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An effective introduction to SQL, and a comprehensive reference for years to come. As the editor of the 1992 standard, Jim Melton is an authority on the language and its new features. Using a highly readable, conversational style, he and Alan Simon clearly present the power of SQL. They describe practical methods of using SQL to solve problems, advanced SQL query expressions, dynamic SQL, transaction models, and database design.
"...clearly describes practical methods of using SQL to solve problems, advanced SQL query expressions, dynamic SQL, transaction models, and database design...written by an authority on the language at its new features."
Posted March 25, 2000
This is a very useful book, and every professional user of SQL should read it. The authors demonstrate a clear understanding of the subject matter, and their writing style, with good examples, down-to-earth explanations, and the occasional touch of humor, is simply enjoyable. A particularly helpful feature of this book, is that syntax is shown in easy-to-read railroad diagrams. It would have been helpful if the index was organized in such a way that one could immediately locate the railroad diagram for a given SQL statement. A separate list of railroad diagrams would also be nice. And although I consider heavy reliance on defaults to be bad programming practice, I would have appreciated it if just a quick look at a railroad diagram told me what defaults, if any, applied for the statement in question. Any author of books or articles must have his or her target audience in mind. For example, what may be an excellent article for a trade magazine, would almost certainly be rejected by a scientific journal. Thus, when judging this book one must keep in mind the perspective of its authors. If you are looking for an academic textbook with emphasis on scientific rigor, then this book will disappoint you. It is pretty obvious that is not what this book was meant to be. If, on the other hand, you want a practically oriented book that will help you do your job in a better way, then this is a great place to start. Having worked with databases and related technologies for 18 years, I have seen so many books where the number of pages outweigh the knowledge of their authors by a factor of 2 or more (and just in case there are any publishers out there listening; computer professionals are sick and tired of having to read through hundreds of pages of blah-blah-blah in order to find the information we are looking for). This book is different. It contains 394 pages of ordinary chapters, followed by 133 pages of appendices, and the signal-to-noise ratio in all these pages is excellent. If you are an application programer, a database administrator, or some other kind of database practitioner, and you are serious about your work, then there are some books I would consider more or less mandatory reading. This is one of them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.