First of all, thanks to everyone who replied to my post from last week about ‘MDX Solutions’ 2E – I’ll try to respond to everyone individually (in many cases there are some follow-up questions I’d like to ask) but it might take a while.
As a first time author I’ve been lucky in that just at the time I’ve needed guidance about the process of writing an IT book my publisher Joseph Wikert (=the guy that signed the contract on behalf of Wiley) started an excellent blog on exactly this subject. One of his recent postings suggests that authors research the competition to their book, and so I did some of my own to see what other books were on SQL2005 BI were in the pipeline…
First of all, soon after my post about MDX Solutions 2E went up on the newsgroup Mosha came out with his own announcement (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, eh?)regarding the second edition of ‘Fast Track to MDX’ and a new book on how to model various business problems correctly in AS2005. The former is the obvious competitor to ‘MDX Solutions’, but even then I’m sure he’d agree (see here, for example) that our books have very different aims and that many people will end up buying both. The latter book I am very much looking forward to seeing because I think AS has been crying out for something like it for a long time; indeed, some of the feedback I received for MDX Solutions echoed this.
Moving onto what’s currently listed on Amazon, I’ll start with the book which MDX Solutions 2E shares a co-author with: ‘Professional SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 with MDX’, by Siva Harinath and Stephen Quinn. Also listed is something called ‘Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2005‘ which, after a quick Google, I reckon is the same as the book called ‘The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit’ by Joy Mundy and Warren Thornthwaite, mentioned in passing here. I would guess it another variation on the ‘Data Warehouse Toolkit’ theme, but this time with a SQL2005 bent; I don’t know how much AS-related content it will have, but being a big fan of this particular series I’ll probably end up buying it. Thirdly there’s Teo Lachev’s book ‘Applied Analysis Services 2005‘, more details of which are available on his blog. And finally there’s ‘Data Mining with SQL Server 2005′ by Jamie MacLennan and ZhaoHui Tang – another one I’m looking forward to seeing, if only because the subject is one I’ve always been interested in and never found a good, practical book for (although I did think this white paper was pretty good) at least as far as SQL 2000 went.
Going back to the most recent post on Joseph Wikert’s blog, I can’t help but wonder if the days of the traditional IT book are numbered. I’m not one of those techno-utopians who think that the book will replace the printed word simply because it’s the web – I think a book is much more likely to provide focused, useful information than a blog or an article on a website – but with more and more information becoming available on the web you do wonder whether a) publishers’ margins are going to be trimmed to a degree that the publishing IT books becomes unprofitable, and b) the people who traditionally might have written a book decide that running a website or blogging is a better way of spending their time.