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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on February 16, 2004
A common theme among the negative critiques, is the use of the word "Advanced" in the book's title. Personally, i think the authors should simply have chosen a different title, and half of the negative comments would have been subdued. (Something to signify the apparent intent of the authors, such as "An anthology of T-SQL", or "A Comprehensive Introduction to T-SQL" ...) "Advanced" of course is to some extent a product of one's own thinking, and experience. Another aspect to this subject of "Advanced" has to do with the totally hackneyed, over-worked use of the term "Guru." Someone / something can in fact be "Advanced", and NOT be in the realm of "Guru." This term is COMPLETELY over-used, and over-applied. There are in fact but a very FEW "Guru's" out there in the 'Real World' (Ken Henderson being one.) A Guru is a unique, creative combination of high native intelligence, tireless enthusiasm, and indeterminate hours of true, Hands-On Experience, with the product. A Guru can be identified as someone who ALWAYS seems to know more about the topic, no matter what he/she is asked or challenged with. (As an aside....a "Guru" is NOT always a great, or even good, author ... or, communicator to humans, in general ... although this particular talent definitely is advantageous!) In short, evaluate a product, such as a computer book, on its merits, applicability to the task at hand, and value to YOU. Take with a GIANT grain of salt, any negative critique(s) before choosing .... esp. those propagated from a SINGLE source masquerading as MULTIPLE people!
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on April 1, 2002
I was a little surprised when I read some of the negative reviews on this book. It has become the most used book in my library of late and I find it very helpful and easy to use. The code examples are short, clear and to the point. The topics are well indexed and logically grouped, making it very easy to find examples of what I need to know. So many other books in this category are designed for either Database Administration or Developers embedding SQL in applications. This book is aimed at people who code SQL in MS SQL Server. It focuses on how to write the most optimized queries and gives practical tips that make it easier to write and debug SQL.
I am somewhere in between a Beginner and an Advanced user. I have been coding simple embedded SQL for 5 years as a VB developer and recently writing more complex stored procedures. This book has been the most practical SQL reference I have found, much more helpful than the online help. It is has not been a "waste of time" or "beginner level at best" for me. I have learned quite a bit about SQL from this book and I thought I was fairly knowledgeable before I read it.
Others in my department have also purchased this book and it has become the standard reference many of us use to answer SQL questions. If you are looking for a practical reference to common and advanced questions, you will find this book very useful.
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on December 10, 2001
I initially skimmed this book looking for highlights. I've referred many developers to a section or chapter in this book when they are trying to perform T-SQL gymnastics like unequal joins, locating missing data, understanding instead of triggers, etc. This isn't a book for beginners. Make sure you have a firm grasp of T-SQL and then give yourself time to read this book in chunks. Yes, I found some errors in the code samples. But, I don't blindly run code from a book. This is a book designed to teach you many finer points of T-SQL and apply them to real world problems. If the code doesn't work, apply what the authors are teaching you and rewrite it. Way too many people just dismiss it as "beneath them", "not advanced", "rehash of BOL", etc. I doubt any of them even put forth the effort required to understand what Tom and Itzik are trying to teach you. This is a book that will require you to think, but at the end of the road you will be miles ahead of your counterparts in your understanding of T-SQL. There isn't enough room for an exhaustive treatment, but the authors present T-SQL in a way that pushes you well beyond "memorize and regugitate" and certainly allows you to apply T-SQL in ways you would have thought were not possible. T-SQL is a simple language, but it is extremely complex in this simplicity. Thank you Itzik and Tom for deepening my understanding.
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on March 29, 2001
I read this book basically cover to cover and recommend it to database and application developers interested in a very readable and informative text detailing most of the new features introduced in SQL Server 2000, specifically User-Defined Functions, Cascading Referential Constraints, Indexed Views, INSTEAD OF triggers, Distributed Partitioned Views, along with the new data types (bigint, table variables, and sql-variant), and the new functions SCOPE_IDENTITY() and IDENT_CURRENT().
The authors don't just discuss the new features, but give concrete and practical code examples illustrating each of these features. Additionally, while the book deals very thoroughly with the SQL Server 2000 features listed above, it also provides code to emulate most of the features in pre-SQL Server 2000 installations. As such, the book is an invaluable reference to those who are not able to currently implement SQL Server 2000, but need the functionality.
I was particularly impressed that the book provides an entire chapter dealing with a very efficient and practical method of handling hierarchical relationships in SQL Server. This is a topic that most other books on the market either ignore or just skim over, and IMHO this one chapter is worth the price of the book.
The authors also frequently present alternative coding options, and then discuss the performance of each option. SQL Server has a number of options to present the relative performance of various coding techniques, and this book is one of the few that goes the extra mile in presenting how to do the analysis to get the most out of SQL Server.
The only criticism I have of the book is that the authors appear a bit too willing to accentuate the positive aspects of each feature. I'd prefer a more in depth discussion of the pros and cons of employing various options. For example, Indexed Views are a wonderful technique for OLAP applications, but can have severe negative performance consequences in OLTP applications. While the authors mention this, I felt that a more thorough discussion of when to use and when not to use Indexed Views was warranted.
However, this is essentially a minor criticism, and overall the book, IMHO, achieves its goal of presenting coding topics and techniques for the T-SQL programmer wishing to gain a better understanding of how to utilize T-SQL to its fullest.
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on January 25, 2001
If you've read Rob Viera's book, Professional SQL 7/2000 Programming, then your ready for this one. This book reads like a FAQ for common problems and solutions posted to the various listserves and newsgroups for SQL Server.
No, this book is not as advanced as many people (myself included) would have liked. Yes, there are a few parts that are poorly written. The honest truth is that this is not the book I had hoped it would be, but the TSQL community has needed a book like this for a while - not the bare basics, but not too advanced. It's certainly better than the one and two star ratings its been given by other readers. When your finished with this one, check out Henderson's Guru's Guide to TSQL.
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In reading through the many reviews on this book, I notice that we have a bi-modal distribution. Intermediate users love it, and truly advanced users give it low marks.
The sub-title on the back cover is a better clue to what this book is about than the title -- "Practical T-SQL Solutions to Common Problems."
If you've sorted through your initial newbie issues about SQL and SQL Server and want to take your skills to the next level, you will find this book extremely worthwhile. If you're already an advanced T-SQL type looking for deeper insights, you'll probably be dissapointed.
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on January 4, 2001
This book has lots of worked problems and solutions. For example, the authors show how to remove duplicates, handle hierarchies, auditing, pivot tables, password encryption, case sensitive searches, opening a cursor on a stored proc call, doing your own sort order, etc. It would be nice to have the code on CD, instead of downloading.
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on January 10, 2001
Folks really trashed this book, and I just don't see it. Sure there are a few typos, and yes, much is not really "Advanced" but there is enough in there to make it a very worthwhile read. In addition, it would be nice to have a section that specifically covers SQL 7/2000 issues, but they are in there if you keep looking.
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on December 30, 2000
I read some of the other reviews and I was wondering if we were reading the same book? I found this book extremely useful if not brilliantly written. In particular, I thought the section on triggers was extremely useful and helped me solve some problems we had been having in our installation.
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