Microsoft SQL Server is a rich and complex product about which you'll always be able to learn more. Each tuning tip in "The 90:10 Rule for SQL Server Performance" is also an involved topic that you might need to know more about. I recommend the following references as gateways: Each source might lead you to other helpful sources for learning more about SQL Server performance.

Tip 1: Don't skimp on hardware
For more hardware-configuration recommendations, go to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site, MSDN Online. The white paper "Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Storage Engine Capacity Planning Tips" (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/techart/storageeng.htm) is particularly helpful.

Tip 2: Don't overconfigure
For more information about SQL Server configuration, read SQL Server Books Online (BOL) and the white paper "Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Performance Tuning Guide" (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/techart/msdn_sql7perftune.htm) by Henry Lau. Taking yourself through Damien Lindauer's Microsoft Seminar Online, "Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Practical Performance Tuning and Optimization—The Server Perspective"(http://www.microsoft.com/seminar/1033/19991028teperftun1/seminar.htm), is also helpful. While you're at the Microsoft Seminar Online site, check out other seminars about SQL Server.

Tip 3: Take time for design
Unfortunately, no introductory SQL Server book or Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) course covers the subject of relational database design sufficiently. Microsoft might steer clear of the topic because the subject is independent of specific software products. A good starting place for information about design is Michelle A. Poolet's Solutions by Design column in SQL Server Magazine. Find the articles at http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?authorid=436.

Tip 4: Create useful indexes
For more information about SQL Server indexing and the query optimizer, start by reading all the information in BOL about indexes. Microsoft offers two white papers about the Index Tuning Wizard: "Index Tuning Wizard for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0" (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/techart/msdn_sqlindex.htm) and "Index Tuning Wizard for Microsoft SQL Server 2000" (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/techart/itwforsql.htm). MOC Course 2013: Optimizing Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Course 2073: Programming a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Database provide additional educational information about the subjects. For more information about these courses, go to http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices.

Tip 5: Use SQL effectively
Don't limit yourself to books about the T-SQL language. For information about programming with ANSI-SQL, I recommend Joe Celko, Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming, 2nd edition (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1999).

Tip 6: Learn T-SQL tricks
The following books supply useful examples of T-SQL programming and help you get the most bang from your SQL Server queries: Itzik Ben-Gan and Dr. Tom Moreau, Advanced Transact-SQL for SQL Server 2000 (Apress, 2000); and Ken Henderson, The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL (Addison-Wesley, 1999).

Tip 7: Understand locking
Read everything you can about SQL Server default locking mechanisms, including BOL, my Inside SQL Server columns for SQL Server Magazine (http://www.sqlmag.com), and these Microsoft articles: "INF: How to Monitor SQL Server 7.0 Blocking" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q251/0/04.asp), "INF: Understanding and Resolving SQL Server 7.0 and 2000 Blocking Problems"(http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q224/4/53.asp), and "INF: How to Monitor SQL Server 2000 Blocking" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q271/5/09.asp).

Tip 8: Minimize recompilations
You can read more about stored procedure recompilation in BOL. The following Microsoft article provides information about minimizing recompilations of your application's stored procedures: "INF: Troubleshooting Stored Procedure Recompilation" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q243/5/86.asp).

Tip 9: Program applications intelligently
For more information about tuning the client application you use with SQL Server, see Damien Lindauer's slide show for TechEd 2000, "Building High Performance Applications with SQL Server 2000" (http://commnet.us.teched.mscorpevents.com/slides/5-303%20w.ppt). The Microsoft article "Troubleshooting Application Performance with SQL Server" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q224/5/87.asp) is also an enlightening resource.

Tip 10: Stay in touch
In addition to searching the msnews.microsoft.com server for newsgroups you might find helpful, you can go to Microsoft's SQL Server Newsgroups Web page (http://www.microsoft.com/sql/support/newsgroups.htm) to search for newsgroups to which you can subscribe. If you prefer Web-based support, try the Windows 2000 Magazine Network's Discussion Forums (http://www.win2000mag.net/forums/application/main.cfm?cfapp=57).