7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not for Beginners, best for enthusiasts,
This review is from: Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming Third Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) (Paperback)
Don't be tempted to buy this book unless you have at least a year of experience writing complex SQL and a reasonable knowledge of the underlying data structures and database paradigms. In fact the author has a brief gripe about beginners criticising his book as not being suited for them. The book is not designed for beginners. However, if you have a suitable level of experience then this book is a must. Full of technical know-how and the supporting theory or logic in most cases. The kind of knowledge, that takes decades to accumulate, jumps off every page. If you have done a few of those same hard yards you will quickly appreciate the benefit from the distilled experience on offer. The book is written in an easy conversational style that makes even the hardest stretches of logic easy to digest. The short and concise code samples demonstrate the points made in the text very well. Solutions to every day problems are built up step by step, with each step clearly showing the progression of the logic and the potential pitfalls. In short anyone with intermediate SQL skills or higher will get tremendous advantage out of this book, I thoroughly recommend it.
Starting from the theory of database design, the book moves into Normalization, data types operations, statements, views, functions, statistics, series and gaps, arrays, trees, temporal queries, OLAP and optimization (not a complete chapter list). In short many of the same topics you get in an introductory or intermediate level book. However the depth of the coverage and the practicality of the advice and treatments given to the actual problems that dealing with these things entails, sets this book apart. These topics are not a perfunctory explanation of what they are, but a through look at how to deal with the problems you have probably already run into. As a final recommendation this book contains a good set of references to further reading on much of the theory behind the advised treatments. The text judiciously references these other authors and theory without degrading readability.
Pro - Contains the kind of experience you don't have time to suffer for.
Con - Not for Beginners, best for enthusiasts.