4.4. Use the SQL Server System Catalog
In the old days it was simple. SQL Server 4.2 had a handful of system tables. Any information that you needed to extract from the system catalog could be pulled from those tables. Once you learned the organization of the tables, you could get anything that you wanted.
In SQL Server 2008, things are now considerably more complicated. The product has advanced significantly since then. There are more system tables, but they are all abstracted from us through system views and system functions. The catalog is now incredibly large and complex. The goal, therefore, is to know your way around generally and then learn the specifics of each system artifact when you need to consult it.
The goal of this chapter is ...