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Andrew Kelly

Customizing BooksOnLine Help Collection

I got into a situation the other day where I looked up an entry in BOL (BooksOnLine) and it pulled up the command for SQL CE edition instead of SQL Server 2005. Now in this case the command was "Update Statistics" and it just so happens the CE version has an ON clause where as the regular SQL Server editions don't. Since the CE version was the one that popped up first I just assumed I was looking at the correct command. But after fiddling with it for quite some time with syntax errors I was very disappointed to find I had been looking at the CE version all along. What idiot developer decided to make a command in CE that did the same thing, and was named the same as the regular edition yet have slightly different syntax is beyond me. But I digress.

Any way this is certainly not the first time something like this has happened with help files for SQL Server or Visual Studio. But hopefully I can now make it the last. I was reminded from a fellow MVP that you can choose which technologies get searched in BOL from the Search Screen by clicking on the little button with the down arrow next to the word "Technology" on the search screen. If you uncheck CE for instance it will no longer be considered in the Searches. But that still didn't fix the Index portion of BOL. I then learned from a former MVP (now Microsoft employee) by the nickname of UC that you can do something similar with the index as well. It is actually called the "Help Collection". You can read up about more details’ of Help Collections in BOL at this location:  ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/MS.SQLSVR.v9.en/sqlgtst9/html/ef798cc8-87cf-4d60-a7bf-9e061bdd0052.htm.   But near the bottom in the "Removing Help Collections" section there is a link to a utility that can allow you to set what gets used when you use the regular part or Index of BOL. This is listed as the "SQL Server 2005 Combined Help Collection Manager" and brings you here:  ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/sqlcc9/html/b06d0f98-ef00-4b03-9f5d-b5c184b8df92.htm.  So if this has ever happened to you or you simply want to fine tune what areas get searched you know where to go.

Published Friday, July 13, 2007 2:18 PM by Andrew Kelly

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Comments said:

Indeed a good reference to get instant help from BOL, also for the new users.

July 14, 2007 3:35 AM

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