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Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL: From Novice to Professional Paperback – September 6, 2007

ISBN-13: 068-9253157893 ISBN-10: 1590594789 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Novice to Professional
  • Paperback: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2nd edition (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590594789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590594780
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Easy to find whatever needed.
Nicole
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to dive in and get some real hands on experience and learning with PostgreSQL.
David H
I found the technical info in this book to be especially well presented.
Steve

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By One more opinion on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book would be better labeled "Beginning Databases with Postgresql - From Novice to Amateur with a few Provisos."

This book is good for getting you to the stage where you have some basic confidence in using PostgreSQL (an excellent database). Do NOT expect to be able to learn what it is you are learning Postgres for without a great deal of googling, hanging out on the #postgresql irc channel (hint: type ?? and topic, VERY useful), searching the mailing list archives, reading the online documentation (which is very useful), and of course, liberal use of \? and \h in psql.

After you have some basic familiarity with Postgres you will still use Matthew and Stones from time to time, looking up syntax etc. For that it is useful.

One of the most annoying things is that it promotes bad database design through the "bpsimple" and "bpfinal" sample databases. Anyone using such a database would be constantly having to clean out garbage data in their database. Take for example their customer table. Their only unique constraint is the primary key, customer_id. If they don't have either a multiple column primary key or some other unique constraint, they will constantly be getting duplicate customers.

At least when I was learning MS Access the books I used taught me good principles such that I am not having to deal with duplicate values years later.

Unfortunately due to the dearth of Postgresql books this is still one of the better offerings. I would give it 3 stars if there was more competition.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
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 if 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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By HugeStakkaBoFan VINE VOICE on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't really a bad book, but given the clarity with which PostgreSQL's official (and free) documentation is written, a lot of it also isn't necessary. Sure, it's really thick, but a lot of those pages are dedicated to really ugly screenshots and Windows-specific silliness I'm willing to bet few members of this product's target audience are particularly interested in. There are also entire chapters dedicated to C# and Java APIs which should probably be separate books if they really wanted to do justice to such topics--their inclusion here just feels like pointless filler.

If you have absolutely no idea what SQL is and want to get your feet wet with Postgres, then this is absolutely the book for you. If you have a pretty good idea what you're doing and just want to pick up on some of Postgres' quirks, I'm not too sure you'll be getting your money's worth here. It just tries to cover way too much ground too quickly, and the information ends up getting stretched a little thin.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Despite the fact that many books claim to be for everyone from the beginner to the professional this book is one of the few that actually hits the mark. Not content to just dive right into PostgreSQL and how to us it, the authors include a lot of database history and theory that is sadly lacking from similar books. But it is not just for beginners. The authors include more advances sections on things like accessing the database using C, PHP, Perl, Java, and C#.

Between this beginning user and advanced user level the authors fill in all the intermediate parts so the book ends up providing a well-organized education from the principles of database design through database setup, query, ODBC access setup, and using a programming or scripting language to accessing and updating the database. The book also includes detailed information on selection procedures, data manipulation, functions, stored procedures, triggers, and PostgreSQL Administration. As a result you end up with a book where the database theory applies to all relational databases and as it becomes more technical in nature it moves from there to information specific to PostgreSQL for the advanced user, administrator, or programmer. Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL, Second Edition is highly recommended to anyone interested in using this particular SQL engine.
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