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Pro T-SQL 2008 Programmer's Guide Paperback – 1 Aug 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143021001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430210016
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Coles has over a decade's experience designing and administering SQL Server databases. A prolific writer of articles on all aspects of SQL Server, particularly on the expert use of T-SQL, he holds MCDBA and MCP certifications. He received a bachelor's of science (magna cum laude) in information technology from American Intercontinental University. A member of the United States Army Reserve, he was activated for two years following 9/11.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have three books on SQL Server 2008. All three are good ones. But this book caught me and I continued to use it to learn new things in SQL Server 2008 and refresh old T-Sql features. This book is well organised (good breakup of chapters), with good examples and the explanation is clear and in detail.

As for the new features, it explain them well and within a day or two you know all the new features of T-SQL in the 2008 version. I got many concepts cleared beacause of good examples and text.

I think this book is very valuable for the seasoned SQL Server 2008 developer like me. Covers most of the stuff. Must have for both the newbies and experienced developers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This dives right into some involved aspects of T-SQL. I am a professional software developer, and I normally find books to be too basic if anything, but even so, I found this book didn't really give me the base path into writing T-SQL that I was looking for. Bought 'Beginning SQL Queries: From Novice to Professional', and found this to be much better. I have kept this book though. It might become useful as my knowledge grows.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A must-read book for every developer to take full advantage of SQL Server 2008 - Review by 19 April 2009
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Short Summary:
Pro T-SQL 2008 Programmer's Guide examines SQL Server 2008 T-SQL from a developer's perspective. This information-rich book covers a wide array of developer-specific topics in SQL Server 2008. In addition, it provides in-depth knowledge of various newly introduced topics. This book is written as a practical guide to help database developers who mainly deal with T-SQL. It has really hit the spot with appropriate .NET code at a few places where required. The book assumes a basic knowledge of SQL, but it is very easy to understand for novice developers, while for advanced developers it is a great source to enhance their knowledge.

Detailed Summary:

Pro T-SQL 2008 Programmer's Guide is a well-written and well-structured book with a good depth and breadth of quality content presented in a reader friendly way. The book is structured into chapters where latest and comprehensive information have been backed with numerous examples to facilitate understanding of all levels of developers. What I really liked about this book is that it can either be read from cover to cover, or can be used as a reference guide for finding information topic-wise. A well-organized index aids in finding the topics very quickly.

Apart from valuable knowledge, each chapter of the book contains excellent advice and is filled with sample code (available online). It primarily revolves around SQL Server 2008 and innovative ways to code T-SQL, new functions and commands. It addresses many details and comparisons with T-SQL in a very organized manner. All the examples have been carefully selected and are accurate, useful and sufficient for the targeted topics. In addition, this book addresses a number of real-world issues with examples, discussions and solutions.

SQLCMD and SQL Server Management Studio are advanced tools to explore SQL Server 2008 that have been covered in depth in the beginning of the book. I would like to discuss Chapter 2 in detail. This chapter dives right into the new features of T-SQL on SQL Server 2008, with discussion on productivity-enhancing features, the new MERGE statement, new data types like geometry and hierarchyid, and grouping sets. Chapter 13 introduces SQL Server 2008 catalog views, which are the preferred tools for retrieving database and database object metadata. This chapter also hashes out dynamic management views and functions, which provide access to server and database state information.

Chapters that cover Common Table Expressions (CTEs), new data types, operators, keywords, functions, and control of flows are very interesting and contain necessary explanation. Readers of my blog are very well aware of my interests in Error handling and Debugging. Interesting enough for me, there is one whole chapter dedicated to these areas. Some of the regular T-SQL concepts such as Stored Procedure, Triggers and Dynamic SQL, which I write a lot about, have also been covered in this book and each have a chapter dedicated to them. The last three chapters of the book on SQLCLR, .NET Client Programming and HTTP Endpoints necessitate Microsoft .NET FrameWork 2.0, as they contain some codes that are written in VB and C#.

