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Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Internals by Paul Randal Kalen Delaney Kimberly Tripp, and Conor Cunningham

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Internal Storage

This section describes how SQL Server actually stores table data. In addition, it explores the basic system metadata that keeps track of data storage information. Although you can use SQL Server effectively without understanding the internals of data storage, a detailed knowledge of how SQL Server stores data helps you develop efficient applications.

When you create a table, one or more rows are inserted into a number of system tables to manage that table and SQL Server provides catalog views built on top of the system tables that allow you to explore their contents. At minimum, you can see metadata for your new table in the sys.tables, sys.indexes, and sys.columns catalog views. When you define the new table with one or more constraints, ...

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