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on 26 August 2006
This is a great book, as Vieira's books always are. However, it is a near-total rehash of some chapters from Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming. If you already have that book (as I do), then this book won't be overly useful since you'll know pretty much everything in it already.

It does not cover SSIS, which is SQL Server 2005's replacement for DTS packages, except at an extremely basic level. It does not go in-depth on many new T-SQL language features, including the PIVOT/UNPIVOT operators. It skims over the complex features, which makes sense since it's a book for beginners, but it does claim to be useful to experienced programmers new to SQL Server 2005. I don't agree; experienced programmers will have most of their questions answered by the books online and there are books you can buy that specifically cover SSIS, analysis services, etc. So experienced programmers don't really need this book at all.

If you're on SQL Server 2005 and you are brand new to database programming then this book will be incredibly useful. If you're already familiar with SQL Server 2000, I'd give this book a miss. Maybe the Professional book (due in a few months) will be more useful. The book is incredibly well-written and very clear and easy to understand, and Vieira's conversational tone makes it pleasant to read. It doesn't seem forced; many tech authors try way too hard to make dry material interesting or funny. That isn't the case here.
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on 9 November 2007
Although I can program at an average level in a couple of lanaguages I have had little exposure to SQL programming and databases. This book has provided an excellent introduction to the world of SQL within the MS SQL Server framework.

The book is targeted at newbies like myself with no prior experience of SQL before. It is very clear and concise resulting in my having to re-read chapters or sections again very rarely.

The only slight negative is a paucity of end of chapter exercises upon which to practise the techniques that the chapter has just covered.

Having spent a good few hours browsing through a variety of introductory texts on SQL before deciding which one to buy, I believe this one does a very good job and can strongly recommend it.
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