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Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance

Updated: 15 September 2007

There are three principal sources of information from Microsoft about SQL Server 2005:

  • The documentation, tutorials, and samples installed with SQL Server.
  • The SQL Server sites on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet.
  • SQL Server information that is on additional Microsoft Web sites.

You can also obtain help from others either through the SQL Server community or directly from Microsoft support.

When you install SQL Server, you can install the SQL Server documentation (called SQL Server 2005 Books Online), sample applications, and tutorials. SQL Server Books Online, samples, and tutorials cover the concepts and procedures required to use SQL Server effectively. SQL Server Books Online also includes reference material for the languages and programming interfaces for storing, retrieving, reporting, and modifying data by using SQL Server.

If you install the documentation and tutorials by using the SQL Server 2005 Setup program, you can access them in two ways:

  • Through the Documentation and Tutorials submenu on the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 program group.
  • Through F1 Help and Dynamic Help in the SQL Server tools and utilities.

SQL Server 2005 Books Online is also available on the Web. This gives you access to the documentation from a computer on which SQL Server is not installed:

  • A copy of the SQL Server 2005 Books Online is published in the MSDN Library. The topics in the MSDN Library include comments from the community, such as additional information and code examples from other customers. Web searches for SQL Server information will return relevant topics from the MSDN Library copy of SQL Server Books Online. You can view the MSDN Library copy at the SQL Server 2005 Books Online Web page.
  • A downloadable copy of SQL Server 2005 Books Online is available on the Web. You can use the download to update your copy of SQL Server Books Online to the latest version. For more information, see Downloading and Updating Books Online.

Both the download file and the copy of SQL Server Books Online in the MSDN Library are refreshed when Microsoft publishes an update to SQL Server Books Online. For more information about how to install and access the sample applications and databases, see Samples and Sample Databases.

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) provides online and offline services that help developers write applications by 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. This includes the information in the copy of the SQL Server Books Online on MSDN. 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 by using products such as SQL Server and Access.

XML Developer Center

Web site creators and software developers whose sites and applications use 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 2005 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.

SQL Server 2005 Solution Center

Contains answers to frequently asked questions and links to top SQL Server downloads.

Microsoft Knowledge Base

Provides a searchable repository 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 2005.

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

The following table links to and describes these resources.

Resource Description

SQL Server Community

Has 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 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. This page contains links to other pages that specify the availability of support for Microsoft products. For more information, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Release History

15 September 2007

Changed content:
  • Updated the information about the Web location for the Books Online download.
New content:
  • Added a link to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.

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