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A Fresh Approach to SQL Server

 Executive Summary:

We've redesigned SQL Server Magazine to sharpen our focus on the content readers want more of, such as business intelligence and Microsoft SQL Server fundamentals, and to make it easier to read the magazine, interact with the community, and find related content on the Web.

SQL Server has changed a lot since 1999, when SQL Server 7.0 launched and SQL Server Magazine began providing experience-based content created by the most respected members of the community. However, what hadn't changed was SQL Server Magazine's look and feel, which had grown dated and cluttered, leading us to realize that a redesign was past due. After examining reader surveys, Web traffic, gaps in Microsoft's documentation, and community resources, we reached three conclusions that led to the new approach we're introducing this month.

First, readers still need in-depth, increasingly specialized, deeply technical content written by experts. Michael Otey, Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan, Brian Moran, Michelle Poolet, Kevin Kline - these are the industry's top experts and the core of our team. These luminaries - and bright new stars - will continue to ensure that you get the inside information and tested solutions you won't find anywhere else.

Second, coverage of database development, administration, and business intelligence (BI) is more relevant than ever. Because database professionals must maintain expertise in database development as well as administration, SQL Server Magazine will continue providing the best content in both areas. And we're kicking our BI coverage into high gear. A wider variety of BI content will cover both the SQL Server back end and the front end, including solutions using Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.Adding context to our technical problem-solving articles is a new column by BI expert Douglas McDowell, who pulls no punches and draws the line between hype and reality.

Third, readers at all levels have an insatiable appetite for articles on the fundamentals of SQL Server, database administration and development, and BI. We also see a new user base emerging as SQL Server becomes a requirement for using products ranging from Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Operations Manager to Windows Server Update Services, Forefront Security Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and on and on. In response to this demand for fundamentals content, each issue will include articles that let you test and expand your knowledge. SQL Server Magazine is dedicated to making your job easier. This redesign extends that mission to making it easier to read the magazine; interact with editors, writers, and fellow readers; and find related content on the Web. Our cleaner, more consistent design guides you through elements such as tables, figures, and code, without being overwhelming. Months of work went into this refresh, and I thank Diana May for leading the editorial efforts and managing the project, David Kirby for his design leadership and excellence, and Kate Brown for making the production piece top-notch. Please tell me what you think of our new approach and design. I promise we'll listen and respond to your feedback.

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