I get a lot of requests about which books are helpful to learn performance tuning and database design. I totally get that — I still like learning with books. It doesn’t mean training videos or blogs are any less cool. They can all work together.
You don’t need to read all the books in each topic. Browse the book descriptions and look through the free PDFs to find the best starting place for your own goals.
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning Books
Grant Fritchey has written terrific books on learning performance tuning:
- SQL Server Query Performance Tuning (printed book only)
- SQL Server Execution plans (free PDF, or you can buy the printed book)
Jonathan Kehayias and Erin Stellato wrote an e-book on wait statistics, which are critical for perf tuning a workload:
Louis Davidson and Tim Ford wrote a book on using wait statistics and even more DMVs:
- Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views (free PDF, or you can buy the printed book)
SQL Server Database Design Books – Learn from Louis
Louis Davidson has written the book on relational database design in SQL Server. He’s written the book more than once, and it looks like he’s giving us an updated version for 2016 soon, too!
As of this moment, the most recent version is:
- SQL Server 2012 Relational Database Design and Implementation (printed book only)
Note that this includes “implementation”. Louis thinks a lot about how things work in SQL Server and takes a practical approach. His website has a lot of his presentation materials as free downloads if you’d like to get a sample of his work before buying the book.