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Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming Second Edition [Paperback]

Joe Celko
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming
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Book Description

Oct. 11 1999 1558605762 978-1558605763 1

SQL for Smarties was hailed as the first book devoted explicitly to the advanced techniques you need to transform yourself into an expert SQL programmer. Now, in this fully updated second edition, SQL mastermind Joe Celko keeps you moving forward, using his entertaining, conversational style to teach you the best solutions to old and new challenges and to convey the way you need to think if you really want to get the most out of your SQL programming efforts.


Inside, logic- and set-based analyses replace the traditional, procedural approach to problem-solving, helping you make the conceptual leap that separates an SQL guru from the rest of the pack. As you catch on to Celko's approach, you'll devour what he has to say about some of SQL's toughest topics: how aggregate functions really work, the best way to work with NULLs, how and why to fake array structures, and much more.


This book gives special emphasis to SQL-92 and product-independent techniques that let you optimize performance or achieve highly specialized behavior, regardless of the RDBMS with which you work. If you're serious about SQL, you won't let SQL for Smarties out of your sight.



* Presents all-new war stories that give you insight into real-world SQL programming challenges.
* Continues to cover SQL-89 but focuses heavily on the SQL-92 standard.
* Offers still more undocumented tips for working around system deficiencies.
* Teaches scores of advanced techniques that can be used with any product, in any SQL environment.
* Offers expert advice from a noted SQL authority and award-winning columnist.

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

SQL for Smarties was hailed as the first book devoted explicitly to the advanced techniques you need to transform yourself into an expert SQL programmer. Now, in this fully updated second edition, SQL mastermind Joe Celko keeps you moving forward, using his entertaining, conversational style to teach you the best solutions to old and new challenges and to convey the way you need to think if you really want to get the most out of your SQL programming efforts.


Inside, logic- and set-based analyses replace the traditional, procedural approach to problem-solving, helping you make the conceptual leap that separates an SQL guru from the rest of the pack. As you catch on to Celko's approach, you'll devour what he has to say about some of SQL's toughest topics: how aggregate functions really work, the best way to work with NULLs, how and why to fake array structures, and much more.


This book gives special emphasis to SQL-92 and product-independent techniques that let you optimize performance or achieve highly specialized behavior, regardless of the RDBMS with which you work. If you're serious about SQL, you won't let SQL for Smarties out of your sight.


Features




  • Presents all-new war stories that give you insight into real-world SQL programming challenges.
  • Continues to cover SQL-89 but focuses heavily on the SQL-92 standard.
  • Offers still more undocumented tips for working around system deficiencies.
  • Teaches scores of advanced techniques that can be used with any product, in any SQL environment.
  • Offers expert advice from a noted SQL authority and award-winning columnist.

About the Author

Joe Celko served 10 years on ANSI/ISO SQL Standards Committee and contributed to the SQL-89 and SQL-92 Standards.

Mr. Celko is author a series of books on SQL and RDBMS for Elsevier/MKP. He is an independent consultant based in Austin, Texas.

