- Series: Novice to Professional
- Paperback: 664 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 2nd edition (April 6, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590594789
- ISBN-13: 978-1590594780
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL: From Novice to Professional 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Richard Stones graduated from university with an electrical engineering degree, but decided software was more fun. He has programmed in a variety of languages, but only admits to knowing Visual Basic under duress. He has worked for a number of companies, from the very small to the very large, in a variety of areas, from real-time embedded systems upward. He is employed by Celesio AG as a systems architect, working principally on systems for the retail side of the business. He has co-authored several computing books with Neil Matthew, including Beginning Linux Programming, Professional Linux Programming, and Beginning Databases with MySQL.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book easily combines several books. An example is the coverage of 5 programming languages at the end. They essentially show you how to write strict, straightforward database code without the help of object relational mapping tools in 5 programming languages.
Chapter 13 and 14 could easily exist in a book called: PostgreSQL Desktop Data Access in C
Chapter 15 would be in a small book called: PostgreSQL Web Data Access in PHP
Chapter 16 would be in a similarly small book called: PostgreSQL Web Data Access in Perl
Chapter 17 would be: Beginning Java Data Access with PostgreSQL
Chapter 18 would be: Beginning C# Data Access with PostgreSQL
Then, there would be a separate book for relational theory and still another book for Quick PostgreSQL administration. Instead, all of that is coherently in one book and written at a very clear readability level. Even if you decide to adopt another database or move into a more recent version of PostgreSQL, this book provides a foundational overview with complete and substantive, practical and useful information that you will emerge out of the exercise much wiser for the effort.
The book is neither an advanced or beginner's book. Rather, it is a book for becoming comfortable enough with PostgreSQL to be generally proficient with that specific tool. However, it over succeeds in that it also broadens the understanding of the uninitiated at such a level that I think they would be comfortable with most mainstream relational databases. You still have to learn more about the topic areas in-depth and gain experience in their use. Yet, there is value in making that process more streamlined by way of a solid, hands-on preview of the areas of activity. In that, I think the book excels above and beyond and I give it 5 stars for that reason. It is a timeless database book that through Linux and PostgreSQL anyone can access database technology and build their knowledge.
I installed the database in Arch Linux using pacman. After that, I read Arch's wiki page on postgresql. Next, I started reading the book, and in no time, I had created my first postgresql database, and was querying it.
As others have rightly stated, the book covers both the more or less standard SQL language, while also discussing the quirks with Postgresql. The author gives each a fair balance. That is not to say you won't have to google some things. For instance, I was trying to do a SHOW TABLES; a la MySQL, in postgresql, which returned an error. I had to google that.
Postgresql is at version 9.1 now, but the book covers up to version 8, so keep that in mind. So far, it has not been a problem.
There is no way that any book will really take you from novice to professional in a few hundred pages, but this book has been a nice read.
This book is not actually as long as it seems. It really ends on page 385 at which point it has a number of useful chapters of the form "Accessing PostgreSQL from <LANGUAGE>." These are helpful in and of themselves but really a different topic. They are followed by a number of very useful appendices.
The general interest database coverage (SQL syntax, normalization, etc) is a bit scatter shot but by no means bad. I'd say the fount sizes on the cover are a good indication of the book's strength: first and foremost Postgres coverage, secondarily an introduction to DBs in general. The Postgres specific coverage is actually very good and will be appreciated by readers of a MySQL blog dominated web.
At this point the book is quite old. The stability of the SQL standard makes the fundamentals are still good; however, the ways in which databases are used, the tools used with those databases and Postgres itself have come a *long* way in 6 years. Seriously think back to a web1.0 world where Windows XP was king...
Bottom Line: p 149-385 are worth a "cover-to-cover" read and the appendicies are a great reference. I'll be on the look out for an edition that covers v9 and is written for the current state of the world.