As first revealed on this past Friday’s (October 21) DBAs@Midnight web show, it’s official: Allan will be writing a book for SQL Server 2012 covering mission critical to follow in the footsteps of SQL Server 2000 High Availability, Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability, and Pro SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering. The SQL Server 2012 book will be a return to more of what Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability was: covering the gamut from A to Z, and not just the technology aspects. Even in terms of technology there’s more to mission critical than things like clustering and availability groups (both to be covered here): virtualization and other necessary topics will be explored.

There will be a few key differences this time around, namely:

  • The book will be self-published. How it will be sold is still to be determined.
  • Right now, the plans are to make it an eBook only and available in the most popular formats – namely Kindle and ePub (PDF). This will allow the most compatibility. This also essentially means it should be available in popular web stores as well, but again, how it will be sold is not finalized yet.
  • The goal is to have it out as soon as possible after SQL Server 2012 ships. Because of small changes that could happen between now and RTM (especially to UI elements), some work cannot be done until the product itself is completely finalized.
  • The book will have some others contributing and writing content in addition to Allan. Not only is it a lot of work to write a book with such a big scope, it helps the book get to you quicker and enhances the value of the content by having key people contributing. Names (many who you know and love) will be announced soon.

Those of you who want a physical book may be slightly disappointed which begs the question: why no physical book? It has nothing to do with self-publishing vs. using a traditional publisher.

  1. The biggest reason is the proposed size of the book. To do the topic right, it’s not going to be 200 – 300 pages to cover all the technology along with everything else that would ensure your SQL Server 2012 deployments are mission critical. Even most traditional publishing houses these days are hesitant to do a book that is planned to be pushing 1000 (or more) pages.
  2. To go along with #1, the cost of printing such a book is not cheap. That means expensive to Allan, expensive to you, and depending on where you live, potentially expensive to ship due to weight/size since there would be no local printing solution. Doing an eBook keeps the costs to you reasonable for such a comprehensive book. That’s the tradeoff.
  3. An eBook allows you to print only what you need/want to have on paper. For example, want the install instructions for installing a clustered SQL Server instance and only that? You can do that.

If you want a physical book, there is the slim chance there could be a limited run if there is enough interest. If you are interested in a print book, use the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page and make your voice heard. If there’s enough response, costs will be investigated once a more definitive page count is known. Should such a print run happen, it would most likely be a on preorder basis only to ensure all costs were covered. While a few extra books may be printed, once the run is gone, it’s gone.

More details (such as if there will be early access for preorders) will be forthcoming as they are finalized. Stay tuned!