Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes Paperback – Aug 1999
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About the Author
Ben Forta is Allaire Corporation's product evangelist for the ColdFusion product line. Ben has over 15 years of experience in the computer industry, and spent 6 years as part of the development team responsible for creating OnTime, one of the most successful calendar and group-scheduling products, with over one million users worldwide. Ben is the author of the popular ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit, and the more recent Advanced ColdFusion 4 Application Development Kit.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One one level, any new SQL programmer using any DBMS will appreciate the easily digested coverage of the fundamental query and update basics. The books is well-written, an easy read, and goes beyond those basics without going too far.
Even moderately experienced readers will be well-served by the clear, simple discussions of important topics (like data manipulation and aggregating functions, grouping data, subqueries, views, etc) that can be easily forgotten, as well as other topics (such as using transactions, constraints, triggers, etc.) that can get lost in wading through other more voluminous tomes. Ben presents a very nice balance of fundamental topics.
But there's more to this book than being a simple intro to SQL. That audience of web db developers is an exploding one, and they bring some unique needs for which Ben provides a valuable perspective. Most SQL books have some DBMS-specific bias, despite SQL's purpose as a tool for accessing any kind of database in a consistent manner. Web application development environments like ASP and CF are also similarly database-agnostic. There are subtle points about using SQL in such environments that are different from using it, say, in a query builder or in a client/server environment.
Ben, who was lead author of the highly regarded ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit, presents the subjects in a manner suitable to such programmers and the way they'd code SQL and use its results, and he also sprinkles in discussions of how to take care of cross-platform issues on particular tasks, and often offers specific solutions for the most popular DBMS's used by that audience, such as Access, SQL Server, and Oracle.
On still another level, other books also get bogged down in issues of database design, creation, administration, security, etc. Important though those topics are, most development shops are growing to a point where those tasks are being handled by different people, and the developer who simply wants to code retrieval and update applications is challenged to find a good intro sql book that doesn't wade into detail on topics that they may not yet be able to understand, let alone ever need to perform. There are other great books that do cover those subjects, and readers would do well to seek those out as they progress in their learning.
It certainly makes it challenging to find (and no less to write) a SQL book. There are just so many potential audiences. For its intended purpose though, "Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes" is very well done. As in his previous books, Ben is right on the money--and for a very low price, at that!
This is a great book to get you started in database management using SQL. The format of the book is one I've never seen, I love it. He first explains a new concept, compares it to other previously learned concepts, and then gives an example. Following this he explains the example. There are lots of other things helpful in his technique as well, such as showing the examples for Oracle users (a Database management program).
The thing that I really like is the perfect balance of explanations and examples. It is hard to find a page in the book without at least one example.
Upsides to this book
not to many words
easy to handle concepts
great for beginners
Downsides to book
Not the best book for reference, but not bad.
not for advanced SQL users
Over all, the best computer book I've ever read, don't hesitate to get yourself a copy.
However, in working with other programmers, I've learned that it's true about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. If your only knowledge of SQL and relational databases comes from this book, you're in danger of missing out on some very basic information, such as how to normalize a database or perform an outer join.
If you learn SQL from this book, you'll quickly want to get another book on SQL that's more complete to fill you in on this missing critical information. Unless for some reason you need to start programming in SQL as soon as possible (in other words, before you understand what you're doing), just skip this book and buy just the more complete book.