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Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (PRO-Developer) [Paperback]

by Itzik Ben-Gan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 22, 2008 8178531046 978-8178531045 1

Master the foundations of T-SQL with the right balance of conceptual and practical content. Get hands-on guidance—including exercises and code samples—that show you how to develop code to query and modify data. You’ll gain a solid understanding of the T-SQL language and good programming practices, and learn to write more efficient and powerful queries.

Discover how to:

Apply T-SQL fundamentals, create tables, and define data integrity Understand logical query processing Query multiple tables using joins and subqueries Simplify code and improve maintainability with table expressions Explore pivoting techniques and how to handle grouping sets Write code that modifies data Isolate inconsistent data and address deadlock and blocking scenarios

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Itzik Ben-Gan is a mentor and cofounder of SolidQ. A Microsoft MVP for SQL Server since 1999, Ben-Gan teaches and consults internationally on T-SQL querying, programming, and query tuning. He is the author of Microsoft SQL Server T-SQL Fundamentals and coauthor of Inside Microsoft SQL Server: T-SQL Querying and Inside Microsoft SQL Server:T-SQL Programming. He has written numerous articles for SQL Server Magazine and MSDN, and speaks at industry events such as Microsoft TechEd, DevWeek, PASS, and SQL Server Connections.

Product Details

  • Series: PRO-Developer
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8178531046
  • ISBN-13: 978-8178531045
  • ASIN: 0735626014
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Itzik Ben-Gan is a Mentor and Co-Founder of SolidQ. A SQL Server Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) since 1999, Itzik has delivered numerous training events around the world focused on T-SQL Querying, Query Tuning and Programming. Itzik is the author of several books including Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 High-Performance T-SQL Using Window Functions. He has written many articles for SQL Server Pro as well as articles and whitepapers for MSDN. Itzik's speaking activities include TechEd, DevWeek, SQLPASS, SQL Server Magazine Connections, various user groups around the world, and SolidQ's events to name a few. Itzik is the author of SolidQ's Advanced T-SQL Querying, Programming and Tuning and T-SQL Fundamentals courses along with being a primary resource within the company for their T-SQL related activities.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just syntax, but the theory behind it December 15, 2008
I'm half way through this book and I am totally impressed. The author not only explains T-SQL syntax very systematically, but also explains enough of the theory behind it to help you understand why. This makes it much easier to optimize your syntax and avoid logical bugs in your code. This is not an introductory level SQL book, but it's not a book for experts either. I have been writing SQL for years and I have learned a great deal from this book already. I highly recommend this book if you are looking to take your SQL skills from basic/intermediate to a more advanced level.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - clear focus and ordered presentation December 4, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have worked with T-SQL for about 11 years, but nevertheless immediately pre-ordered this "Fundamentals" book when I saw a blog post about it - for three reasons: (a) I wanted to fill in any missing gaps in my understanding of the language, (b) I wanted to learn what was new with the 2008 offering, and (c) I have heard Itzik Ben-gan speak and read his blog for sometime and always find his presentations to be excellent. I was not disappointed.

For me, this has been one of those rare reads, where I can see where the topic is going but it is never dull because I either learn something new about the subject or the presentation clarifies what I already knew. I especially like how the book continually reinforces how T-SQL is built on set theory and predicate logic.

Great read and reference. I highly recommend it.

Kudos to the author.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Film director Stanley Kubrick would make a film in a specific genre, after which there was almost no point in making movies in that genre any more. War movie - Paths of Glory, political satire - Dr Strangelove , historical film - Spartacus, science fiction - 2001 A Space Odyssey, horror - The Shining. Itzik Ben-Gan managed to do with his book what Kubrick did with his films. There just is no point in writing another book on T-SQL after his.

