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Joe Celko's SQL Programming Style (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) Paperback – May 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0120887972 ISBN-10: 0120887975 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0120887975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0120887972
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Joe Celko, maybe one of the most prominent representatives of the database community these days, has written some of the best books about SQL programming in general. This book, however, is different. “SQL Programming Style” doesn’t teach you how to become a better SQL developer with SQL puzzles and brainteasers. Rather, it shows you “how to work in logical and declarative terms”.”
― SQL-Server-Performance.com, August 17, 2006

Book Description

A collection of heuristics and rules for formatting and writing portable, readable, maintainable SQL code.

Customer Reviews

I just wish more novice SQL developers and DBAs had read this book.
Glenn Berry
I appreciate very much his clear and concise style and the examples he provides, always meaningful and to the point.
Edelmiro Fuentes
The book is very inadequately indexed: index is very small; nothing can be found.
J Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Wanko on May 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Style guides tend to be heuristics of understanding a hard-to-define -- consequently hard to defend -- criteria that will make your design effective. Strunk's "Elements of Style" would be an exemplary definition of a style guide. With all style guides, however, you can follow them religiously and still end up with an execrable book or living room.

Mr. Celko spends remarkably little time with style formatting, although he does delineate what constitutes readable and maintainable SQL code. Where the book finds its utmost utility is in the consistent and increasing reinforcement of thinking in sets. SQL is not about transforming data (although you can); SQL is about properly storing data, and then being able to find it again. Simple enough, but all-too-easy to get wrong.

The first two chapters talk about naming and actual SQL style. This is primarily what I'd expected, but Mr. Celko isn't about to let me off that easily. In discussing naming, he brings international standards into the mix. Right away, the standard of my existing SQL code falls away under this level of scrutiny. Throughout the book, Mr. Celko is bringing up a data discipine I have long-suspected existed but honestly never sought to embrace. Why should I develop a data model that adheres to standards, if mine will be the only model in the company even attempting it?

Therein lays the problem with this book: it can make a reader uncomfortable. Mr. Celko is writing about SQL and, more importantly, the data it will describe and manipulate, in far more depth and with far more rigor than I've seen elsewhere. He has an entire chapter on encoding data, another on scales used to measure data. Nowhere else will such treatment be gathered in one place, in the context of using SQL.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Edelmiro Fuentes on August 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is not the first book I have read from Joe Celko. I appreciate very much his clear and concise style and the examples he provides, always meaningful and to the point. This book is not the exception and it completely fulfilled my expectations. In a very scholarly way (rule / rationale / examples / exceptions) Mr. Celko covers all the aspects that I could expect from a "programming style" book: layout, naming, SQL do's and don'ts, guidelines about views, triggers, stored-procedures, checks on columns, etc. He also provides a list of resources regarding standards (Military, ANSI, ISO, Industry) that I found very useful. I can highly recommend this book to any experienced or inexperienced person that deals with SQL (developer, DBA or even a data modeler)

My only criticism would be regarding a few unkind remarks he wrote about "newbies". I do not deny the value of showing examples of bad SQL coding followed by a better way of doing it, but there are ways to present them. I wouldn't be happy to see my name in a sentence like "As an example of a horrible misuse of SQL, [name of the guilty] posted a procedure ...".

It was also not very nice the way in which Mr. Celko introduced the Basic Software Engineering section: "With some embarrassment, I will now give what should have been covered in a freshman course". If a "newbie" is reading this book to gain some knowledge, he or she doesn't deserve the criticism. They know they are inexperienced and they are trying to improve. And the sloppy programmers, who may deserve such a criticism, they are not going to read a book like this anyway. Don't you think?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'll expand on that when I have time; but for now, real quick:
PROs:

- As usual for Celko's books, you get this feeling of conversing with a knowledgeable and overall very likeable individual with a good sense of humour (he got me laughing on page 2, see his comments on the making of fine furniture).

- Good justifications are given for many rules of thumb that, as of now, you're likely to be adhering to on faith.

- A number of unobvious, sharp, mind-stretching tidbits (an ever-present feature of Celko books).

- Very good bibliography. Celko is not a "narrow specialist": reading pointers he gives are varied and very interesting. Also, links to a lot of net material. Great.

- He writes simply.

-----------------------

CONTRA, the one and only problem: the book appears to be written in a terrible hurry, which is manifested by the following occurrences (not exhaustively):

- Sometimes the author has something to say, but does not say it intelligibly (e.g., section 1.2.7)

- Sometimes he doesn't have anything to say, but gibbers on anyway (e.g., section 3.15)

- Sometimes he belabours the obvious or maybe even spurious: for example, there's too much of this "unlearn OO to understand SQL". One doesn't need to unlearn what one knows to learn something he doesn't; there's no clear-cut distinction: for example, operating on STL collections is very set-like, quite SQL'ish actually: you provide a predicate and it's then applied internally in a set-scoped operation. Matlab is very similar. BLAS is very similar. Fortran is similar. Iow, thinking in sets is an important thing to point to -- once; but after that it's beating a dead horse; move on already.
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More About the Author

I was a member of the ANSI X3H2 Database Standards Committee from 1987 to 1997 and helped write the ANSI/ISO SQL-89 and SQL-92 Standards. I have nine books and have written over 1200 columns in the computer trade and academic press, mostly dealing with data and databases.

I live in Austin,TX. When I am not writing, I am consulting, speaking at conferences, teaching SQL training classes anywhere on Earth or beating up newbies in SQL Newsgroups.

The rumor that I own only one black suit that I have worn for 30 years is false; I own six identical black suits that I have worn for 30 years.

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Joe Celko's SQL Programming Style (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)
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