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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on July 2, 2002
I have been writing SQL for a few years, and I have almost every book on TSQL. When I glanced over this book, I thought it was pretty good, but I waited until I saw the reviews on to get a second opinion. As the reviews were mostly negative, I did not buy the book back then.
Then some time later and with some spare money in hand, I got to the bookstore and this was the ONLY book on TSQL that I did not already own. So I caved in and bought it. This was a very wise move! The help given to me by this book has made it a more than worthwhile investement. I have over 10 SQL servers and have to maintain and write code for all of them. This books has been extraordinary help.
I you know very little of SQL, do not buy this book, get an intro book instead. But if you have "some" experience with SQL, then this is a great book to get deeper into TSQL. I will change the way you write code and make you a better TSQL developer.
Which leads me to wonder about the SQL capabilities of the writers of those negative reviews.... hum ;-)
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on September 24, 2001
I discovered this book when I was in the middle of writing a Sales Order Processing application using Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft Visual Basic 6. I scanned through the wealth of material in this book and I was able to adapt many of the techniques to the Sales Order application. The book applies to SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000. It is aimed primarily at developers as opposed to those performing solely administrative tasks.
It contains 20 chapters in just over 800 pages dealing with programming issues like Referential Integrity with Cascading Actions, Views, Stored Procedures, Triggers, Partitioning data using Views, Cursors etc. This book is not a rehash of the SQL Server Books OnLine. There are also 7 appendices in the book. One deals with Analyzing Query Performance, another with 'Dynamically Creating Triggers for Cascade Actions' and a 'References' appendix that is littered with good places to obtain more information about SQL Server.
There are a number of extra useful facilities. For example many chapters have a 'From the Trenches' section that provide snippets of information about situations taken from real-world projects. There are also a number of 'Best Practices' sections where the authors make usage statements based on their knowledge of SQL Server. I benefited specifically from the 'Tips and Tricks' chapter made up of submissions by people solving specific real-world problems. I certainly didn't know that it was possible to use a Case statement as part of a Join in the way it is used in one of the examples.
The book also contains a number of puzzles at the end of each chapter. I was deeply involved with the Sales Order Processing Application project and felt I was 'too busy' to study them. But that was a mistake for me. I took some time off work and during that time found that the puzzle solutions offered me the opportunity to apply T-SQL to my application as opposed to just learning/reading the mechanics of T-SQL.
If you want to broaden your horizons read and attempt the solutions to these puzzles. The actual solutions to the puzzles are provided in a separate chapter.
Some of these puzzles require mental gymnastics but then that is why the book has the word 'Advanced' in its title!
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on June 20, 2001
Unlike the majority of reviewers, who have been very critical of this book, I have found the book to be very well-written and extremely informative.
Several reviewers have made unfavorable comparisons with Henderson's "Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL" book. Such comparisons are really off base, since the two books focus on very different things.
Henderson's book, which is indeed a valuable book, is packed with lots of code fragments, but often without a lot of elaboration as to how and why they work. In addition the coverage of many important topics (e.g. triggers, partitioned views, user-defined functions, referential integrity) is either inadaquate or non-existent.
By contrast, Ben-gan and Moreau explain in great detail the syntax and semantics of many aspects of transact SQL. For example, the book goes into great detail describing the differences between the old-style and SQL/92 syntax for inner joins and outer joins. It does a wonderful job explaining cube and rollup, has lots of examples of user-defined functions and does a good job of explaining various techniques for maintaining referential integrity. In all of these cases, the explainations go far beyond the terse descriptions found in Books-0n-Line.
Ben-gan and Moreau is also very concerned with broader architectural issues. For example there is a masterful 42 page exposition of partitioned views. In no other book that I'm aware of, have I found such an exhaustive treatment of what is arguably the most important performance-oriented feature of SQL Server 2000. This chapter alone is worth the entire price of the book.
In summary, if you really want to learn the nuances of T-SQL for SQL Server 2000, in a leisurely and engaging manner, you won't find a better book than Ben-gan and Moreau. On the other hand if, you want a book with a lot of code you can cut and paste into your own work, then get Henderson's book. Actually, the two books complement each other nicely.
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on December 17, 2000
As a developer, I spend most of my time slogging through VB or C++ code, working with ADO in order to get to my data. I've used stored procedures for some time, but always felt I could have the database do more of the work, if I just understood it better. Along comes this book, and all I can say is, "Thanks!" Itzik Ben-Gan and Tom Moreau do an excellent job of describing the full power of T-SQL. This book has helped me write dramatically better stored procedures, which has sped up my data access and helped me do work on the server that I used to have to do in code on the client. From the topics on CUBE and ROLLUP to the chapters on stored procedures, triggers, and horizontally partitioned views, this is an excellent book for anyone wanting to exploit the power of SQL Server 2000. It's also good to see that the book was based on the final version of SQL Server 2000, not the beta version like some of the other books out there.
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on October 3, 2001
When I picked this book up, I thought I knew TSQL. And, as Moreau and Ben-Gan presented the TSQL, I realized that I had barely scratched the surface.
Many of their examples begin with the same solution that I would have thought up on my own but they then take that solution and show a better way to accomplish the same task. Not only do they show you the better way but they explain why it works in a manner that is concise and understandable.
I often recommend this book to programmers who are learning TSQL because it helps them gain the knowledge they need to be able to use TSQL far more effectively than you get from the isolated examples in Books On Line (BOL).
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on January 2, 2001
My friend showed me this book and I went out and got one. It's easy to understand and I like the full discussions of each example. It doesn't leave you hanging. They even compare the performance of different solutions and I like that. The new stuff for SQL Server seems to be well covered, though there is nothing on XML but it is supposed to be about Transact-SQL, so I guess that's OK. I picked up some tricks with derived tables that I have put to use. Chapter 16 on hierarchies was cool. It brought together the triggers and user-defined functions ideas in a practical problem.
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on January 5, 2003
I have followed Itzik Ben-Gan's columns in SQL Server Magazine and I found his articles addressing some of the trickier problems frequently faced by SQL developers. The solutions presented have almost always been very elegant and changed one's perspective of looking at a whole class of problems.
This book is distilled from a lot of those very clever articles from SQL Server Magazine [and then some] and I heartily recommend this book to tickle your SQL senses. [I am very surprised with the number of negative reviews for this book, believe me, it does not deserve it].
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on August 23, 2001
I think it is great that we have a book devoted to the relational parts of the TSQL language, but not diving too much into the technical aspects of TSQL (like system stored procedures etc). This is a programming book, for those who wish to take their TSQL knowledge a step further. Perhaps not as advanced as the title suggets, but a great book for anyone at the intermediate level. Also, the book does cover some more advanced topics like dynamic order by, handling hierarchies etc. One of the books on my recommendation list!
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on June 29, 2001
I bought this book after much delay and I think it is excellent. It is tough to find advanced topic books for SQL Server 2000 - even though more and more bokos are being published for SQL Server, more books are not worth having...
If you want to learn some more in-depth topics, Tom and Itzik do not dissapoint. More than a rehash of Books Online, this book takes you into several good examples and has a very good section on performance tips. I also love the SQL puzzles....
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on January 16, 2001
I am glad I got this book that I can learn so much from it. This book offers practical solutions with complete explanations. It has full of helpful examples of SQL scripts to explore to gain ideas on what to do and what not to do. I really like it.
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