Books to Learn SQL Server Performance Tuning and Database Design

booksI 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:

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:

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:

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.

Previous Post
Can I Use Statistics to Design Indexes? (Dear SQL DBA Episode 18)
Next Post
Should You Rebuild or Reorganize Indexes on Large Tables? (Dear SQL DBA Episode 19)

Related Posts

2 Comments. Leave new

Apress offers the ebook for SQL Server Query Performance Tuning at:

Apress also offers the eBook for SQL Server 2012 Relational Database Design and Implementation (Lou Davidson) at:

Amazon offers a Kindle version that for some strange reason has the cover reading SQL Server 2011. Go figure, dammit

I don’t own stock at Apress, so there’s no conflict of interest…I just love their sales and how they do business. Depending on the week, they offer various ebooks at 10 dollars if you subscribe to their mailing list. Today was “Modern X86 Assembly Language Programming” just in case you ever wanted to do really dangerous stuff.

But they also save off your order so you can pull the ebook down and if you want a hard copy it’s only a few bucks extra of you buy both.


If you look hard enough, you’ll find an updated version of Lou Davidson’s book is coming out in November and can be preordered from APress.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.