SQL and Database: Learning Resources

I’ve been learning SQL Server and Crystal Reports, and I thought that this board would have some good resources for questions in general. I know we have some DBAs out there.

Right now I don’t have any specific questions, but thought I would share some of the learning resources that I’ve been given or found.

First, thanks @dakboy for the following:

  • Find out when your local PASS chapter meets. Sign up for the virtual chapters, pop into the monthly webinars.
  • There’s a SQL Saturday in Silicon Valley in March. Free (except for lunch). If you go, let me know and I’ll give you some tips on whose sessions to sit in on.
  • Look up “Accidental DBA” for lots of good beginner resources.
  • Subscribe to Brent Ozar Unlimited’s YouTube channel
  • Follow Grant Fritchey. Despite the domain & blog name, he’s not scary.

Next, a couple of classes/tutorials that I’ve found:
MIT Class on Database Systems
Crystal Reports Tutorials

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to start answering questions as I learn, too!

Edit: I also use this for some basic examples of syntax and commands. > W3Schools.

Additional Edit: Cleaning up links in dakboy’s contribution.

W3Schools is crap. Pretend you never saw it.

Unless you really need it for your job, skip Crystal and focus on SQL Server Reporting Services.

You can get SQL Server 2012 Developer edition for under $50 and install on your PC. This is basically the whole enchilada - all the features of Enterprise Edition, you just can’t use it for production. Includes the full SQL Server, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, and all the tools.

And I’m gonna pimp SQL Saturday again, partly because I’m still amped up from being at the Cleveland event this past weekend. And I can now say that I have played Cards Against Humanity with at least 2 of the speakers at the Silicon Valley SQLSat :smile:

I know that some places must use Crystal Reports because the company is still in business, but I don’t know any of them. Stick with Report Server.

You can also sign up at SQLServerCentral. They have lots of tips, how-tos, blog posts (Grant Fritchey is a frequent contributor), and DBAs posting some of the most arcane minutia you’ve ever seen about performance and the way SQL Server works.

There’s also DatabaseWeekly. It emails a summary of highlights of all things DB for the week on weekends. A lot of it is rehashing stuff from SQLServerCentral, but it adds in other things.

The first hit on Google for “crystal reports to ssrs” pointed to an MSDN forum with these 2 links:


Can’t speak to the quality, we’ve been converting our reports manually for a few reasons:

  1. Reformat
  2. Cull out the ones no one uses anymore
  3. Improve query performance
  4. Move some reports to our BI platform

Extra note: if the organization really does want to switch to SSRS, do it in a phased approach.

  1. Stop all Crystal development. All new reports go in SSRS by default
  2. If an existing report needs revisions, move it to SSRS as part of making those revisions
  3. Clean up the rest

You could even start out as a pilot program.

1 Like

I found some classes I think I’m going to take.


These are affiliated with the local junior college, but are all online. If anyone is in the San Francisco Bay area, the classes are free with a library card from the San Francisco library.

I don’t want to be a downer here, @Nabiki, but I’m not certain that you’ll really learn SQL in that class - looking at the syllabus for the Intermediate SQL class, she’s teaching Access, at least for a portion of the class.

Friends don’t let friends use MS Access.

I didn’t see that. I was looking at the beginning SQL class for starters. The problem with learning stuff on your own is that you often miss some of the basics. Some of the stuff listed in the beginner class is stuff that I don’t know. I can try it and see. After all, I live close enough to San Francisco that taking a day trip to get a library card isn’t too bad. Especially if I combine it with some fun stuff and make a day of it.

True dat. I think Access was programmed by drunken monkeys on crack.

The starter class is harder for me to get a read on. It may be Access, it may be SQL, I’m really not sure.

You might want to check out PluralSight ($29/month) and Microsoft Virtual Academy (free) too.