Lynda.Com- Part 1: SQL Server and T-SQL

Before I sat down to write this post, I reviewed the Lynda.Com website to refresh my memory of courses taken and courses I want to take.  Forty minutes passed before I looked up from my screen; so many great courses, so little time!  Today we’ll break down the plethora of Lynda.Com training options over several blog posts: Part 1-SQL Server and T-SQL, Part 2-Excel 2013, and Part 3-Microsoft Business Intelligence/Excel 2013 Power BI.  Other Lynda.Com courses on ‘building your brand’: Branding Basics, LinkedIn, and WordPress for Blogging will be examined later in the overall series. For my previous post on Lynda.Com basics and free trial information, click here to read. So, if you’re ready, join me in exploring Lynda.Com courses on SQL Server.

SQL Server

SQL Server is the backbone of the Microsoft BI stack: SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services), SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services [Multi-dimensional and Tabular flavors]), and SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services); with everything ‘talking’ to each other via T-SQL (Transact SQL) language and DAX (Data Analysis Expression) language for Tabular and PowerPivot in Excel 2013. To help you build a solid foundation, I‘ve listed several Lynda.Com courses with their time length and subject matter. You don’t have to follow my order, but it will probably help you from getting lost and ‘falling down a rabbit hole’.

At the time of this writing, it’s hard to find the SQL Server 2012 Developer Edition for $59, but you can still purchase the SQL Server 2014 Developer version for around the same price. So purchase SQL 2014 Developer Edition if you don’t already have a SQL Server instance, so you can follow along with the Lynda.Com SQL Server 2012 course without any problems.

Installing SQL Server

The first course to watch is Installing SQL Server 2012; it’s a three hour long course. Not that you’ll be able to get through it in three hours, as you will want to stop and rewind the video, take a few notes, and actually practice the examples on your own SQL Server Developer Edition. So it will be helpful to have an extra monitor for these classes; one to view the video and another screen to work with your SQL Server application. If you have not purchased your SQL Server Developer Edition for 2012 or 2014, this would be a great way to watch the video and install your software at the same time!

Installing SQL Server 2012 teaches you how to install and maintain your SQL Server application, either from the GUI (Graphical User Interface-it’s like an installation wizard) or from command prompts. This course also shows you how to configure and enable the different components of SQL Server, and how to connect to databases.

The Language that Makes SQL Server Run

The second course I suggest is Introduction to Transact-SQL; it’s over fours long but you’ll need every minute of it.  This course is a good introduction to T-SQL, but the best way to learn T-SQL is from Itzik Ben-Gan books; Ben-Gan is a T-SQL guru to me.  In an upcoming blog I will talk about my favorite training books and authors, but if you can’t wait until then, I recommend Ben-Gan’s book ”Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals”.

With the Lynda.Com course on Transact SQL, you will learn how to use the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), basic command statements like SELECT, inner and outer joins, and more.  Another Lynda.Com course, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012, will build on the previous T-SQL course.

Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is over five hours, and includes a history of SQL and the relational data model theory. From here you’ll build your skills to include working with special data types like characters, integers, time and date. You’ll be exposed to advanced topics like subqueries, common table expressions, and query performance.

If you have the SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition, this next course SQL Essential Training (3 ½ hours) has been updated for SQL Server 2014. The course provides a good understanding of SQL terminology, writing basic queries, sorting and filtering, along with updating a table with triggers. Creating views is also included in this course.  These courses will give you a good overlay of T-SQL, but I still recommend you buy the Ben-Gan book; yes, the book is just that good!

So What’s Next?

If you have completed the above courses, you now have a basic understanding of the SQL Server application and know the basic T-SQL commands, but these two don’t paint the full picture; you need to understand the concepts of a relational database, so I recommend another Lynda.Com course, Relational Database Fundamentals. To be a good developer or report writer, you must know about relational databases and, well, ‘relationships’!  SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth is an advanced course on Lynda.Com, but it’s a good way to show how to build static reports from a relational database.

Final Thoughts

I’ve provided you several excellent training courses through Lynda.Com, but they might seem overwhelming. Where do you find the time? I remind you of the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. This is a good time to remember this saying.  You will not become technical overnight, but you WILL become technical; you just need to remain steady in your studies.
We’ll continue exploring other great courses on Lynda.Com for the next few posts, so stay tuned.  Until then!

Susan Schneider lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her wonderful husband Steve. She enjoys sailing and is a ‘wanna be fisherman’, and loves all things BI. See more information under the ‘About Me’ section. Remember to sign up for new blog notifications: Go to Subscribe2 on the sidebar and sign up!