- Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
- Paperback: 594 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (December 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596518846
- ISBN-13: 978-0596518844
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SQL in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) 3rd Edition
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SQL in a Nutshell applies the classic O'Reilly "Nutshell" format to Structured Query Language (SQL), the elegant descriptive language that's used to create and manipulate stores of data. This book explains the purpose and proper syntax of hundreds of SQL statements, as defined in four major SQL implementations, and details each entry with explanatory text and illustrative examples. Perhaps best of all, authors Kevin and Daniel Kline feature MySQL in their coverage, and give it billing that's equal to that of Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL. Their inclusion of open-source MySQL, which in most situations carries no license fee, is recognition of its growing popularity and suitability for serious database applications; also, it improves this book's appeal to Unix and Linux developers.
The majority of this slender book comprises eminently useful syntax documentation (which is in the style of Unix man pages, with bracketed options and monospace arguments) and the other information that's specific to individual statements and functions. Additionally, it includes a relatively small amount of conceptual information, such as a section on the proper use of NULL values. The material that's not statement-specific also contrasts data-type implementations of the four covered platforms--for example, readers learn that a PostgreSQL int2 value is known as a smallint in ANSI standard SQL. This is a particularly handy reference book, if you use one of the emphasized SQL implementations. --David Wall
Topics covered: Structured Query Language (SQL), as implemented in Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as in ANSI standard SQL (SQL92 and SQL99). After an introduction to data types and relational database fundamentals (the latter is not emphasized), the authors document SQL statements and functions, one by one and alphabetically. They take care to point out differences among the four implementations. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
A Desktop Quick Reference Guide
Top Customer Reviews
near your workstation after you learn the basics, because you
haven't got everything memorised yet. It's great for that. I
refer to it when I have a question.
But actually I picked up this book with no prior knowledge of
SQL (except that I knew it was for doing database stuff) and
learned enough to get started in a couple of days. The intro
is great for that.
The great thing about this book is that it covers the four
major SQL implementations in a relatively unbiased fashion.
This is nice because if you switch from one to another you
don't have to go looking for a new book. (Otherwise, you
would; as you will see from reading this book, the various
implementations differ considerably and also differ from
the unimplemented standard, which the book also covers.)
This book is not, and is not intended to be, a tutorial for
people who are utterly unfamiliar with the very concept of
a database, but it's okay to be utterly unfamiliar with SQL.
This book also is not a strategy guide for how to plan and
organise your database; this is an _implementation_ book.
As such, it doesn't cover things like deciding which data
to put in which table, when to create another table and
when to create an entirely separate database, or that sort
of thing. What it does tell you is what query syntax you
need to create and interact with your database, your tables,
and the data in your tables. It also explains datatypes,
because they vary considerably between the different SQL
implementations, and table types and the various attributes
(indeces and whatnot).
Additionally, this book is not a security guide. It does
include information about permissions, but only in terms of
the syntax used, not in terms of strategy.
Chapter 1. SQL, Vendor Implementations, and Some History - a general overview of SQL and where it comes from;
Chapter 2. Foundational Concepts - The general theory behind how a sql works;
Chapter 3. SQL Statements Command Reference - "Quick SQL Command Reference";
Chapter 4. SQL Functions - A standard function reference and vendor extensions;
Chapter 5. Unimplemented SQL99 Commands - commands in the sql standard which aren't implemented by vendors (MS, Oracle);
So as to what it says it covers, it does it quite well. Already being quite familiar with SQl, I still found this book to be useful both as a quick reference to commands as well as for a deeper understanding into how SQL works. This book makes an excellent companion to Transact-SQL Programming, also by Oreilly. If you need a complete SQL reference, get Transact-SQL. If you're looking for a background and introduction to SQL, get this book.
fyi ... Amazon is including here reviews from both 1st and current 2nd edition. 1st Edition was a "slim" 224 pages (released December 1, 2000 per Amazon). 2nd Edition is 800 pages (released September 27, 2004 per Amazon). From 224 to 800 pages ... hmmm, quite a change!
Per OReilly.com, current 2nd edition covers commercial RDBMS (Oracle, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server), and open source implementations (PostgreSQL, and MySQL). fyi, 1st edition did not cover DB2.
2nd Edition is updated to use the most current ANSI standard, SQL2003, as the baseline in comparing each of the RDBMS.
Sample chapter available at OReilly.com. Chapter 4, SQL Functions. As PDF, 28 pages.
In fact, SQL in a Nutshell's great virtue is that it finally levels the playing field by putting PostgreSQL and MySQL, the popular open source RDMS, on the same level with MS SQL Server and Oracle, each of which easily has its own market for high-end manuals and guides, while open source apps are freely available online.
So, if you need full documentation on your favorite RDMS, go ahead and spend a couple of hundred dollars somewhere else. If you want a handy reference, simple explanations and comparisons, and an easy to read introduction to the four most important RDMSs currently available, pick up SQL in a Nutshell. You won't be disappointed.
Rather than having seperate sections for each of the SQL dielects, all statements and functions are listed together with any vendor specific information noted where needed. The main advantage of this style of organisation is that it helps you to identify any problems with portability between the databases you may be having.
As can be expected with any Nutshell book, the history of SQL is discussed along with all the basic ideas and concepts that go with it. Even if you don't use one of the databases talked about in the the book, you are sure to be able to make good use of it as it makes frequent reference to the SQL standard.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've purchased several "In a Nutshell" books before, but this is the first that I wouldn't rank 5-stars. Read morePublished 4 months ago by ks
I came into SQL blind as a bat and this is one of the best books on the market that allowed me to develop and write SQL queries that worked wonders in terms of data management and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Leonard Wofford
Useful, worth to have in your office (locked), it contemplates many unknown SQL capabilities and feature in the SQL language itself. Read morePublished 21 months ago by F. Segura