Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Many of the reviews here are right
on April 15, 2013
I'm in a class this semester, and we're using this book. I was worried about the bad reviews I saw here before going in.
First of all I'm thrilled this is on Kindle. (one star for book)
If you plan on following any of the exercises, this is the version you want. Data entry is the largest headache of learning a dbms, and if you use a few tricks being able to copy & paste from the book into an editor is a huge time saver. This is what you do. Copy the whole table from the book. Drop it into a editor.
It will be all on a single line, and out of order. Open a spread sheet, and hand copy the first column into the spread sheet by selecting the whole A column. Do the same for the rest of the columns. Once you have all the columns in order select all of the columns, and past them back into your editor. Now you can add your SQL, and run them in the dbms.
Objection (star deducted)
This brings me to my next point. The author/editor needs to decide on one set of data used consistently for the exercises. Now at one point they use SEQuence to auto generate the customer number. I can accept that irregularity. I object to data being used for the same set of exercises going from chapter 4, and then all new data used for the same tables used in chapter 8. (same homework assignment for us)
Book organization, and clarity. (three stars)
Our Professor "uses" this book by skipping around from all over the place, and by the end of the semester we've covered all of the chapters. The exception being 10. This leaves me to believe that the organization is badly laid out for a University environment. Why then is this not reason to deduct stars? Completeness. With a good instructor most of what you need is there for the taking. For that reason alone it's worth 3 stars.
Objections (star deducted)
Any book that has been through 12 editions is bound to accumulate cruft. This book is full of it. The powerpoint slides used in the course have really serious errors. I caught a few this semester, and it's not a new class. Either all new materials should be prepared for 13ed, or a good editing team needs to check everything for accuracy.
That brings me to my next point. In the exercises there are places the book asks for ORDER, or ORDER.something. Well I'm sure at some point in this books history there was a table named ORDER. The problem is that it has not been there for at least 2 editions. Why is this bad? When you're trying to learn new SQL like views, it's a huge time waster to be trying to AS invoice.cid to ORDER.cid that it seems the text is requiring you to do.
Coverage (two stars)
I think it was considerate of the author to give meaningful instruction covering many dbms products. It adds depth to the subject, and help the student see that this technology has many levels of offerings. I chose to switch dbms to PostgreSQL half way through the course. While it's not covered at all in the text. the concepts used in the book lead me to the questions I needed to answer else where.
You need a good instructor to get the best out of this book. It has many flaws that detract from student learning, but the concepts the author chose to dwell on go a long way toward aiding the student in getting their own answers.
Organization & clarity 3 stars
Coverage 2 stars
data consistency in exercises -1 stars
Mistakes, and Errors -1 stars
Kindle edition 1 star