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Beginning SQL Server 2008 for Developers: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) 1st Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590599587
ISBN-10: 1590599586
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Dewson has been hooked on programming ever since he bought his first computer, a Sinclair ZX80, in 1980. He has been working with SQL Server since version 6.5 and Visual Basic since version 5. Robin is a consultant mainly in the city of London, where he has been for nearly eight years. He also has been developing a rugby-related website as well as maintaining his own site at

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in SQL Server
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (July 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590599586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590599587
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in Symington in Lanarkshire where my mum and dad had a local post office and grocers. I discovered my interest in computers through the Sinclair ZX80 whilst still at school and the interest was increased on a visit to Glasgow University where I saw a Commodore Pet in action. Thanks solely to my mother and father who trawled the papers looking for jobs and colleges, I ended up at Motherwell Technical College where I gained an SOND in Computer Data Processing.

Having studied at Motherwell Technical College as it was then named, just across the road from Fir Park football ground home of Motherwell FC, including day release at Ravesncraig Steel woorks, I then moved to two years at the Scottish College of Textiles (S.C.O.T) in Galashiels. Although a textile college this was one of the best colleges for computing due to the small class sizes and the great facilities there. At S.C.O.T I gained further COBOL experience on an IBM mainframe. This was also where I met my first real computer game, Collossus Cave! An excellent adventure that kept most of the students engrossed for months! I also met some of the best people at this college, a few who I still keep in contact with. College is a great place to move in to adult hood.

From S.C.O.T. I found my first job which was with Texas Instruments in Bedford. This is was a whole new set of thinking with working in a big organisation where you compiled your code on a mainframe in Dallas from your computer in England.

I stayed with Texas Instruments for just over a year having been under the wing of a big Brian Nicholson. I met some great people there as well but time moved on and I ended up in Hemel Hempstead with Atlas Copco and then on to Link Associates in Chesham, Bucks. A software house by trade, gave me great exposure to new programming languages and how to develop with them, as well as exposure to client Asset Management and the retail industry.

After just over 2 years it was time to break out on my own as a consultant. My first consultancy lasted just over 8 years with Save & Propser in Romford, Essex, England. Still on mainframes I used a Computer Associates product called Ideal.

During this time I started to teach myself Clipper, then on to FoxPro and FoxBase almost at the same time, using FoxPro to write a generic Fantasy game simulation and FoxBase to look after a postal football game I inherited called Sick Parrot. I soon moved on to Visual FoxPro which gave me the insight to the joys that are Object Orientated Programming. This allowed me to move jobs in to Lehman Brothers.

I soon learned the restrictedness of having the programming language along side the database language and so taught myself Visual Basic (v5) and SQL Server (6.5). Very soon after version 7 of SQL Server came along so I moved straight to there and avoid some of the problems with 6.5 solutions. I also taught myself Visual Basic 6 where I completed some work for Rohbe Inc using SQL Server 2000.

Moving from this point I have moved through ASP, SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2012, C#, Visual Basic.Net, ASP.NET, Java, Sybase and many other technologies through leaning on the job or reading and working travelling to work. And I am still learning today.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By default_character on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was a great introduction to MS SQL Server, but I honestly don't think it would be as helpful to new developers as it would be for new DBAs, for the following reasons:
1) No real relational database theory review
2) SQL not really introduced till over halfway through the book
3) Some terms randomly mentioned, then never explained (such
as "computed columns")
4) IIs and other pre-2008 server references
5) Cursors not mentioned... also wish there had been some text on
accessing the database via different languages.

Not all of the examples worked. I eventually figured out everything, but had a really difficult time understanding the descriptions of some of the concepts; some were too wordy and some too terse. The last chapter on Reporting Services was almost completely useless because he didn't show you how to deploy the reports... this would have been pretty easy (I found it in another book). Because of this, I can't recommend this for beginning developers either.

HOWEVER, having said all that, there are several reasons why you should get the book:
1) Covers quite a bit of material which I don't think the other texts
will, such as security, back-ups, recovery, system databases, etc.
2) Walks you through a complete installation and set-up of SQL Server.
3) Every chapter has relevant exercises, so if you have trouble getting
through the text, there is at least an example.
4) Filled with a lot of helpful "gotchas" that I could tell were
learned the hard way.
5) His writing style is friendly and unpretentious.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Greg Klinkel on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been very disappointed in this book. I am a software developer with many years of relatively lightweight knowledge of SQL. I hoped that this book would teach me a greater depth of knowledge of SQL, including how to master various types of joins, group by, having, etc.

You can imagine my surprise when I looked up the GROUP BY topic and found only one-half page of descriptive text, followed by less than a page of example. There was only a cursory discussion of this topic, which I found very disappointing.

This same disappointment has played out on every topic I have tried to explore to broaden my understanding of SQL. One would expect a book of nearly 500 pages to have some depth on fundamental topics.

I don't really know who would benefit from this book. This is clearly NOT a book for a developer such as myself, and it did not take me "from novice to professional" as I had expected.

If you are looking to broaden your understanding of SQL, look elsewhere.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Todd Haehn on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several books on SQL Server Development and this one has been the one that has had the answers that I needed in it (as a beginner writing stored procedures and triggers). While other books that I own spend a lot of time talking about complex areas or give broad overviews, this one shows you how to do very simple things like creating conditional statement in T-SQL or checking the value of a passed parameter to see that is is not null. There is also a very nice section on setting up SQL Server 2008 that takes you through all the options and explains what they are for and offers some suggestion on how to set them. I wish I had the book before setting up SQL Server 2008.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Kell on August 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just got this book a few days ago, so haven't read too much of it yet. However, I thought I'd post this to help those confused as to who the target audience is, as evidenced by some of the poorer reviews. This is a book for SQL 2008 *beginners* -- make no mistake. I think the " Professionals" portion of the title is misleading. Here are some quotes:

From Amazon's official Product Description:
"Who is this book for? Developers new to SQL Server 2008."

It even says this is from the "Apress Beginning Series."

From the book's "Who This Book is For" section:
"This book is ideal for developers starting out with SQL Server 2008 or for those looking at becoming database administrators."

From the book's Overview section in Chapter 1:
"Welcome to Beginning SQL Server 2008 for Developers. This book has been written for those who are interested in learning how to create solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2008, but have no prior knowledge of SQL Server 2008."

"The aim of this book is to bring you quickly up to a level at which you are developing competently with SQL Server 2008. This book is specifically dedicated to beginners and to those who at this stage wish to use only SQL Server 2008."

Bottom line, if you are already knowledgeable on SQL 2008, you are going to learn very little in this book. If you are new to the whole process, from what I can tell so far, it's a great starting point.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Knowledge is Power on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Based on reviews of other books in this Apress series, I purchased this one. I am very impressed with this authors ability to convey coherently in-depth knowledge of a complex subject in an extremely understandable and concise manner to a complete novice, such as myself.

While reading, I was constantly saying to myself "I'm getting problem", and after completing the book, I have ordered several other books from the series and am very much looking forward to reading those as well, hoping they will at least be as good as this book.

Although I am a complete beginner at SQL Server, learning this technology is a must for me in order for my business to compete successfully (the alternative is dishing out untold thousands of dollars to a company specializing in building data driven applications), and reading this book has not only piqued my interest and enthusiasm to learn more on the subject, it has also given me the confidence that SQL Server implimentation is indeed not out of reach for a novice like myself.

As always, I believe knowledge is power, and knowing where to search for the knowledge needed without wasting away precious life is half the battle!

My humble recommendation...Very well done and indeed worth investing the time to read.
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