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SQL: A Beginner's Guide, Second Edition Paperback – 1 May 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne; 2 edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072228857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072228854
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.9 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Robert Sheldon (Seattle, WA) has worked as a consultant and technical writer for a number of years. He has managed the maintenance and development of Web sites and online tools, which have included performing project analysis, developing functional specifications, and managing database and Web development. He has designed and implemented various Access and SQL Server databases, as well as a variety of Web-based solutions. In addition to having a technical and SQL background, Robert has written or co-written eight books on various network and server technologies, two of which have focused on SQL Server design and implementation.


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In 1999, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published their long-awaited SQL standard, which was dubbed "SQL:1999" (also known as SQL3). Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Jack on 30 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book covers a lot of ground and is well worth the price. I've been using it from when I knew nothing at all of SQL, right through to the point now where I'm mostly using it for reference on topics I'm not overly sure of. Generally, this book does a very good job of explaining and giving examples.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Solid introduction to core SQL 6 May 2007
By Andrew E. Schulman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book teaches core or basic SQL, that is, the subset of the language that's common to all of the many database products. That's a hard thing to do well, because the common core is small compared to the wide variety of vendor-specific extensions. But it's worth doing, and this book does it well. Approaching SQL for the first time, I used the book to get a foundation of understanding and get up and running creating tables, constraints, and views, and constructing queries, joins, and subqueries.

The book's explanations are clear, and the selection of material seems good. The end-of-chapter review questions are helpful. The exercises are helpful and essential, but I found them to be somewhat too mechanical, and there should be more of them to help cement each topic before moving on to the next.

The book's vendor-neutral approach has its costs. Some of the features that it describes, such as catalogs and roles, aren't implemented in all database products, so you have to try them with your database or consult your documentation to find out. The book is very clear about this, though; I never found an example that didn't work that wasn't flagged as not supported in all products. And an alternative approach is always provided. As another reviewer pointed out, the book describes the crucial 'Hello World' task of connecting to the database server and submitting your first SQL statement in only general terms, since it depends on your database product and client. And unfortunately one very important set of tasks is vendor-specific and therefore not covered here: finding out what databases, users, and roles are present, and what the structure of each database and table is.

In summary, if you know you want to use SQL with a particular database product, you'd probably do better to get a book that's specific to that product. But if you want to understand and use the core of SQL before you move on to your vendor's extentions, this is a good book to get you there.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Very well written for new SQL user 26 Sept. 2003
By Francis D. Ferrall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book helped me get my web development project well on the way. I am using PowerBuilder to build a web based application and I needed to learn SQL programming quickly for the database component. The author was easy to understand and uses lesson plans that make it easy to learn SQL at a reasonable pace. I was able to get up and running with the basics and am becoming more proficient as I implement more of the examples in the book.
I recommend this book to anyone new to SQL. I think it may be useful to experienced SQL developers also but I cannot speak for the more advanced users since I am so new.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good book but somewhat hard to follow 10 Oct. 2005
By A. Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book I think would be more effective if we knew what software is preferred. If the book was designed with SQL Server in mind then the book should have been designed for this version. I think the author should have made different versions for different DBMS, this way the book would be more effective. If the book was going to be used for all databases then they should have included the commands used for each DBMS. Otherwise why include a step by step if not all the commands are going to work. The book is however, very well written and easy easy to follow, but there are parts of the projects that become rather difficult to follow because the book doesn't include the commands for your DBMS. In addition, the book doesn't include a DBMS program nor does it suggest what is the best program to use with this book.

Rating the book from 1 to 5 I would give it a 3. The lack of 2 points is mainly because there are parts in the book that doesn't work with the DBMS. If I wasn't using SQL Server I would give it a much lower number.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Best for SQL concepts 11 Jan. 2005
By Salman Hajipour - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nice book for those who want to know the SQL (not SQL Server) deeply despite the long explanations!
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