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Beginning SQL [Paperback]

Paul Wilton , John Colby

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Book Description

March 4 2005 Programmer to Programmer
  • Taking readers through the basics of the language, right up to some more advanced topics, this book is a practical, hands-on resource and aims to keep the reader involved at all times
  • Focuses on the SQL standard and is loaded with detailed examples and code; each chapter includes practice exercises that readers can challenge themselves with before looking at the sample solutions in the appendix
  • Paul Wilton is a successful Wrox "Beginning" book author and is an ideal author to write for those who want a firm grasp of standard SQL before learning the details specific to a particular database product
  • SQL is an international standard for manipulating data in databases and is used by database programmers in all major database systems: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, MySQL, and many others

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

SQL works with databases to insert and extract data and is an international standard for manipulating data in databases. This hands-on resource covers everything from a review of SQL basics and database design to creating your own databases and using the SQL language in a variety of database applications.

Packed with essential code, theories, concepts, and techniques, as well as a cache of useful examples, this comprehensive text will have you quickly designing your own databases and writing SQL code sufficient for many real-world situations. Practice exercises in each chapter help speed up your comprehension. By the end of the book, you'll be prepared to handle any surprise that SQL might throw your way.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to get the answers you want from a database
  • Procedures for using and manipulating data with SQL's built-in functions
  • Ways to retrieve data from numerous and diverse tables
  • How to create various levels of security in a database so you can edit data or change the database's structure
  • Theories and practical applications of normalization
  • Advanced database design

Who this book is for

This book is for programmers with some prior programming experience who are seeking to develop their database programming skills using SQL. The book assumes no previous programming experience, so it is also suitable for database programming beginners including database administrators.

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

About the Author

Paul Wilton has been working professionally as a programmer for over 6 years. He is experienced with SQL, database design, development and deployment, as well as RDBMS systems including SQL Server and Access. He is currently working freelance developing functionality for websites database driven web sites including e-commerce, message boards, chat applications, and more. His most recent work includes a case tracking system for a law firm and an online booking system for a holiday cottage rental company.

John Colby is database consultant providing database analysis and design as well as Access, SQL Server, and Visual Foxpro programming to companies in the United States, Mexico, and Europe.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Data, data, data! Data is where it's at as far as computers go, whether processing millions of calculations or keeping a record of your Aunt Maude's birthday. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As the Title Says, Good Beginning Book March 3 2005
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a good general introduction to using SQL to build a database, put some data into it and then to get it back out when you need to use it for something. The author says that all of the SQL examples have been tested using MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Microsoft Access, and Oracle 10g. That says that the SQL used in the examples has to be very general in nature and not take advantage of newer and more powerful commands that have come about since these programs were written (particularly Access which uses the Jet engine that's more or less compliant with SQL:89).

This is not a bad approach, because while you might miss out on some of the nifty commands, your code will be compatiable with virtually any database that you are using. You will find comments in the book like when discussing the substring function he says "MS Access doesn't utilize the SUBSTRING() function. Instead, it employs the MID() function...." I don't know how he could have done it any differently without writing five different books.

This is an excellent beginning book. Use it to get started and to understand the concepts behind the SQL language. Then you may want to get a higher level book on the particular database you are using.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does a beginner need to know about performance tuning? Jan. 31 2006
By Graeme Harker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is Wrox's book for those keen to learn SQL who have no experience of database programming at all. The good news is that it's not bad. Unfortunately it is two books rather crudely glued together.

The first book by Paul Wilton is what you would expect from a book with this title, a step-by-step introduction to SQL. It covers queries, functions, inner and outer joins, table and index creation, constraints and the fundamentals of relational database design. As the database-independent title of the book suggests it focuses on the standard features and functions of SQL that are common to all popular databases. In doing this the author makes the effort to point out where the popular databases vary from the standard. Understandably stored procedures are deemed to be beyond the scope of this book and are not mentioned. The databases covered by the first book are Oracle 10g, MySQL 4.1, SQL Server 2000, DB2 8.1 and Access XP. The book also includes a very handy appendix which explains how to obtain a free evaluation copy of each of these databases and how to install them on Windows.

The second book, by John Colby, covers the more advanced topics of transactions, security and database performance tuning. Unfortunately the second book is written unashamedly only for SQL Server and little or no attempt is made to explain how the same functionality is delivered by other databases. I can't understand this. Wrox has a perfect good book already for those keen to learn about SQL Server by Robert Vieira.

In my view for the next release of the book Wrox should drop the second section of this book altogether, as it doesn't belong in a beginners' guide to SQL and instead ask Paul to beef up the chapters on functions and data types, including an overview of the more often used datatypes in the five RDBMSs. In my experience beginners need to know how to use IDENTITY and SEQUENCE generators when they build their first database applications, not security and database performance tuning.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner guide to SQL Nov. 27 2007
By Richard R. Webster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really like this book.

It is broken into two sections. Chapter 1-3 is a once-over-lightly overview of all the key concepts involved in SQL. The rest is a thorough and detailed guide to more advanced uses.

The SQL is generic, though the book has specific exceptions for MySQL, Access, SQL Server and Oracle. These are mostly unobtrusive and can be skimmed easily. It is moderately useful to see what exceptions exist and why, even if you have no intention of using those DBMS's. Unlike books like SQL in a Nutshell, these references don't create constant interruptions in the reading flow.

What I like most about this book is that each subject is given a complete discussion, with ERD, SQL commands, and example data. In most cases, there is more than one example of usage. Unlike the current book, the examples are uncomplicated and make sense out of context of previous chapters, for the most part. The database examples are more self-contained and real-world than the current book -- more like the classroom examples.

This book devotes from 3-10 pages to what most books only give 1/2 page. The text flows well and is light and friendly, but doesn't have distracting anecdotes. At first glance, it is a lot of text, a lot of pages, and the paper is newsprint which seems intimidating, but it is a quick read. The data examples are humorous, which makes it a bit less dull. Even though the Wrox tagline is "Programmer to Programmer" this book is more accessible than any other programming text I've read. It really is Beginning SQL.

My only complaint: no coverage of PostgreSQL.

Two thumbs up, 5 stars, etc... I really like this book!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars could have put more info May 18 2007
By Ujjwal Subedi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Book provides good overview about SQL and intro to other major DBMS. Disappointed with the fact that book covers so little.

My suggestion is that if you planning to learn SQl just buy a SQL book for the DBMS you are planning to learn.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent SQL Book for starters Dec 16 2009
By Kurt Polcyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Easy to understand and follow up with many examples. It is great for beginner and advanced SQL user. I use this for my community college in Beginning SQL course.
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