A Smart Way of Using SQL Server Books On Line (BOL) without the Index Option

SQL Server's help file also known as Books On Line or BOL is a great resource to learn about all the features of SQL Server. You can make use of index option for detailed search. But there is also a simple yet smart way.

Suppose you are working in SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) and while working on it, if you want to get more information on a function, you can invoke BOL by pressing F1. If the cursor is inside a function/system procedure/system variables, the BOL opens with the topic specific from where it is invoked

For example, you have typed system procedure sp_monitor in your query window and you want to learn more about it, make sure the cursor is placed anywhere within the word and press F1. BOL opens with the topic sp_monitor.

You can also highlight any function and press F1, BOL opens with that topic

Consider the following piece of code

EXEC sp_monitor

select * from sys.objects where create_date>'20000101'

Now highlight sp_monitor and press F1 as shown here


BOL opens with the topic sp_monitor

No highlight GETDATE() and press F1.


BOL opens displaying information about GETDATE().


Similarly highlight sys.objects and press F1. BOL opens with the topic sys.objects.

A simple yet smart way to make use of BOL without using the index option!

About The Author

Madhivanan,an MSc computer Science graduate from Chennai-India, works as a works as a Lead Subject Matter Expert at a company that simplifies BIG data. He started his career as a developer working with Visual Basic 6.0, SQL Server 2000 and Crystal Report 8. As years went by, he started working more on writing queries in SQL Server. He now has good level of knowledge in SQLServer, Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL as well. He is also one of the leading posters at www.sqlteam.com and a moderator at www.sql-server-performance.com. His T-sql blog is at http://beyondrelational.com/blogs/madhivanan

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