The first thing I looked for when I picked the book at the post office was the section on Outer Joins. A common question when using outer joins that is the source of lot of confusion is whether to specify a predicate in the ON or WHERE clause of the query. Itzik explains it definitively: " You can see that with respect to rows from the preserved side of an outer join, the filter based on the ON predicate is not final. In other words, the ON predicate does not detremine whether the row will show up in the output, only whether it will be matched with rows from the other side. So when you need to express a predicate that is not final - meaning a predicate that determines which rows to match from the nonpreserved side - specify the predicate in the ON clause. When you need a filter to be applied after outer rows are produced, and you want the filter to be final, specify the predicate in the WHERE clause. "

If only I this book existed ten years ago I would have avoided some of the mistakes I made through the years, only because some fundamental things were never clearly explained. Itzik fills the gaps for an exprienced DBA and gives a perfect basis for a novice. The fundamentals become crystal clear so that building on top of it is easy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MS SQL Server 2008: T-SQL Fundamentals June 16, 2009
By R. Fox
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. I began reading this book with a limited knowledge of SQL picked up from basic trial and error coding. Most of the time I did not know why or how something worked, only that it did work or in many cases did not work without hours of revision. After reading this book I now have a very good understanding of how code should work and why.

Itzik Ben-Gan is a wonderful author, who really understands how to teach a subject. Instead of just throwing code out there at you for a specific result, he often goes through it line by line letting you know exactly what each step is accomplishing. One of the greatest things about this book is the time taken to emphasize the order in which things are processed in SQL Server. This may seem trivial, but after knowing this I can honestly say 90% of the coding errors I ever suffered where due to not knowing the processing order.

The bottom line is, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing T-SQL.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thinking in SQL March 14, 2009
I'm primarily a C++ and Java developer who hasn't worked on SQL for a while. I needed a book to refresh my T-SQL but didn't want to invest in beginners book so I tried to borrow one. This is the one I got my hands onto.

In a pleasant surprise, the book turned out to be a lot more than a refresher. Years ago I learned SQL from books/tutorials that first list the syntax of SELECT query, with all its options, and then explain it. That approach could lead to a lot of misconceptions, such as I thought SELECT clause was processed before the GROUP BY clause. So I never understood why sometimes SQL server laughed at me. It was like I was taught how to translate from English to SQL; so my spoken SQL was more like English than native SQL.

This book teaches you how the SQL queries are logically processed in the head of SQL server. It's like it teaches you the grammar of SQL from the perspective of its native speaker. So ultimately you learn how to think in SQL; an essential step in mastering any language.

On the flip side, the book has a lot of repetition of concepts. He states the concept in the beginning of the section and then in every example he repeats the whole concept. Considering the book is targeted for beginners, I'm willing to ignore it.

I would recommend this book to beginners and struggling professionals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to know SQL?
Well, if you want to be a DBA, or want to learn how to print reports using SQL, this book is for you. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Alexander Búfalo
1.0 out of 5 stars Literally did not open it
Bought it because it was a course requirement that I do. However the professor in his infinite wisdom did not so much as refer to it or even mention it! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Zekeuyasha
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best book for learners
Someone needs to learn on his own this is the book I recommend , It has all the basics you required to learn
Published 5 months ago by KHALID
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book overall.
Great book for starters and people who need T-SQL syntax knowledge. The sample db's and examples were great. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This book is awesome. Totally recommend to any beginners or experienced tsql programmers. There is much on code and theory. 10/10
Published 8 months ago by RAWindustry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have spent a lot of time reading this book and learning from its examples. It is clear and concise, gets right into the heart of things while remaining an entry level book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by kamasutah
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived quickly and in perfect condition
As per the description above. Thank you very much. I am enjoying going through this book. It is very informative.
Published 16 months ago by Paul Limacher
3.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Maybe Too Smart
It is obvious, from the very first paragraphs you read, that the author is deeply familiar with SQL. Read more
Published on April 6, 2012 by F. Fievet
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for grasping TSQL!
A few months ago, I started my journey to becoming a DBA. I have no formal training on SQL concepts, just a love for learning and books such as the one being reviews. Read more
Published on February 23, 2012 by BrentonG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on Fundamentals
I appreciated the clear explanations along with the useful exercises this book provides.
I deal with t-sql on a nearly day-to-day basis and the book was great for reviewing... Read more
Published on February 22, 2012 by Stacy G. Park
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Topic From this Discussion
Book's Companion Website (
For the life of me I cannot find the download for the books source code. Could you please post a link that goes directly to the page where this can be found?

Thank you,

Aug 30, 2009 by Robert Bunn |  See all 6 posts
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