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The Language of SQL: How to Access Data in Relational Databases
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2011
Rockoff gives the lowdown on SQL slowly and patiently, but not too much so.

In little embedded sections, functionally like sidebars, he details the minor differences in the three SQL dialects: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle SQL, and the free open-source MySQL. Each chapter begins with an explanation of the material to be presented, and ends with a summary of what was covered and a preview of the following chapter. (the classic "tell them what you're gonna tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them" !) Sounds tiresome but it isn't really, since he phrases it with a little different emphasis each time, which I find greatly aids comprehension.

He gives tips and pointers on what he believes are the best ways to accomplish things in SQL. To perform most tasks in SQL there are usually several methods available; Rockoff points out the pros and cons of each of them. He also delineates how the various SQL commands relate to and complement one another.

The book is written with plenty of specific coding examples; as in the book's description on Amazon, it is written so that it can be comprehended without having to practice SQL at a computer. Everything needed is between the covers, except for detailed descriptions of all the available functions. For that, Rockoff directs the reader to his website and other documentation on the web.

Outstanding!

(postscript) Please note this is an introductory text. Some of the "advanced" SQL features are neglected, but the one covered are plenty enough to serve the book's purpose.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
I believe, this is a great SQL reference guide. One could refer to it very quickly when a certain query is needed. It would save time. Finding the info in the book would be easier than browsing online in an effort to locate something concrete that you need at a particular time, for a certain particular reason. Systems Analysts and Business Analysts can benefit from the book alike. I would recommend this book to both novice SQL Server developers as well as experienced database administrators.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2013
Good book for learning the basics and understanding SQL. SQL examples covered make sense and are easy to understand. There is no code in this book on how to handle the returned data from a query with code, you will have to learn this on your own. Instead, you view the data through console of which a database administrator would use and not necessarily a coder. If you are looking to understand how SQL works and what database is capable of doing, this book will guide you there. This book also gives a chapter on how to create a database which deserves a book by itself. Hope this helps.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
As a SQL novice, I found this book very helpful and easy to read. Everything was understandable and clear. The author did a nice job of explaining how each new topic relates to what you already know. It was nicely organized and very well written. It's the kind of book you can read to get the concepts, and then keep around as a reference. I'd definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in learning SQL.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The best thing about this book is the writing. The author does not waste words, and he explains SQL in plain English. Excellent book for beginners.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
I want to start off by saying that this book is EXCELLENT for anyone who is completely new to SQL or a relative beginner like myself. The book is clearly laid out with relevant examples and queries that are easy to read and understand. It's a fine read and a great reference.

With that said, where did the Kindle version go??? I got this book on the Kindle and love it for its easy searching ability, which is great for reference books. However, it is no longer available in Kindle format! I recommended this book to one of my coworkers, but since it wasn't available on the Kindle he had to look elsewhere. The Kindle format is easier to search and navigate, can be accessed anywhere, and doesn't waste paper. Please bring it back!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
I was and still am taking and intro SQL class for a computre science degree, and the book the requested was not really a quick look reference type of book. BUT this book fulfilled my every request. It has quick and easy command references for very basic select and queries, to advance user modification, to privledages. THIS book is highly recommended by me and other computer science majors because of it no practice or code writting pages to learn the commands. You just look and find the one you might need and there it is. Has MySQL, ORacle, Java references, and other SQL access programs referenced in here too. VERY USER FRIENDLY AND NEEDS TO BE ON EVERY SQL USERS ARSENAL!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2014
This is a great learning tool and reference guide. I dislike technical books that make jokes (usually bad ones) and waste a lot of space before getting to the material you need. This book is perfect - not too much verbiage, just enough to explain the concept. It's a good basic reference tool. I find it better and clearer than using the internet to look up and guide me to what I need.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2014
Well organized, clear and concise. I'd rate it more highly as simply a beginner book, but lacking depth, one will quickly outgrow it. Nonetheless for not-too-complex SQL operations, and for the price, I'm quite satisfied.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2013
First, let me say that my background is not in database administration. I know some procedural programming languages, but because SQL is a declarative language, I'm not sure my previous programming experience was much help, and in fact could have prejudiced me with incorrect assumptions.

That being said, I just read multiple books on SQL, this being one of them, and I found the process of learning SQL miserable. None of the books had a good introduction that explained the declarative nature of SQL, the basics of its constructs (e.g., a simplified pseudo-code explanation of various query types), and, quite importantly once you get to queries of any complexity, when you have to realize that there actually are procedural aspects to SQL in that the structure of your query affects the order of operation or what information is available to other statements (sub-queries and grouping, for example).

Sure, you eventually figure this stuff out by reading between the lines and composing hundreds of queries that don't work the first time. As I said, miserable. It would be far, far easier to compose SQL queries that run without error, and produce the results you expect (it is VERY easy to write a query that runs, yet isn't doing what you think it is doing, especially in MySQL with its relaxed attitude about some of the SQL standards) if the internal logic was explained. There is no way examples can cover every conceivable situation, but if you know WHY something works the way it works, it is much easier to extrapolate how to fit an example to your needs. I do not feel like this book (nor any other that I've read - if you have suggestions, please let me know!) does a good job of explaining the "Why's" of SQL, nor how it differs from "normal" programming (which may not be an obligatory topic, but I'm guessing that programmers wanting to learn some database design and administration skills is a common enough situation to warrant addressing).
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