- Series: For Mere Mortals
- Paperback: 792 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3 edition (June 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321992474
- ISBN-13: 978-0321992475
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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The good books show you how to do something. The great books enable you to think clearly about how you can do it. This book is the latter. To really maximize the potential of your database, thinking about data as a set is required and the authors’ accessible writing really brings out the practical applications of SQL and the set-based thinking behind it.
-- Ben Clothier, Lead Developer at IT Impact, Inc., co-author of Professional Access 2013 Programming, and Microsoft Access MVP
Unless you are working at a very advanced level, this is the only SQL book you will ever need. The authors have taken the mystery out of complex queries and explained principles and techniques with such clarity that a “Mere Mortal” will indeed be empowered to perform the superhuman. Do not walk past this book!
--Graham Mandeno, Database Consultant
It’s beyond brilliant! I have been working with SQL for a really long time and the techniques presented in this book exposed some of the bad habits I picked up over the years in my learning process. I wish I had learned these techniques a long time ago and saved myself all the headaches of learning SQL the hard way. Who said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?
--Leo (theDBguy), Utter Access Moderator and Microsoft Access MVP
I learned SQL primarily from the first and second editions of this book, and I am pleased to see a third edition of this book so that others can continue to benefit from its organized presentation of the language. Starting from how to design your tables so that SQL can be effective (a common problem for database beginners), and then continuing through the various aspects of SQL construction and capabilities, the reader can become a moderate expert upon completing the book and its samples. Learning how to convert a question in English into a meaningful SQL statement will greatly facilitate your mastery of the language. Numerous examples from real life will help you visualize how to use SQL to answer the questions about the data in your database. Just one of the “watch out for this trap” items will save you more than the cost of the book when you avoid that problem when writing your queries. I highly recommend this book if you want to tap the full potential of your database.
--Kenneth D. Snell, Ph.D., Database Designer/Programmer
I don’t think they do this in public schools any more, and it is a shame, but do you remember in the seventh and eighth grades when you learned to diagram a sentence? Those of you who do may no longer remember how you did it, but all of you do write better sentences because of it. John Viescas and Mike Hernandez must have remembered because they take everyday English queries and literally translate them into SQL. This is an important book for all database designers. It takes the complexity of mathematical Set Theory and of First Order Predicate Logic, as outlined in E. F. Codd’s original treatise on relational database design, and makes it easy for anyone to understand. If you want an elementary- through intermediate-level course on SQL, this is the one book that is a requirement, no matter how many others you buy.
--Arvin Meyer, MCP, MVP
SQL Queries for Mere Mortals, Third Edition, provides a step-by-step, easy-to-read introduction to writing SQL queries. It includes hundreds of examples with detailed explanations. This book provides the tools you need to understand, modify, and create SQL queries.
--Keith W. Hare, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC32 WG3International SQL Standards Committee
Even in this day of wizards and code generators, successful database developers still require a sound knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL, the standard language for communicating with most database systems). In this book, John and Mike do a marvelous job of making what’s usually a dry and difficult subject come alive, presenting the material with humor in a logical manner, with plenty of relevant examples. I would say that this book should feature prominently in the collection on the bookshelf of all serious developers, except that I’m sure it’ll get so much use that it won’t spend much time on the shelf!
--Doug Steele, Microsoft Access Developer and author
I highly recommend SQL Queries for Mere Mortals to anyone working with data. John makes it easy to learn one of the most critical aspects of working with data: creating queries. Queries are the primary tool for selecting, sorting, and reporting data. They can compensate for table structure, new reporting requirements, and incorporate new data sources. SQL Queries for Mere Mortals uses clear, easy to understand discussions and examples to take readers through the basics and into complex problems. From novice to expert, you will find this book to be an invaluable reference as you can apply the concepts to a myriad of scenarios, regardless of the program.
--Teresa Hennig, Microsoft MVP-Access, and lead author of several Access books, including Professional Access 2013 Programming (Wrox)
About the Author
John L. Viescas is an independent database consultant with more than 45 years of experience. He began his career as a systems analyst, designing large database applications for IBM mainframe systems. He spent 6 years at Applied Data Research in Dallas, Texas, where he directed a staff of more than 30 people and was responsible for research, product development, and customer support of database products for IBM mainframe computers. While working at Applied Data Research, John completed a degree in business finance at the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating cum laude.
