This is the book for Microsoft SQL 2012 exam 70-462, and compared to the books for Microsoft sql server 2008 and earlier, then I think that Microsoft has done a great job on this one. The book is divided into 12 chapters, and the first one is the traditional “How do we install” and what versions has what functionalities, how can I upgrade from one SQL server to another and so on. When it comes to Examination it is good to know, but In real life, I think it of no use.
Chapter 2+3 is about configuration, First about the instance configuration and then how to configure components. I would wish that more dba’s would read these chapters, because there are a lot of small tricks that could improve SQL Server installations. E.g. is there a small chapter about fill-factor and a lot more about e.g. filegroups/files and recovery models. Really good to know, eventhough you can google a lot of things these days.
Chapter 4 is about migrationg, importing and export, and what I would focus on, if I should learn from this chapter, would be all about the bulk operations, and I think that I would try to get more knowledge if I could find the time. It is really interesting.
Chapter 5+6 is about security, and eventhough security is not as funny as e.g. performancetuning, then these chapters are a very good startingpoint to understand security in a SQL Server. In 2012 we also have the possibility to have user-defined serveroles. That is really a new and great thing. I could also recommend to read about auditing in chapter 6.
Chapter 7+8 is about high availability and replication. Please note that I think it is wrong to call replication a high availability feature. I don’t think it is, but anyway, AlwaysOn (a new term in Sql 2012) is introduced.
Chpater 9+10 is about performance, troubleshooting and concurrency, and you should definately read these two chapters. For me it is the most important thing when i comes to SQL Servers.
Chapter 11 is about the SQL Server Agent, backups and restores, and I have seen so many wrong configured Backups, that it is a wonder that I only know one situation where a customer has lost data. READ IT!!!!!!! UNDESTAND IT!!!!! PRACTICE IT!!!
Chapter 12 is code studies, and before taking the exam, you should really dig into this.
So, the 100 million dollar question: Can you pass the exam if you understand this book? NO! I think you can use it as a very very good beginning (better than earlier versions), but you must also practice and also use the tests that are on the CD that follows the Book.
If I should rate this book, then I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.