Discovering SQL: A Hands-On Guide for Beginners Paperback – Apr 19 2011
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From the Back Cover
Discover best practices for turning data into information you can use
Structured Query Language, more popularly known as SQL, is a standard database language used to create, access and manipulate data, and store and maintain information in relational databases such as Access®, SQL Server®, Oracle®, and MySQL®. If that's all you know about SQL, then you're already ahead of the curve! Assuming no prior knowledge of SQL or relational databases, author Alex Kriegel takes you on a voyage of discovery as you learn SQL basics and learn to work with data stored in a relational database. Written in a beginner-friendly tone, this guide walks you through the creation of a sample database that incorporates all the SQL concepts taught throughout the book and also introduces data modeling, query tuning, and optimization.
Covers the most important SQL dialects along with the current release of SQL Standard
Highlights the differences between particular implementations as well as the power and limitations of SQL
Demonstrates how SQL deals with all types of data: structured, unstructured and everything in between
Looks at dynamic SQL, procedural extensions and latest developments in the field
Shares best practices for optimizing query performance
Walks you through the basics of database design and introduces the tools for working with normalized data
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About the Author
Alex Kriegel is an enterprise systems architect for the Oregon Health Authority, State of Oregon. He has more than 20 years of professional database and software development experience and holds numerous certifications, including MCTS, PMP from Project Management Institute, TOGAF 8 Certified Practitioner from The Open Architecture Group, and Certified Scrum Master from Scrum Alliance.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There is no supporting CD, but the publisher's web site has the scripts to download that speed up data entry portion of setting up the local database that is used in of the examples. The SQL examples are that of a book publishing scenario that is familiar to many of us from the Sybase and early SQL server days. I'm glad that Alex decided not to use the current Microsoft SQL database of AdventureWorks. AdventureWorks is fully normalized and large enough to evaluate performance differences in queries, but it is just too hard for a novice to understand unless they join together 5 tables for every query!
There is a great deal of practical content in the book, building the process needed for reporting and basic data management, and moves into performance techniques, indexing, and transaction management. The sql examples do not attempt to reference every possible iteration of a sql command. Neither does the book attempt to show how to bring about complicated programmatic action within the database. Some examples maybe difficult to translate to your own environment, as there is usually only one example for a particular type of statement.
The end of the book focuses on high level views of database-related concepts, including XML and future technologies.
All in all, I think Alex Kriegel has done a great job putting together a valuable resource for those who are looking to begin their SQL journey or those who want to see the differences in syntax between different database engines.
That is about all I can say that is good. The book is so riddled with errors in column and table name references, you basically have to assume that all the SQL is wrong and will give you errors when you try to execute it.
pg.26 you run an alter table statement to add a "book_id" column to the table.
ALTER TABLE myLibrary
ADD book_id INTEGER;
The book then immediately references the column later on the page as "bk_id" in multiple sql statements!
UPDATE myLibrary SET bk_id=1 WHERE isbn='978-0470229064';
This continues through out the remainder of the book to a point where the author is referring to the myLibrary table as "books" and has prefixed all columns with bk_ while in previous examples there were no column name prefixes.
For a book that is meant to introduce people to SQL it is unacceptable to have so many errors in the book, and since it is a hands on guide, in your sql queries. It ends up being really discouraging and frustrating trying to track down whether or not you are wrong or the book is wrong... but you can assume its the book.
Where was the copy editor? I cannot believe that Alex Kriegel is willing to attach his name to this book.
How embarrassing for the author.
ps. the book also does not follow its own instructions. it had me change a table name only to go on reffering to the table by its old name