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Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (Developer Reference) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735626010
ISBN-10: 0735626014
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Itzik Ben-Gan is a mentor and cofounder of SolidQ. A Microsoft MVP for SQL Server since 1999, Ben-Gan teaches and consults internationally on T-SQL querying, programming, and query tuning. He is the author of Microsoft SQL Server T-SQL Fundamentals and coauthor of Inside Microsoft SQL Server: T-SQL Querying and Inside Microsoft SQL Server:T-SQL Programming. He has written numerous articles for SQL Server Magazine and MSDN, and speaks at industry events such as Microsoft TechEd, DevWeek, PASS, and SQL Server Connections.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735626014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735626010
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm half way through this book and I am totally impressed. The author not only explains T-SQL syntax very systematically, but also explains enough of the theory behind it to help you understand why. This makes it much easier to optimize your syntax and avoid logical bugs in your code. This is not an introductory level SQL book, but it's not a book for experts either. I have been writing SQL for years and I have learned a great deal from this book already. I highly recommend this book if you are looking to take your SQL skills from basic/intermediate to a more advanced level.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have worked with T-SQL for about 11 years, but nevertheless immediately pre-ordered this "Fundamentals" book when I saw a blog post about it - for three reasons: (a) I wanted to fill in any missing gaps in my understanding of the language, (b) I wanted to learn what was new with the 2008 offering, and (c) I have heard Itzik Ben-gan speak and read his blog for sometime and always find his presentations to be excellent. I was not disappointed.

For me, this has been one of those rare reads, where I can see where the topic is going but it is never dull because I either learn something new about the subject or the presentation clarifies what I already knew. I especially like how the book continually reinforces how T-SQL is built on set theory and predicate logic.

Great read and reference. I highly recommend it.

Kudos to the author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Film director Stanley Kubrick would make a film in a specific genre, after which there was almost no point in making movies in that genre any more. War movie - Paths of Glory, political satire - Dr Strangelove , historical film - Spartacus, science fiction - 2001 A Space Odyssey, horror - The Shining. Itzik Ben-Gan managed to do with his book what Kubrick did with his films. There just is no point in writing another book on T-SQL after his.

The first thing I looked for when I picked the book at the post office was the section on Outer Joins. A common question when using outer joins that is the source of lot of confusion is whether to specify a predicate in the ON or WHERE clause of the query. Itzik explains it definitively: " You can see that with respect to rows from the preserved side of an outer join, the filter based on the ON predicate is not final. In other words, the ON predicate does not detremine whether the row will show up in the output, only whether it will be matched with rows from the other side. So when you need to express a predicate that is not final - meaning a predicate that determines which rows to match from the nonpreserved side - specify the predicate in the ON clause. When you need a filter to be applied after outer rows are produced, and you want the filter to be final, specify the predicate in the WHERE clause. "

If only I this book existed ten years ago I would have avoided some of the mistakes I made through the years, only because some fundamental things were never clearly explained. Itzik fills the gaps for an exprienced DBA and gives a perfect basis for a novice. The fundamentals become crystal clear so that building on top of it is easy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. I began reading this book with a limited knowledge of SQL picked up from basic trial and error coding. Most of the time I did not know why or how something worked, only that it did work or in many cases did not work without hours of revision. After reading this book I now have a very good understanding of how code should work and why.

Itzik Ben-Gan is a wonderful author, who really understands how to teach a subject. Instead of just throwing code out there at you for a specific result, he often goes through it line by line letting you know exactly what each step is accomplishing. One of the greatest things about this book is the time taken to emphasize the order in which things are processed in SQL Server. This may seem trivial, but after knowing this I can honestly say 90% of the coding errors I ever suffered where due to not knowing the processing order.

The bottom line is, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing T-SQL.
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Format: Paperback
I'm primarily a C++ and Java developer who hasn't worked on SQL for a while. I needed a book to refresh my T-SQL but didn't want to invest in beginners book so I tried to borrow one. This is the one I got my hands onto.

In a pleasant surprise, the book turned out to be a lot more than a refresher. Years ago I learned SQL from books/tutorials that first list the syntax of SELECT query, with all its options, and then explain it. That approach could lead to a lot of misconceptions, such as I thought SELECT clause was processed before the GROUP BY clause. So I never understood why sometimes SQL server laughed at me. It was like I was taught how to translate from English to SQL; so my spoken SQL was more like English than native SQL.

This book teaches you how the SQL queries are logically processed in the head of SQL server. It's like it teaches you the grammar of SQL from the perspective of its native speaker. So ultimately you learn how to think in SQL; an essential step in mastering any language.

On the flip side, the book has a lot of repetition of concepts. He states the concept in the beginning of the section and then in every example he repeats the whole concept. Considering the book is targeted for beginners, I'm willing to ignore it.

I would recommend this book to beginners and struggling professionals.
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