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Joe Celko's Thinking in Sets: Auxiliary, Temporal, and Virtual Tables in SQL (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) Paperback – February 5, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0123741370 ISBN-10: 0123741378 Edition: 1st

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Joe Celko's Thinking in Sets: Auxiliary, Temporal, and Virtual Tables in SQL (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) + Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties, Fourth Edition: Advanced SQL Programming (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) + Joe Celko's Trees and Hierarchies in SQL for Smarties, Second Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123741378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123741370
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Celko served 10 years on ANSI/ISO SQL Standards Committee and contributed to the SQL-89 and SQL-92 Standards.

Mr. Celko is author a series of books on SQL and RDBMS for Elsevier/MKP. He is an independent consultant based in Austin, Texas.

He has written over 1200 columns in the computer trade and academic press, mostly dealing with data and databases.

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.

Customer Reviews

He advocates but does not evangelize his position.
Michael Ernest
I'm sure there are bits of gold in this book, but I'll probably never find them.
M. Rankin
On the latter issue, there's not a single word in this book.
Michael Schuerig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. Nguyen on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mr. Celko has written many books on SQL and how set theory is the basis for SQL programming. His tone has gotten more ironic as more programmers without the proper training continue to rely on various forms of cursors, loops and temporary tables to manipulate data using SQL. And with the passing of EF Codd, no one quite remember any more that relational database was built on set theory.

Celko is a purist in terms of writing one-pass SQL statement. More programmers should take the same approach. Java & C# programmers think that SQL tables are either streams or files -- holders of data inside their objects. Relational-Object mapping issues are left to Hibernate or DAO. Database tuning is left to DBAs and their tuning wizards. With 2008 server processing power, inefficient sql program are hard to detect and multi-pass SQL statements are now the norm.

It's good to read Celko and get one's mind back to the basics of relational technology. I bought this book for my SQL programming team.

TN
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Ernest on July 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I picked this up at a bookstore because it was the only mildly intriguing title I saw, and because I don't spend much time thinking about databases. As another reviewer mentions, there is an amusing old-school style, and a humorous example or two of SQL code tortured into doing something "right" and, of course, doing everything in the database. There are numerous typos, too, but not of the type that would put me off.

Maybe I'm not so annoyed by the suboptimal organization of the book and the scattered but useful insights as I should be. But where I found useful things, the payoff was deep. I don't mind Celko's tunnel-vision on the database. He advocates but does not evangelize his position. He knows what his chosen tools can do but betrays no hint, at least to me, of being a Golden Hammer type.

I could also care less whether Joe Celko is a hipster with cool office sneakers who twitters heartfelt one-liners on fresh tech. I know this is hard to fathom, but people over 40 are still alive and do produce useful things. I suspect Joe wears three-piece suits to the office now and always will. He also seems authentic; that goes a long way. I got a good deal of useful information from this book, but it was an uphill read at times.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. Rankin on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm sure there are bits of gold in this book, but I'll probably never find them. Joe, you need to fire your editor. There are so many grammatical errors in this book that it's almost unintelligible. While this is just my opinion, I think it's important to be precise in your use of language when talking about a technical subject. I hope this was just rushed to print and that a second edition is in the works.
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44 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Michael Schuerig on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have (read) copies of five earlier of Celko's books on my shelf, still I am again amazed by the cultural distance. Most of my programming life I have spent with object-oriented programming languages and associated technologies. Thus, when Celko starts the present book with a discussion of the differences between flat files and relational databases, it could hardly be more distant than if he had extolled the virtues of the gasoline engine over its steam predecessor.

Celko likes to refer to his informers as "Mr. So-and-so, working for company X" this again moves the cultural differences to the front, and I can't avoid a slight chuckle when he reverently cites "Dr. E.F. Codd" for the umpteenth time. It all decidedly feels like a tale from an imaginary 1950s. I certainly envision people in lab coats.

The tone moves from enjoyably quaint to annoying, when Celko (again and again) ridicules the many failings of database novices and sophomores. He might not realize that those who share in the joke have no need to read his book -- and that those who bought the book to learn something from it may feel a wee bit offended. After all, we are already aware that there's something we don't know yet and want to learn, there's really no need to rub it in.

So much for the atmospheric stuff. But, of course, I didn't buy this book to make me feel good, but to learn something, come rain or shine. And, yes, there is a lot useful stuff in this book. More in the bits and pieces than in some generalized approach. And by far more in line with the subtitle, "Auxiliary, Temporal and Virtual Tables in SQL" than with "Thinking in Sets", the main title. Regarding the latter, I found the most worthwhile part of the book to be the discussion of why boolean flags are bad (ch.
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