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Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Querying (Developer Reference) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735626034
ISBN-10: 0735626030
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Kass, PhD, is an MVP for SQL Server and a professor of mathematics and computer science. He has written for SQL Server Magazine and spoken at SQL Server Magazine Connections events.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (April 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735626030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735626034
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #976,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just went yesterday to a famous bookstore here in town to check this one before order it online and left a bit disappointed, with no desire at all to buy it. Don't get me wrong, Itzik is an awesome writer, a genius on his field, but I do not share the previous 5 start opinions and I will explain why.

I do not consider myself an TSQL expert but got some SQL DBA years on my belt and a MCTS cert too. Having said that and after almost finish reading Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (PRO-Developer), same author, I found this one very difficult to follow, flooded with tons of theory and math that for a TSQL book is in my opinion too much. Yes, SQL language has strong logic and math background but that is not what DBAs or developers are looking on a technical book and this is not a college book either; people are looking for practical books which can be quickly be applied on daily job activities.

Chapter #2 for example is full of logic and math stuff that I honestly skipped immediately. Nice as bonus information but not "straight to the point" T-SQL stuff. You can easily take that chapter out and keep the book lighter in my honest opinion. Same for Chapter#3, more logic and math stuff, related to T-SQL, yes, but no the real stuff.

Chapter 1, 7 and 10 are taken of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (PRO-Developer), which by the way, is an outstanding book. Those chapters are about SELECT, JOINS and DML, information that like I said, can be found on the Fundamentals book but in an easy to read style, even with exercises so you can evaluate your own skills.

Chapter #4 is probably the more interesting chapter of the whole book, is about query performance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes, the authors of technical books have the prerequisite expert knowledge and have an outstanding organization and game plan. But their writing is just too ambiguous. This is one of those books. The author should simply get to the point and not meander too much.

First, this book is not for the beginners. Indeed, you may not need all the knowledge contained in this book to be even intermediate DBA or DB Developer. But if you want to raise your knowledge of MS SQL to an expert level, a book like this sure helps. It is really too bad the author can't be more forthright in his writing.

Pros:
1)Expert in how MS SQL processes transactions.
2)Outstanding organization.
3)Comprehensive explanation of T-SQL.
4)If you want to understanding SQL performance tuning, this book is a must.

Cons:
1)Not for the beginners.
2)Writing could be far more lucid.
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In general, this book is well written and conveys the material in logical and progressive order. But readers should be ready for a great deal of theory. I read it quite a while ago and will still turn to it for tips that I remember being covered but that I now need to apply to a current problem -- the book delivers just what I need with sufficient examples to get rolling on my problem. When I read it, my background was pretty basic for T SQL but I did come away with a deeper appreciation for the product (SQL Server) and how to leverage it better in the future.

Regrettably, this book is written by multiple authors and it seemed easy for me to see the different styles of writing (good and bad) depending upon which section was being read. From my pov, a stronger editing for style would have helped because one author goes over the deep end covering theory while another seems to be able to cover theory sufficiently and then delivers a great hands-on and real world example showing how this theory matters.

There are some gems in the book to be sure. My favorites were:
The coverage of Set theory -- it is mathematics but really helped me understand how the product is built a particular way and how to leverage T SQL better with a well-built DB. This section was, from my pov, well written.

Learning about ROWNUMBER and HIERARCHYID. Boy can you use those in the real world! Never knew about them before reading this book.

How to optimize Indexes and usage of PIVOT.

Graphs, Trees, Hierarchies and Recursive Queries -- good material but delivered with too much theory and, imho, too little example.

Using CTE's (Common Table Expressions). I had never read about such things till this book and found it quite enlightening.
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Yes, I didn't make a typo. I didn't mean to write T-SQL and wrote SQL by accident.

This book is a jewel. It gives complex and useful SQL algorythms along with explanation both on logic side and on performance side. The performance part will depend on whether you use SQL 2008, 2012, or even Oracle databases but the logical will remain forever on your mind.

If you have any doubts on joins, correlated subqueries, running aggregations, this book is the best that you can try to solve them. Itzik knows what he talks and he knows how to teach it. Thinking in a join in steps is so much easier and that is how Itzik teaches us to do.

Well, I am an Oracle DBA, but there is no book like this in my side, so I congratulate Microsoft Press for this one.

Regards,
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