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James Luetkehoelter

Nearly any SQL topic presented at times in a slightly eclectic manner.

Book Review: Pro Full-Text Search in SQL Server 2008

Those of you that know me know that I don't endorse anything lightly. MVP Michael Coles sent me a number of his books in exchange for mine (still coming Michael), and I just finished perusing the first one on my list: Pro Full-Text Search in SQL Server 2008. I highly endorse this book to anyone jumping into the Full-Text arena - and my hope is that more and more are, it is a great technology. Michael and Hilary Cotter (who contributed, not sure where, but it matters not) did a fine job with it. Make no mistake, this is a difficult topic to tackle and a complicated feature in SQL Server 2008. Even if you have worked with Full-Text Search in 2005, there's a lot to learn since it changes dramatically in SQL Server 2008. It's well written, organized and very detailed. Will it tell you everything you need to know about Full-Text Search - of course not. But it covers quite a bit.

This is not a book for a novice. The first few chapters focus on the basics of administration, but the book quickly moves into some fairly complicated ways in which the technology may be used. One of my favorite sections is a discussion on multilingual databases. This is an extremely important chapter - if you don't work with multilingual data yet, trust me, you will. Even for languages with a Latin character set can create confusion for Full-Text Search if it isn't aware of how the language uses accent marks. For example, in French there is the accent a gu (or aigu) - é and the accent grave - è. There can be words that are very similar in spelling, but use different accents. How does FTS know how to decide what matches? And those same accent symbols in Spanish may have completely different rules. Now through in languages like Arabic (reverse order) and Chinese, and the ability to truly match words and phrases can be very difficult. This book shows how this can be accomplished with real examples.

More practical examples follow showing how to full-text-index blob data, blogs, create custom thesauri, etc. It even covers the dynamic management views for Full-Text Search. I highly recommend this book, which I don't say often about anything :)

Published Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:30 PM by James Luetkehoelter


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About James Luetkehoelter

I am passionate about what I do - which is DBA, development, IT and IT business consulting. If you don't know me, haven't met me or have never heard me speak, I'm a little on the eccentric side. One attendee recently described me as being "over the top". Yup, that about says it - because I only speak on topics that I'm passionate about.
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