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Essential SQLAlchemy 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596516147
ISBN-10: 0596516142
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Mapping Python to Databases

About the Author

Rick Copeland is a senior software engineer with retail analytics firm Predictix, LLC, where he uses SQLAlchemy extensively, primarily for web application development. He has been using Python full-time for development since 2005, in projects as diverse as demand forecasting, business web applications, compilers, and hardware synthesis.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596516142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596516147
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Copeland is the principal consultant at Arborian Consulting LLC. Previously, he was a lead software engineer at Geeknet, the company that owns the websites SourceForge, Slashdot, ThinkGeek, and FreeCode. He has spoken at a OSCON, PyCon, and several MongoDB-related events, and is a regular speaker at the Atlanta Python user group and MongoDB user groups.

Rick is the primary developer of Ming, a Python object mapper for MongoDB, as well as Zarkov, a MongoDB-based event logging and aggregation framework. Rick has participated in several initiatives at SourceForge using MongoDB and Python. Prior to GeekNet, Rick worked in fields from retail analytics to hardware chip design. He holds MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bachelor of Computer Engineering degrees from Georgia Tech and a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Eckerd College.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Essential SQLAlchemy by Rick Copeland is a great book describing how to use SQLAlchemy to connect Python programs to databases. In fact, at the moment (mid-summer 2008), it is the book, since there are no other books on the subject, yet. Athough I am not (yet) a SQLAlchemy user, this book seems to cover all of the core topics in SQLAlchemy. The text includes many straightforward examples of how to use various facilities in SQLAlchemy and how to map various database programming problems into Python code via SQLAlchemy. Copeland also provides a whirlwind tour of some extensions to SQLAlchemy.
To be honest, the first chapter (the proverbial introduction) almost turned me off. The author starts out slowly enough, but then he starts touching on a huge number details, which were glazing my eyes over. However, the second chapter (getting started) started back at ground zero and stepped through everything in a nice clear fashion, and the rest of the book continued in that vein. He covers all the topics you would expect in a database programming book: queries, updates, joins, the built-in types, and how to hook in to provide support for your own types.
Something I didn't realize about SQLAlchemy coming into this is that SQLAlchemy is both an ORM (what I expected) as well as a high-level, database-independent API. Which is to say, you can just access the database as tables, columns and rows rather than as classes, attributes, and object instances. Although I'd personally prefer to use the ORM, I can imagine cases where it might not be the right tool for the job, and it's good to have a choice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The SQLAlchemy project docs and this book all suffer from a common problem: 0 to database connection is more complex than expected. The quick start story just isn't there. Django/Rails got us used to a blog in 15mins and SQLAlchemy isn't like that.

The first few chapters are the weakest point. Their is a lot of code that introduces a lot of moving parts with very little explanation. The first chapter tries to do too much and introduce all the components. This is tantamount to sticking the whole book in the first 15 pages which results in confusion. This is a failing of the book.

As the detail topical coverage begins the book continues to falter; however, this could be the nature of the code it covers. The "get going" chapter involves metadata, engines, sessions, etc all of which can be handled in different ways and are discussed in "we'll come back to it" detail. This is also confusing. However, I think you just need to know a lot before you can do anything interesting and the book is in an (understandable) rush to get to something interesting. It may have been better to introduce these as a black box and come back to it at the end.

Once a connection is up and running the book nicely deconstruction the API and gradual progression from known to unknown through the SQL Expression Layer and then ORM. The final chapters on Elixir and SqlSoup were a much appreciated addition.

From a general content standpoint I'd say the code samples are strong and do a good job of showing SQLAlchemy off. The prose are not as strong. The book rarely goes beyond "this is what X is and how to use it." I would have preferred a more structured discussion of when to do what and the implications of doing so.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is 5 years behind, wasted money. O'Reilly does not update their titles and keeps offering their back-list for the long tail
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