John joined Tandem Computers, Inc., in 1988, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of database marketing programs in Tandem’s U.S. Western Sales region. He developed and delivered technical seminars on Tandem’s relational database management system, NonStop SQL. John wrote his first book, A Quick Reference Guide to SQL (Microsoft Press, 1989), as a research project to document the similarities in the syntax among the ANSI-86 SQL standard, IBM’s DB2, Microsoft’s SQL Server, Oracle Corporation’s Oracle, and Tandem’s NonStop SQL. He wrote the first edition of Running Microsoft Access (Microsoft Press, 1992) while on sabbatical from Tandem. He has since written four editions of Running, three editions of Microsoft Office Access Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2003, 2007, and 2010–the successor to the Running series), and Building Microsoft Access Applications (Microsoft Press, 2005).
John formed his own company in 1993. He provides information systems management consulting for a variety of small to large businesses around the world, with a specialty in the Microsoft Access and SQL Server database management products. He maintains offices in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Paris, France. He has been recognized as a “Most Valuable Professional” (MVP) since 1993 by Microsoft Product Support Services for his assistance with technical questions on public support forums. He set a landmark 20 consecutive years as an MVP in 2013.
You can visit John’s Web site at www.viescas.com or contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael J. Hernandez has been an independent relational database consultant specializing in relational database design. He has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, developing database applications for a wide variety of clients. He’s been a contributing author to a wide variety of magazine columns, white papers, books, and periodicals, and is coauthor of the best-selling SQL Queries for Mere Mortals.
Mike has been a top-rated and noted technical trainer for the government,the military, the private sector, and companies throughout the United States. He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences, and has consistently been a top-rated speaker and presenter.
Aside from his technical background,Mike has a diverse set of skills and interests that he also pursues, ranging from the artistic to the metaphysical. His greatest interest is still the guitar, as he’s been a practicing guitarist for more than 40 years and played professionally for 15 years. He’s also a working actor, a great cook, loves to teach (writing,public speaking,music), has a gift for bad puns, and even reads Tarot cards.
He says he’s never going to retire, per se, but rather just change whatever it is he’s doing whenever he finally gets tired of it and move on to something else that interests him.
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Top customer reviews
One big problem I had: The .sql files were somewhat disorganized, and not terribly easy to get to. It took a little while before I could figure out what files needed to be downloaded/applied to my database. It didn't take hours, and to be fair, this information was vaguely referenced in an introductory chapter, but still, it's always nice for a technical book like this to specify what information you should be using and when you are using it, each time examples or exercises start.
Update: I downgraded my review from 4 to 3 stars when I reached chapter 15. The errors become very frustrating at the same time the authors introduce the concept of updates. It's very important for a book like this to be well-edited.
The book offers a downloadable set of companion sample databases which are an invaluable learning tool. Each chapter builds on the last and uses multiple examples to illustrate the key points of that chapter. Those sample databases are written for MySQL, Microsoft Access, or Microsoft SQL Server. I'm using MySQL so they're perfect for me. Without being able to work through those samples, though, the book would have been harder to grasp - so I highly recommend you install one of those three databases so you can work through the examples as you go (MySQL is FREE).
SQL for mere mortals, was and is the perfect fit for me. it's gave me working knowledge and strong theoretical background. as it go to great length to explain how and why things work.
a good analyst know how to write the query, a supreme analyst, understand how the the query and the whole SQL ecosystem function. SQL for mere mortals, will set you well on the path for being great.
"Access 2007 Pure SQL" (Pindar)
"SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" (Viescas & Hernandez)
"Beginning Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Programming" (Atkinson & Vieira)
"Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Programming" (Vieira)
The 1st book is more limited to Access, however, for rank beginners to understand simple queries, this was a good book. If you need help with more complex queries, though, you'll need something else.
The 2nd book is totally geared towards queries and has examples and discussion from simple to very complex. I found it to be very understandable and refer back to it whenever I'm stuck.
The 3rd book is good for a beginner to SQL Server. It is geared to overall SQL Server, though, so queries is only a part of it.
The 4th book, like the 3rd, takes an overall view, with more in-depth topics. However, its devotion to queries is rather limited. If your concern is query performance, though, Vieira does spend adequate time, here.
My most recent SQL query issue was answered most easily by "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals": I needed a LEFT JOIN using a SubQuery. To me, this is my SQL Query bible. That being said, it is not perfect. At times, it gets needlessly verbose. Also, since it covers SQL queries for Access, DB2, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and Ingres, it sticks generally to the SQL standard and just comments about not all DBs support everything. Sometimes they give specifics about which ones do / do not support particular keywords or operators...and sometimes they don't. for example, on page 301: "Be aware that some database systems do not yet support USING." It would be very helpful if they had a table in the Appendix that showed such keywords (on one axis) and the database systems (on the other axis) and very simply showed which ones support these keywords--they don't have such a table. Despite these shortcomings, I still gave it 5 stars--it is just that valuable to me.