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Beginning T-SQL with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008 [Paperback]

Paul Turley , Dan Wood

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Book Description

Nov. 17 2008 Wrox Programmer to Programmer

Transact-SQL, or T-SQL, is Microsoft Corporation’s powerful implementation of the ANSI standard SQL database query language, which was designed to retrieve, manipulate, and add data to relational database management systems (RDBMS).

You may already have a basic idea of what SQL is used for, but you may not have a good understanding of the concepts behind relational databases and the purpose of SQL. This book will help you build a solid foundation of understanding, beginning with core relational database concepts and continuing to reinforce those concepts with real-world T-SQL query applications.

If you are familiar with relational database concepts but are new to Microsoft SQL Server or the T-SQL language, this book will teach you the basics from the ground up. If you’re familiar with earlier versions of SQL Server, it will get you up-to-speed on the newest features. And if you know SQL Server 2005, you’ll learn about some exciting new capabilities in SQL Server 2008.

Information Technology professionals in many different roles use T-SQL. Our goal is to provide a guide and a reference for IT pros across the spectrum of operational database solution design, database application development, and reporting and business intelligence solutions.

Database solution designers will find this book to be a thorough introduction and comprehensive reference for all aspects of database modeling, design, object management, query design, and advanced query concepts.

Application developers who write code to manage and consume SQL Server data will benefit from our thorough coverage of basic data management and simple and advanced query design. Several examples of ready-to-use code are provided to get you started and to continue to support applications with embedded T-SQL queries.

Report designers will find this book to be a go-to reference for report query design. You will build on a thorough introduction to basic query concepts and learn to write efficient queries to support business reports and advanced analytics.

Finally, database administrators who are new to SQL Server will find this book to be an all-inclusive introduction and reference of mainstream topics. This can assist you as you support the efforts of other team members. Beyond the basics of database object management and security concepts, we recommend Beginning SQL Server 2005 Administration and Beginning SQL Server 2008 Administration from Wrox, co-authored in part by the same authors.

This book introduces the T-SQL language and its many uses, and serves as a comprehensive guide at a beginner through intermediate level. Our goal in writing this book was to cover all the basics thoroughly and to cover the most common applications of T-SQL at a deeper level. Depending on your role and skill level, this book will serve as a companion to the other Wrox books in the Microsoft SQL Server Beginning and Professional series..

This book will help you to learn:

  • How T-SQL provides you with the means to create tools for managing databases of different size, scope, and purpose

  • Various programming techniques that use views, user-defined functions, and stored procedures

  • Ways to optimize query performance

  • How to create databases that will be an essential foundation to applications you develop later

Each section of this book organizes topics into logical groups so the book can be read cover-to-cover or can be used as a reference guide for specific topics.

We start with an introduction to the T-SQL language and data management systems, and then continue with the SQL Server product fundamentals. This first section teaches the essentials of the SQL Server product architecture and relational database design principles. This section (Chapters 1–3) concludes with an introduction to the SQL Server administrator and developer tools.

The next section, encompassing Chapters 4 through 9, introduces the T-SQL language and teaches the core components of data retrieval, SQL functions, aggregation and grouping, and multi-table queries. We start with the basics and build on the core structure of the SQL SELECT statement, progressing to advanced forms of SELECT queries.

Chapter 10 introduces transactions and data manipulation. You will learn how the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements interact with the relational database engine and transaction log to lock and modify data rows with guaranteed consistency. You will not only learn to use correct SQL syntax but will understand how this process works in simple terms.

More advanced topics in the concluding section will teach you to create and manage T-SQL programming objects, including views, functions, and stored procedures. You learn to optimize query performance and use T-SQL in application design, applying the query design basics to real-world business solutions. Chapter 15 contains a complete tutorial on using SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services to visualize data from the T-SQL queries you create.

The book concludes with a comprehensive set of reference appendixes for command syntax, system stored procedures, information schema views, file system commands, and system management commands.

