> 1. Is the better reading the first or the second book ?
You don't need any experience to read my book and probably not to read the other one either so you could read them in either order.
My book focuses on how to design good databases. Using a bad design can make it much
harder to use the database and maintain it over time. Imagine the difference between a phone book sorted by last name (good design) and one that's randomly sorted (bad design). Finding the information you want in the unsorted version would be practically impossible.
The SQL Server book explains how to use SQL Server to build databases but it doesn't cover design in nearly as much detail. There's a slight risk that someone reading this sort of book first will pick up bad design habits that will later be hard to get rid of, but overall I wouldn't worry too much about it.
So I'm not sure which would be better to read first. One idea would be to read the SQL Server book until you know how to build a basic database. Then switch to the design book and use what you know about SQL Server to build some test databases as you read through the design book. Then after you finish the basic material, you can switch back and forth to practice both database design and building the databases in SQL Server.
I think if it was me, I would read the design book first, or perhaps start on it and then bounce to the other one to build some practice databases as I read through the design book.
> 2. Can I deal with SQL Server without network?
Yes. You can set up SQL Server on a single machine but you still connect to the "server." It sounds kind of like a networking connection but it's not. The server can run on the local machine.
Note also that the SQL Server Express Edition (http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2...s/express.aspx
) is free so you don't need to buy the full product until you're sure you need it.
Good luck! Let me know if you have more questions, particularly as you read through my book.