This book is written for SQL Server 2008. However, it does
maintain roots going back a few versions and looks out for backward
compatibility issues with SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000.
These versions are old enough that there is little to no time spent
on them except in passing.
The book is oriented around developing on SQL server. Most of
the concepts are agnostic to what client language you use although
the examples that leverage a client language general do so in C#.
For those who are migrating from early versions of SQL Server, some
“gotchas” that exist any time a product has versions
are discussed to the extent that they seem to be a genuinely
This book assumes that you have some experience with SQL Server
and are at an intermediate to advanced level. The orientation of
the book is highly developer focused. While there is a quick
reference-oriented appendix, there is very little coverage given to
beginner level topics. It is assumed that you already have
experience with data manipulation language (DML) statements and
know the basics of the mainstream SQL Server objects (views, stored
procedures, user defined functions, etc.). If you would like to
brush up on your knowledge before diving into this book, the author
recommends reading Beginning SQL Server 2008 Programming
first. There is very little overlap between the Beginning and
Professional books and they are designed to work as a pair.