- Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems
- Paperback: 550 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (October 25, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558605762
- ISBN-13: 978-1558605763
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming Second Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
SQL for Smarties was hailed as the first book devoted explicitly to the advanced techniques you need to transform yourself into an expert SQL programmer. Now, in this fully updated second edition, SQL mastermind Joe Celko keeps you moving forward, using his entertaining
, conversational style to teach you the best solutions to old and new challenges and to convey the way you need to think if you really want to get the most out of your SQL programming efforts.
Inside, logic- and set-based analyses replace the traditional
, procedural approach to problem-solving, helping you make the conceptual leap that separates an SQL guru from the rest of the pack. As you catch on to Celko's approach, you'll devour what he has to say about some of SQL's toughest topics: how aggregate functions really work, the best way to work with NULLs, how and why to fake array structures, and much more.
This book gives special emphasis to SQL-92 and product-independent techniques that let you optimize performance or achieve highly specialized behavior, regardless of the RDBMS with which you work. If you're serious about SQL, you won't let SQL for Smarties out of your sight.
- Presents all-new war stories that give you insight into real-world SQL programming challenges.
- Continues to cover SQL-89 but focuses heavily on the SQL-92 standard.
- Offers still more undocumented tips for working around system deficiencies.
- Teaches scores of advanced techniques that can be used with any product, in any SQL environment.
- Offers expert advice from a noted SQL authority and award-winning columnist.
About the Author
Joe Celko served 10 years on ANSI/ISO SQL Standards Committee and contributed to the SQL-89 and SQL-92 Standards.
Mr. Celko is author a series of books on SQL and RDBMS for Elsevier/MKP. He is an independent consultant based in Austin, Texas.
He has written over 1200 columns in the computer trade and academic press, mostly dealing with data and databases.
Top customer reviews
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Warning: Beginners may need another book and it is not a replacement for your SQL vendor specific reference.
What I try to do is getting a "coarse memory map" of what the book teaches, so when I encounter a problem in my line of work I can say "well, I remember something about it in ZZZ" or "YYY had a chapter on this". Obviously I tend to favour cookbooks on purely abstract theory. When I bought Joe Celko's book I hoped to get just this: an SQL cookbook with easily appliable tips and techniques to a vast range of recurring SQL problems.
In my opinion, the book tries to cover too much, and ends up unfocused. There are a lot of examples, but they look a little too vague to me (and as others noticed, they seem to be plagued with typoes). Often the method works for the toys tables used to introduce the problem, but I'm left wondering what would happen if the data were a little more complex.
There are chapters devoted to subtle problems in SQL standards, numerical precision, query optimizations, but the general message seems to always boil down to "well, different vendors do things differently, so check out your product docs".
The book hints to powerful SQL techniques to solve some recurring problems: it devotes two chapters to modeling trees and graphs in RDBs, but again, the discussion is not really complete, and even if it proves that trees can be represented and manipulated in standard SQL (without STARTS WITH or other proprietary dialects) a lot of important things are missing, like what to do if you need to represent different trees in the same table, instead of a single tree. They also suffer from the "toy example syndrome" I explained before.
The book devotes some pages to design constraints and strategies, but does not discuss how to present object oriented classes in standard RDB. Maybe it's just me, but I think this should have been included, considering the widespread use of OO or quasi-OO languages in the industry.
To sum it up, the book demonstrates that the author has a very good knowledge of standards, is intimate with at least a dozen different commercial RDBS, and has a tendency to write intricate SQL queries to show that "it can be done in SQL, no needs to resort to procedural language". This is fine for his magazine columns, but I wonder if and when I will ever consult the book to solve a real-world problem in my job.
I didn't find the math as challenging as others, and not because I have advanced mathematical skills (I don't). The set theory is fairly straightforward and actually simplified, attempting to re-orient your thinking away from procedural code and more towards discrete structures. Believe me, reading the original Chris Date papers or Dr. Codd research on database theory would represent real mathematical challenges.
As there are many kinds of readers with different skill levels, it's possible the book holds no suprises for some. However, as someone who has used it frequently, I can't say I've seen many errors or typos in it. I don't code the examples directly into my database, either, because I translate the concepts directly into actual work-related problems.
I've found it to be an essential guide for experienced SQL developers who are looking to keep learning in a practical manner, but intuit that there is something more to SQL than the mechanics of syntax. Really changing your thinking to set-based rather than procedural problem solving is what the book tries to achieve, and it succeeds. This text is an unqualified, solid recommendation for anyone looking to evolve into a senior SQL developer.
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