He has written over 1200 columns in the computer trade and academic press, mostly dealing with data and databases.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES the DDL (Data Definition Language), which is used to create a database schema, and it is related to the next chapter on the theory of database normalization." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of academic exercises and toy examples May 27 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My first problem with this book is its errors. ... there must be one on every page. There's way, way too many typos for a book like this. Half the examples won't work without corrections.
My second problem is that the book is rife with academic exercises that have little application in the real world. Code that uses cross joins will not perform well against even moderately sized data sets. Most of the examples make great magazine pieces, but fall short of anything that's actually useful in the real world.
Third, Celko likes to use syntax that has been implemented on paper only. For example, he uses set operations that no vendor has yet implemented (and probably never will since they became part of the ANSI standard years ago). A fair number of the examples in this book use code that will not run on any DBMS - even after you clean up the typos....
In sum, this book was a good idea, it's just a poor implementation. Celko needs to do some real DBA work and write from that experience. Saying "different DBMSs implement things differently - see your vendor docs" on every other page doesn't help anyone.
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Format:Paperback
My usual approach to CS books is to read them from cover to cover. I don't try the examples, don't run the code, don't do the exercises.
What I try to do is getting a "coarse memory map" of what the book teaches, so when I encounter a problem in my line of work I can say "well, I remember something about it in ZZZ" or "YYY had a chapter on this". Obviously I tend to favour cookbooks on purely abstract theory. When I bought Joe Celko's book I hoped to get just this: an SQL cookbook with easily appliable tips and techniques to a vast range of recurring SQL problems.
In my opinion, the book tries to cover too much, and ends up unfocused. There are a lot of examples, but they look a little too vague to me (and as others noticed, they seem to be plagued with typoes). Often the method works for the toys tables used to introduce the problem, but I'm left wondering what would happen if the data were a little more complex.
There are chapters devoted to subtle problems in SQL standards, numerical precision, query optimizations, but the general message seems to always boil down to "well, different vendors do things differently, so check out your product docs".
The book hints to powerful SQL techniques to solve some recurring problems: it devotes two chapters to modeling trees and graphs in RDBs, but again, the discussion is not really complete, and even if it proves that trees can be represented and manipulated in standard SQL (without STARTS WITH or other proprietary dialects) a lot of important things are missing, like what to do if you need to represent different trees in the same table, instead of a single tree. They also suffer from the "toy example syndrome" I explained before.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More Care Required March 12 2001
Format:Paperback
I knew of Joe Celko from his contributions to database-related magazines and had great expectations of this work.
However, while there is much in the book that is worthwhile, I found it terribly sloppy, not only in the practical solutions supplied but in all aspects of the book. Nearly every sample piece of code, even quite short snippets, has a bug in it; the descriptions of the problems he is attempting to solve and the explanations of the solutions are full of unstated assumptions; and much of the general text is imprecise or vague and skims over areas that could do with more detailed explanations. Some parts I have read several times over without being able to make any sense of them.
In fact, I have come to the point where, if a section of text or a practical example seems wrong or difficult to follow, I don't know any more if it's Joe's fault or mine.
To Joe's credit, I can say that I have corresponded with him and he was quick to reply and was willing to continue the discussion when I followed up. He generally comes across as a "great guy", and he did accept my criticism of the solution he'd given to a problem and produced a satisfactory alternative, but every point I made to him had to be explained in detail and I still felt at the end that he wouldn't get the solution 100% right when he incorporated it in his book.
One section of the book that I found absolutely fascinating was a short description of the standardization process of the Western or Gregorian calendar. It was mostly irrelevant to the topic of the book but fascinating nonetheless. There are other gems scattered throughout, he has a good list of references and I have found he has made several points which I could quote to support my postion in arguments in standards committee meetings, but I feel that it would take as much more effort to get the book right as it has take already to produce it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Mays Feb. 2 2000
Format:Paperback
It's too bad I cannot rate this book as a ten. A word to the wise: Celko's books cover the ANSI STANDARD SQL 92 (mainly). If the database you are working hasn't implemented the ANSI Standard SQL 92 ... then how could his examples compile? If your database implements a vendor flavor to the standard ... how could his examples compile on your database? No excuses ... please ... for not knowing your database, because Celko plainly and clearly explains the standard (ANSI SQL 92 for example) he is writting for. It is the readers job to know their database and perform some interpretation and translation in order to get some of the examples to work. Celko writes generically for the standard. If you need a specific database book on SQL call your vendor ... I am sure they will refer you to something ... and if they cannot ... FIND ANOTHER DATABASE VENDOR!
Hey JOE, where can I get my hands on a pure theoritical SQL book that really explains the MATH behind SQL. If anyone knows, guitar17@lvcm.com is my email address.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Be a SQL God
If you need to sling some really nasty SQL which you probably shouldn't be writing in the first place, then this book is for you. Celko is the man. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Terry Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Database Programmers
SQL for Smarties is a book that you should own if you work with relational databases. It has good practical advice and good examples. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by Steve Berczuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Database Programmers
SQL for Smarties is a book that yoo should own if you work with relational databases. It has good practical advice and good examples. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by Steve Berczuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book is one of the first references I have found on SQL that doesn't spend 75% of the book discussing simple Select, Update and Delete statements. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Optimised SQL Ahoy!
This book has been marvellous for me. I've been dealing with large ERP databases for the last two years now and Joe has really helped me tune and optimise my SQL to get the best... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2003 by Mark Ashworth
5.0 out of 5 stars SQL for Smarties
A nice programers reference, full of examples on how to do appl ication programing in sql. If you are a program uses SQL often you may find this helpful.
Published on June 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT for the real world
"The examples that come to mind are his organizational trees. Who cares about that?" I do! Our company has a hierarchical structure with imperfections. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as advanced at the title suggests.
Given the title I thought it would have more advanced advice for more challenging problems. I've been using SQL for a while, and I didn't really see any new or unique solutions in... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2002 by scoob
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm a little underwhelmed...
Not so much unimpressed at Joe's knowledge, which is impressive indeed: the book reads a lot more like a teaching text than most technical books. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2002 by Bruce Pierson
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is great mostly because its one of a kind
I read this book a year ago, so I do not remember much. It's the only book I've seen out there that deals with advanced queries. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2001 by Bunny Bear
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