One demerit with other run-of-the-mill T-SQL books is that they do not include in-depth information on XML, XQuery and XPath, while these topic have been discussed in good detail in this book, and their importance has been appropriately explained. Yet another attractive feature of this book is that all the chapters contain exercise with Appendix A having answers to all the questions asked. Appendix D comprises quick reference to SQLCMD command-line tool, which I have been using myself.

Some excerpts from the book that demonstrate how complex subjects have been explained in a lucid way and present the visionary attitude of the author.

"How do you pass parameters to triggers? The short answer is you can't. Because they are automatically fired in response to events, SQL Server triggers provide no means to pass in parameters."

"When used with an aggregate function like SUM, COUNT, or AVG, or a user-defined aggregate, the OVER clause can only take a PARTITION BY clause-not an ORDER BY clause. This is a serious shortcoming in the SQL Server implementation of OVER for aggregate functions. ORDER BY in the OVER clause for aggregate functions allows you to easily perform single-statement running sum-type calculations. Running sum calculations without this feature require extensive joins, causing many people to fall back on cursors. ORDER BY for the aggregate OVER clause, and other features related to windowing functions, has been submitted as a feature request to Microsoft. Hopefully, we'll see it implemented at some point in the near future."

One thing that I have always liked in any database book is the use of sample database AdventureWorks. I strongly believe that the all the examples should be independent of the previous examples and should use default database. If you have not installed default database AdventureWorks, you can get its latest location by searching in my blog All the scripts of examples are easily available and can be downloaded online. No book is free from errors and the website for this book has errata list, which is surprisingly very small.

Rating: 5 Stars

To sum up, Pro T-SQL 2008 Programmer's Guide is a must-read book for every developer who wants to take full advantage of the power of T-SQL on SQL Server 2008. This book by Author Michel Coles it meant to facilitate developers - they can now spend less time worrying about how things get done and instead think about what they actually want to get done.

Pinal Dave
Founder - (
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Pro T-SQL disappointing 17 May 2009
By John Warner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was poorly organized and left out a lot of details about T-SQL keywords and built in functions. He would use a T-SQL function in an example but there would be no explaination of that bit of code. There are some useful tips which is why I give it at 3 stars. I would recommend you look else where for T-SQL 2008 coverage. Coles knows the subject that is obvious it just doesn't fully make it into print. Not sure if it was the author or the editor but this just did not satisfy.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Comprehensive SQL server book 24 Sept. 2008
By Frank Banin - Published on
Format: Paperback
After finishing this book and following the practical examples you can definitely call yourself a Pro. The book covers every topic you need to know as a SQL server professional with practical and straight-forward examples. Read a chapter and you are up to speed on a topic; a mark of a true companion book.

We all know how we tend to browse or even skip a few topics every now and then due to personal dislikes. Mike's writing style makes every topic straight forward and easy to really complete.

Coming from a GIS background, I liked his break-down of the new spatial Engine feature; his illustrations are perfect for us with that background and a good ice-breaker for those who are new to spatial data and analytics. He did an excellent job on the new features in SQL Server 2008 and T-SQL. If you value your time, this is a book to have.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Poorly organized and awful examples 20 Mar. 2013
By Knighter - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is clearly an expert on the subject matter, but he does a terrible job of teaching it. There is no flow to the book at all and it is filled with TONS of unnecessary technical details most people will never need to know, history lessons that have no pertinence to today, and pages of examples that are way more confusing then they need to be. You have to scour through pages of fluff to get to the few little hidden pieces of information that are actually useful. I rarely write reviews, but I would strongly encourage getting a different book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Terrific resouce for every DBA's shelf 3 Feb. 2009
By Ron Davis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a terrific resource for advanced T-SQL with SQL 2008. I have a good knowledge of the subject and my son has a better one managing over 30,000 customer databases in his job. We saw this and each purchased a copy and each of us has gained insights into the language and important concepts to make our use of T-SQL better.
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