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Beginning T-SQL with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Paperback – Nov 17 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Kiss your beginner status goodbye... Nov. 28 2009
By ewomack - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
Good TSQL coverage, with some not so good advice Feb. 2 2010
By K. Ambrose - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
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.
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.
Thank you! I it helped me jump from my MySQL to T-SQL in just the right areas May 22 2013
By Etienne Bley - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I needed from the book was, of course, in the last few chapters since I have been using MySQL for years. I told myserlf to go through all the chapters since I have not read a book on this stuff since 1998 as I use it all the time. "Who knows", I thought " I might need a refresher", BUT I forced myself through the first 12 chapters and I discovered many insightful nuggets about how the MS tool works, how it is optimized and therefore the ways I could steer things. They go through optimzation tests and how to these ourselves. The book is very well laid out, and if you do skip, they cover the important things quickly, but they do so with purpose so you won't miss important concepts. VERY well done with great explainations. Keep writing boys!