Getting SQL Server Assistance
There are three principal sources of information from Microsoft about SQL Server:
The documentation installed as a local collection of SQL Server Books Online.
The SQL Server sites on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet.
SQL Server information on additional Microsoft Web sites.
If you do not find the information you are looking for in these sources, you can either post questions in the SQL Server community forums and newsgroups, or you can open a support case with Microsoft.
SQL Server Books Online
SQL Server Books Online documents the concepts and procedures required to use SQL Server. Books Online also includes reference material for the languages and programming interfaces for storing, retrieving, reporting, and modifying data using SQL Server.
Books Online can be accessed in the following ways:
A copy of SQL Server 2016 Books Online is published in both the MSDN Library and the TechNet Library on the Internet. The topics in these copies of the SQL Server Books Online include comments from the community, such as additional information and code examples from other customers. You can view the MSDN Library copy at the SQL Server 2014 Books Online.
You can use the Help Library Manager to install SQL Server Books Online on a local computer. For more information, see Add or Remove Product Documentation for SQL Server.
Both the copy of SQL Server Books Online in the MSDN Library and the Books Online files available through Help Library Manager are refreshed when Microsoft publishes an update to SQL Server Books Online.
Information on MSDN and TechNet
The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) provides online and offline services that help developers write applications using Microsoft products and technologies. The Microsoft TechNet Program delivers comprehensive technical resources that help IT professionals efficiently evaluate, deploy, and support Microsoft solutions.
Several sites on MSDN and TechNet provide a specific audience with links to the SQL Server information most relevant to their jobs, including the information in the copies of the SQL Server Books Online on MSDN or TechNet. These sites also contain information that extends the information available in SQL Server Books Online.
The following table describes these resources and their intended audience.
Developers who are building SQL Server databases, reporting systems, and business intelligence solutions, and enabling their applications and Web sites to use these systems.
Web site creators and application developers whose sites and applications utilize XML for data storage and manipulation.
Administrators and operators who plan, deploy, administer, and support systems that use SQL Server.
Additional Online Information
Additional SQL Server information is available from these Microsoft Web sites.
Provides pre-sales information about evaluating SQL Server as a data storage and business intelligence tool.
Provides a searchable repository of SQL Server articles written by Microsoft support.
Describes Microsoft training and certifications for SQL Server.
Microsoft products have a support lifecycle that defines how long support is available for each release. Microsoft support maintains a page that defines the Microsoft support lifecycle. The page contains links to other pages that specify the availability of support for Microsoft products. For more information, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.