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Beginning SQL Paperback – Mar 4 2005
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From the Back Cover
SQL works with databases to insert and extract data and is an international standard for manipulating data in databases. This hands-on resource covers everything from a review of SQL basics and database design to creating your own databases and using the SQL language in a variety of database applications.
Packed with essential code, theories, concepts, and techniques, as well as a cache of useful examples, this comprehensive text will have you quickly designing your own databases and writing SQL code sufficient for many real-world situations. Practice exercises in each chapter help speed up your comprehension. By the end of the book, you'll be prepared to handle any surprise that SQL might throw your way.
What you will learn from this book
- How to get the answers you want from a database
- Procedures for using and manipulating data with SQL's built-in functions
- Ways to retrieve data from numerous and diverse tables
- How to create various levels of security in a database so you can edit data or change the database's structure
- Theories and practical applications of normalization
- Advanced database design
Who this book is for
This book is for programmers with some prior programming experience who are seeking to develop their database programming skills using SQL. The book assumes no previous programming experience, so it is also suitable for database programming beginners including database administrators.
Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Paul Wilton has been working professionally as a programmer for over 6 years. He is experienced with SQL, database design, development and deployment, as well as RDBMS systems including SQL Server and Access. He is currently working freelance developing functionality for websites database driven web sites including e-commerce, message boards, chat applications, and more. His most recent work includes a case tracking system for a law firm and an online booking system for a holiday cottage rental company.
John Colby is database consultant providing database analysis and design as well as Access, SQL Server, and Visual Foxpro programming to companies in the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first book by Paul Wilton is what you would expect from a book with this title, a step-by-step introduction to SQL. It covers queries, functions, inner and outer joins, table and index creation, constraints and the fundamentals of relational database design. As the database-independent title of the book suggests it focuses on the standard features and functions of SQL that are common to all popular databases. In doing this the author makes the effort to point out where the popular databases vary from the standard. Understandably stored procedures are deemed to be beyond the scope of this book and are not mentioned. The databases covered by the first book are Oracle 10g, MySQL 4.1, SQL Server 2000, DB2 8.1 and Access XP. The book also includes a very handy appendix which explains how to obtain a free evaluation copy of each of these databases and how to install them on Windows.
The second book, by John Colby, covers the more advanced topics of transactions, security and database performance tuning. Unfortunately the second book is written unashamedly only for SQL Server and little or no attempt is made to explain how the same functionality is delivered by other databases. I can't understand this. Wrox has a perfect good book already for those keen to learn about SQL Server by Robert Vieira.
In my view for the next release of the book Wrox should drop the second section of this book altogether, as it doesn't belong in a beginners' guide to SQL and instead ask Paul to beef up the chapters on functions and data types, including an overview of the more often used datatypes in the five RDBMSs. In my experience beginners need to know how to use IDENTITY and SEQUENCE generators when they build their first database applications, not security and database performance tuning.
This is not a bad approach, because while you might miss out on some of the nifty commands, your code will be compatiable with virtually any database that you are using. You will find comments in the book like when discussing the substring function he says "MS Access doesn't utilize the SUBSTRING() function. Instead, it employs the MID() function...." I don't know how he could have done it any differently without writing five different books.
This is an excellent beginning book. Use it to get started and to understand the concepts behind the SQL language. Then you may want to get a higher level book on the particular database you are using.
It is broken into two sections. Chapter 1-3 is a once-over-lightly overview of all the key concepts involved in SQL. The rest is a thorough and detailed guide to more advanced uses.
The SQL is generic, though the book has specific exceptions for MySQL, Access, SQL Server and Oracle. These are mostly unobtrusive and can be skimmed easily. It is moderately useful to see what exceptions exist and why, even if you have no intention of using those DBMS's. Unlike books like SQL in a Nutshell, these references don't create constant interruptions in the reading flow.
What I like most about this book is that each subject is given a complete discussion, with ERD, SQL commands, and example data. In most cases, there is more than one example of usage. Unlike the current book, the examples are uncomplicated and make sense out of context of previous chapters, for the most part. The database examples are more self-contained and real-world than the current book -- more like the classroom examples.
This book devotes from 3-10 pages to what most books only give 1/2 page. The text flows well and is light and friendly, but doesn't have distracting anecdotes. At first glance, it is a lot of text, a lot of pages, and the paper is newsprint which seems intimidating, but it is a quick read. The data examples are humorous, which makes it a bit less dull. Even though the Wrox tagline is "Programmer to Programmer" this book is more accessible than any other programming text I've read. It really is Beginning SQL.
My only complaint: no coverage of PostgreSQL.
Two thumbs up, 5 stars, etc... I really like this book!
This would be the first one I'd recommend.
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