help menu, click How Do I, Search, Contents, Index, or Help Favorites.
  • From F1 or Help buttons in the user interface - For context-sensitive information, press F1 on your keyboard, or click Help in the user interface dialog box.
  • From the Dynamic Help window - The Dynamic Help window automatically displays links to Books Online topics related to the task you are doing. To launch Dynamic Help, click Dynamic Help on the Help menu in SQL Server Management Studio or Business Intelligence Development Studio.

With this release, there are now even more routes to information in Books Online. You can find information by:

  • Navigating the table of contents.
  • Looking up keywords in the index.
  • Searching on words and phrases in local and online Help topics, and filtering the search results if desired.
  • Browsing a categorized set of links (How Do I pages) to help with common user tasks.
  • Browsing a dynamically generated list of list of context-dependent topics in the Dynamic Help window.
  • Pressing F1 while viewing a user interface element to display a topic about it.

SQL Server 2005 and Document Explorer introduce new features and enhance existing ones to help users find information faster. The following table briefly describes the new and enhanced features in Books Online and provides links to more information about them.

Feature Description

Table of Contents

Groups topics logically by technology, component, and task, as appropriate, for easy browsing.

Index

Allows you to search for SQL Server topics alphabetically by keyword or task.

Search

A search engine for performing filtered or unfiltered keyword searches of topics.

For more information, see below, or How to: Filter Help Content.

For information about refining your search, see Full-Text Search Tips.

How Do I

A hierarchical set of pages containing topics on common SQL Server tasks, grouped by technology.

For more information, see How to: Browse for Information by Subject.

Help Favorites

Allows you to save topics and search results for easy retrieval.

For more information about saving links to your topics, see How to: Save Links to Favorite Information.

For information about saving your Help search results, see How to: Save Help Searches.

Dynamic Help

Automatically displays links to relevant information while users work in the SQL Server Management Studio or Business Intelligence Development Studio environment.

The table below compares functionality in SQL Server 2005 Books Online to that in SQL Server 2000 Books Online.

Books Online for SQL Server 2000 Books Online for SQL Server 2005

Table of contents

Table of contents functionality is unchanged in SQL Server 2005.

Index

Index functionality is unchanged in SQL Server 2005.

Help Favorites

In SQL Server 2005 Books Online:

  • You can save searches for later re-use.

Search

In SQL Server 2005 Books Online:

  • You can search MSDN Online, Codezone communities, and the MSDN Forums.
  • You can filter search results by technology, language, or content type.
  • You can search topics in multiple languages.
  • You can perform local searches of multiple documentation collections.

How Do I

This feature is new in SQL Server 2005 Books Online.

You can search both local and online sources of Help in Books Online. Four resources provide results on the Search page: Local Help, MSDN Online, Codezone Community, and Questions.

  • Local Help.   Local Help is the set of topics installed with Books Online from the SQL Server 2005 installation media. In Business Intelligence Development Studio, local Help may also include the MSDN Library, which is included with SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio. For information about updating local Help, see Downloading and Updating Books Online.
  • MSDN Online.   The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is a set of services designed to help developers write applications using Microsoft products and technologies. MSDN provides Knowledge Base articles, white papers, interviews, and sample code for software developers using Microsoft products. Books Online topics are part of the MSDN Library.
  • Codezone Community.   The Codezone Community site is a resource for third-party tips, code samples, advice, and news from independent experts on Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft .NET Framework , and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET technologies.
  • Questions.   The Questions selection allows you to search content in MSDN Forums.

To filter search results from each of these providers, select one or more options from Language, Technology, or Content Type on the Search page.

To view search results from online providers in a different language, click Options in the Tools menu, select the General page under Help, and select Online topic language. To display results in both English and another language, select Also show English topics.

In Document Explorer, you can specify whether or not you would like to include information from online sources in your Help experience. Three options are available.

  • Try online first, then local. The online versions of topics from Books Online will appear when you select How Do I or press F1. If you are not connected to the Internet and local Help is installed, Help will still display local Help topics. Both local and online topics will appear in search results.
  • Try local first, then online. The local versions of topics from Books Online will appear when you select How Do I or press F1. If a local Help topic is not available, Help will look for an online version of the topic. Both local and online topics will appear in search results.
  • Try local only, not online. The local versions of topics from Books Online will appear when you select How Do I or press F1. Only local topics will appear in search results.

The selection can be made in two ways:

  • Online Help Settings dialog box. This dialog box appears the first time you search for a topic, press F1 or click Help in a dialog box, or select How Do I from the Help menu.
  • Options page. In the Tools menu, click Options, open the Online page under Help, and choose an option under When loading Help content.

To adjust Help settings, click Options on the Tools menu, expand the Help subfolder, and then click General or Online. Here are some of the settings that can be adjusted:

  • Enable Integrated Help. In SQL Server Management Studio or Business Intelligence Development Studio, you can configure Help to open as docked windows within the environment. To enable integrated Help, select Integrated Help Viewer from the Show help using dropdown on the General page.
  • Show or hide topic abstracts. To show topic abstracts in search results, select Show topic abstracts on the General page.
  • Modify number of search results per page. To adjust the number of search results that appear on the search page at a given time, change the value or Search results per page on the General page.
  • Modify language of search results. To view search results from online providers in a different language, select Online topic language on the General page. To display results in both English and another language, select Also show English topics.
  • Modify online preferences. See "Using Online Help Features in Books Online," above.
  • Modify search providers. To adjust the list of search providers, select the providers you want from the Search these providers and Codezone Community list boxes on the Online page.
ms166020.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifNote:
Books Online shares Help settings with SQL Server Management Studio, but not with Business Intelligence Development Studio, which has independent Help settings.

For more information, see General, Help, Options Dialog Box and Online, Help, Options Dialog Box.

This table contains information about features within Help topics.

Collapse All

Click Collapse All to show or hide content within the major sections of a topic.

See Also

Click See Also to navigate to a list of related topics.

Send Feedback

Books Online users provide valuable information through the feedback mechanism built into SQL Server documentation. To send feedback, click Send Feedback, and follow the instructions in the Documentation Feedback section at the bottom of the topic. For more information, see Providing Feedback on SQL Server 2005.

Copy Code

Copy Code is a button on the right-hand side of Books Online code samples. Click Copy Code to copy a code sample to the clipboard on your computer.

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