The material in this book applies to all editions of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008. To use all the features discussed, we recommend that you install the Developer Edition, although you can also use the Enterprise, Standard, or Workgroup editions.

SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition or SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition can be installed on a desktop computer running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. You can also use Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 with the Enterprise or Standard edition. The SQL Server client tools must be installed on your desktop computer and the SQL Server relational database server must be installed on either your desktop computer or on a remote server with network connectivity and permission to access.

Consult for information about the latest service packs, specific compatibilities, and minimum recommend system requirements.

The examples throughout this book use the following sample databases, which are available to download from Microsoft: the sample database for SQL Server 2005 is called AdventureWorks, and the sample database for SQL Server 2008 is called AdventureWorks2008. Because the structure of these databases differs significantly, separate code samples are provided throughout the book for these two version-specific databases.

An example using the AdventureWorks2008DW database for SQL Server 2008 is also used in Chapter 15.

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From the Back Cover

Beginning T-SQL with Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005 and 2008

Nearly all business applications read, store, and manipulate data stored in relational databases. If you use Microsoft SQL Server in any way, you need to learn and use T-SQL,?Microsoft's powerful implementation of the ANSI-standard SQL database query language.

This book teaches all of the basics of T-SQL as it's used with SQL Server 2005 and 2008 databases. The authors, leading T-SQL experts, begin with the essentials of SQL Server that are needed to get the most from T-SQL. They then quickly move on to introduce T-SQL itself, including the core elements of data retrieval, SQL functions, aggregation and grouping, and multi-table queries, and they fully explain transaction processing and data manipulation using T-SQL.

The authors also show you how to create and manage T-SQL programming objects, including views, functions, and stored procedures. They detail how to optimize T-SQL query performance and design queries for real-world business applications. All of the methods and techniques in this book can be used with both Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008 databases.

In addition, the book includes a comprehensive set of reference appendices, including T-SQL command syntax, system variables and functions, system stored procedures, information schema views, and FileStream objects.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to add, modify, and remove records

  • How to query multiple tables

  • Ways to use views to modify data

  • How to create tools for managing databases using T-SQL

  • T-SQL programming techniques using views, user-defined functions, and stored procedures

  • Methods for optimizing?query performance

  • How to use?SQL Server Reporting Services to visualize T-SQL query results

Who this book is for
This book is for beginning SQL Server developers and administrators who need to learn how to use T-SQL. Basic familiarity with relational databases and a general understanding of?basic SQL functions is necessary.

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 Turley (Vancouver, WA) is a Manager of Specialized Services for Hitachi Consulting Education Services. Paul manages the Business Intelligence training team and teaches classes for companies throughout the world on Microsoft SQL Server technologies. He works with companies to architect and build BI and reporting solutions. He has been developing business database solutions since 1991 for companies like Microsoft, Disney, Nike, and Hewlett - Packard. He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1996 and holds several industry certifications, including MCTS and MCITP for BI, MCSD, MCDBA, MSF Practitioner, and IT Project+.
Paul has authored and co - authored several books and courses on database, business intelligence, and application development technologies. He is the lead courseware developer for the Hitachi Consulting courses: SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Solutions and SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Solutions. Books include the prior edition of this book, the 2008, 2005 and 2000 editions of Professional SQL Server Reporting Services , Beginning SQL Server 2005 Administration , Beginning Access 2002 VBA , Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services , and Professional Access 2000 Programming — all from Wrox. He is also a contributing author for SQL Server 2005 Integration Services Step by Step from Microsoft Press.

