Richard Stones graduated from university with an electrical engineering degree, but decided software was more fun. He has programmed in a variety of languages, but only admits to knowing Visual Basic under duress. He has worked for a number of companies, from the very small to the very large, in a variety of areas, from real-time embedded systems upward. He is employed by Celesio AG as a systems architect, working principally on systems for the retail side of the business. He has co-authored several computing books with Neil Matthew, including Beginning Linux Programming, Professional Linux Programming, and Beginning Databases with MySQL.
Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL: From Novice to Professionalby Richard Stones, Neil Matthew
You will receive introduction to the product's most prominent
PostgreSQL is one of the world's most popular Open Source relational database systems. It is renowned for its wide range of capabilities, and its ability to perform functions not available in other databases. And this book will provide you with the tools to transition into PostgreSQL for the first time.
You will receive introduction to the product's most prominent features. And you will learn simultaneously about key relational database design and management principles-all to help you effectively manage your data-driven application. Also included: extensive coverage of the most popular PostgreSQL APIs, including PHP, Perl, Java and C. You will also benefit from the generous reference material covering PostgreSQL data types, syntax, the psql client, and large object support.
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The book serves two audiences. One is those seeking to learn SQL. The other is those wanting to learn Postgresql. Naturally there is some overlap. But consider the first group. There are indeed several good texts on the theory of relational databases and using SQL to access and change these tables. But the books often deal at an abstract level that does not use a specific SQL implementation. Which makes it very hard to learn SQL. As a practical matter, you need to commit to an implementation, even just as a pedagogic decision. Well, as the authors explain, Postgresql is a good choice. It conforms broadly to SQL92 and is free open source. (The only other major free alternative being MySQL.) After all, you typically can't get onto a free copy of Oracle 10g or IBM's dB2 to learn from. So just from this standpoint, the book gives you a solid learning experience with SQL. Eminently transportable to a job involving a proprietary SQL, like those mentioned above. Of course, those have unique tweaks. But the methods described here are universal to the field. Now what you want to actually learn Postgresql? There are chapters on using it from the command line and so on. The book also devotes a chapter each to getting at Postgresql from C, PHP, Perl, Java and C#. Typically, you are unlikely to need all of these chapters. But it shows the flexibility of the database.