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Joe Celko's Trees and Hierarchies in SQL for Smarties, (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558609204
ISBN-10: 1558609202
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I want to say clearly that I think the subject of this proposed book is one for which there will be considerable demand...the topic is poorly understood in general and a good book on the subject will be helpful to the SQL community at large. This book should be of great interest to real-world application programmers...I think that this book would be used on a day-to-day basis (rather than languish on a shelf until some special problem arose)." -Jim Melton, author of SQL:1999.

Book Description

Expert advice for smarties from the #1 SQL guru!
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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (May 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558609202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558609204
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,344,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Wright on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love and savor each of Celko?s books for their thoroughness, depth and surprises. However, with this book I am little disappointed because it showed his favorite solutions and omitted many common solutions that are better in various real-world situations. Most algorithms provided in the book are for overnight processing, not real-time update.

Omitted is the most common way hierarchies are represented in Data Warehouses using a "hierarchy bridge table". See Kimball?s book "Data Warehouse Toolkit" for more detail (yet not enough detail to give a Celko-like exploration of the topic). The bridge table solution trades away storage space for greater speed by creating a record for every path enumeration.

The book?s primary focus is on strict hierarchies. Not enough attention is given to convergent graphs and other arbitrary directed acyclic graphs, like bill of materials that reuse assemblies, where the nested sets model fails (p.164).

Also missing is maintenance of historical versions of the hierarchy, often required by financial applications.

Section 9.3 on the extremely powerful DB2 ?WITH? operator is too slim, especially since it is a SQL-99 standard and is now available with Microsoft SQL Server. If you work with hierarchies or acyclic graphs in DB2 or SQL Server take the time to learn how to use ?common subquery expressions?.

By all means if you work with hierarchies you must buy this book. No doubt the Second revison of this book will blow us away.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought I knew my SQL, but this book showed me that I have a LOT to learn! SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and my use of the language has always been pretty much limited to "sentences". Select this, update that, delete something. I've even done a few simple procedures ("paragraphs"). And I've done some of the things described in this book ... trees and hierarchies ... in programming languages like PERL with occasional SQL statements.

This book shows how to do those things strictly in SQL. It made me realize that SQL itself can really be a programming language. You can write pretty heavy-duty programs just with SQL. That made my brain hurt!

A lot of the material covered in the book is way more advanced than I can handle right now, and more than I really need. But I've found over and over again that if I say, "I'll never need that," it's only a matter of time until I do need it. And even if I don't need anything as advanced as this, I've already learned a lot about what SQL can do.

I'm going to look up Joe Celko's other SQL books. I need to make my brain hurt some more.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Joe Celko writes well about SQL, and his earlier "SQL for Smarties" is a good book. This one expands what he's done with trees and heirarchies, and does so in a straightforward manner.

There's a limited audience for this book, as many SQL developers just won't need to deal with these data types, or they'll deal with fixed, mixed-type trees (such as Customer->Account->Transactions) in which many of these techniques won't be needed.

Also, some database systems (such as Oracle) have very powerful proprietary SQL dialects that will do obviate the need for much of this - if you are willing to use a DBMS-specific solution. But this book is written in a dialect-agnostic way.

I think the nicest thing about this book is that I've seen really bad table designs created just to avoid having to deal with trees and hierarchies, and this wook should help people avoid that and yet still feel thay will be able to program effectively using those kinds of designs.
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Format: Paperback
While a little advanced (... the title does say for smarties...) this is one of the few IT books I have ever bought which I read more than once. It's a great mix of brain baking concepts and memory jarring discussions of things you probably slept through your sophomore year. If you've been working with or teaching yourself SQL and are looking to move on to the next step, Celko's books are an excellent place to start.

Note to MySQL users - as of MySQL 5 you can create everything written in this book, although you will need to remove the ATOMIC keyword from the procedures.
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Format: Paperback
When I started looking into managing hierarchical data I found a lot of short articles that provided bits and pieces of the big picture, but nothing gave a good in-depth review of everything I needed to know to handle hierarchies.

One trend that began to develop was that the best information on the subject was coming from Joe Celko, a rather prolific author/speaker on all things SQL.

Joe Celko has a book in publication called SQL For Smarties, and this book had some basic information on handling hierarchies, which he followed up with Trees and Hierarchies in SQL for Smarties, a truly excellent book on the subject.

This book is not for the faint of heart, but it really is a must-read for those who are looking to handle hierarchies in SQL.

The book only addresses MySQL once, and while in that section it repeats Joe's opinion of MySQL not being a real database, users of MySQL 5 can rest assured that the stored procedure examples in the book work without modification (thanks to Joe and MySQL 5 both using the standard PL/PSM stored procedure syntax).

Overall this is an excellent book for those looking to implement hierarchical data in SQL.
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