Dan Wood (Silverdale, WA) is the senior database administrator for Avalara, a sales tax compliance company, where he both administers and develops database solutions for several enterprise applications that handle global address validation, tax rate calculation, and sales tax remittance for e - commerce and ERP clients. He has been working with SQL Server as a DBA, consultant, and trainer since 1999. Dan was a contributing author on Beginning Transact - SQL with SQL Server 2000 and 2005 and the lead author of Beginning SQL Server Administration , both from Wrox.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss your beginner status goodbye... Nov. 28 2009
By ewomack - Published on
Microsoft's now ubiquitous SQL Server database engine is far more complicated than it first appears. Apart from the voluminous administrative tasks it can accomplish and support, it provides a vast set of commands for data retrieval and manipulation known as "Transact-SQL" or "T-SQL." In the spirit of Wrox books, this book is big, red, and dedicated to a single topic: this very T-SQL toolset.

Fifteen chapters comprising over 600 pages covers everything a T-SQL beginner needs. Introductory chapters provide background information on Relational Databases, the versions of SQL Server, database normalization, and tools available in SQL Server (many of which are beyond this book's scope).

A detailed discussion of T-SQL syntax finally appears in Chapter 4, but the real meat begins in Chapter 5 with the universal command SELECT. Subsequqnt chapters provide explanations and copious code examples (for both SQL Server 2005 and 2008) for SQL Functions (e.g., AVG(), DATEADD(), CONVERT(), etc.), grouping, joins, subqueries, cursors, transactions (with error handling via TRY and CATCH), the handy but unintuitive PIVOT, a discussion of objects (in database speak this means things such as tables, views, procedures and functions), query optimization (with graphical execution plans) and a concluding chapter that rolls T-SQL into an application development and reporting context. Appendices follow with quick references to the tools discussed.

This is a beginner's book. Although it does delve into what some feel are more advanced topics such as transactions and stored procedures, these receive beginner to intermediate level coverage. In any case, even beginners should have some familiarity with these T-SQL features.

Those new to T-SQL or seeking a refresh will find ample discussions of the basics here. This gargantuan book won't get anyone up to speed quickly, but it provides enough detail so that beginners will exit this book as knowledgeable T-SQL users.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TSQL coverage, with some not so good advice Feb. 2 2010
By K. Ambrose - Published on
As a db professional for many years, I bought this to bring me up to speed on the 2005 and 2008 new features and tsql, and I feel it is serving that purpose well for me (I have not yet completed the book). The subject areas are well organized and well covered, and I find the writing style to be lucid and very readable.

I did notice what I consider to be some poor advice (hence only 4 star rating) related to data typings- specifically the advice to use numeric data type for data that would never make sense to apply mathematical operations. The author's rationale' for this is that numeric data is preferred for sorting and comparison over character data.

The flaw in that approach is thinking that a fast answer is better than a correct answer. And also that a fast answer is preferable over user's confusion on the meaning and use of a data item over the course of it's useful life.

Anyone who has been supporting data processing for years will know that half the battle is in keeping the semantics (meaning) of the data that is stored in the DB clear to all stakeholders in an enterprise.

Applying numeric data type to data where mathematical operations on it will produce nonsense practically guarantees that such nonsense will be at least attempted, and perhaps even distributed at some point in an organization. What is the meaning of adding two phone numbers together? Or two social security numbers? It's nonsense. In addition, it is not at all impossible over the course of time that a business concept that uses numerals but is not mathematical may need to include non-numeric characters at a later time- after all it is not mathematical data. When that happens you will be in for a big hassle if you have to change the type for a lot of data.

There are few more fundamental and important needs in database design than getting data types "right". It's too bad this book offers a bit of poor advice in that area.
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to SQL Query April 15 2009
By Floyd - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as an introduction to writing query scripts for SQL. We've a large database with many fields and I needed to know how to appropriately join and relate information in a well constructed manner. This book provides starter SQL queries in addition to explaining the foundation of databases (creating, adjusting, queries etc) The query information provided a more descriptive environment than what I had found on the web. A good beginner guide!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 14 2014
By Darrell G. Stark - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is very thorough with clear language and full explanations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Jan. 22 2014
By Susan Grafton - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read different parts of this book, mostly in places which applied to specific issues with my query writing. Not to Technical for beginners, very informative and helpful especially those of use who are used to older versions of SQL.

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