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3.9 out of 5 stars9
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 28 July 2011
I purchased this book to help me get to grips with the SQL syntax before starting a new job.

I have experience of working with databases and have found the book so far to be a good introduction to SQL - I don't think it would necessarily be a good introduction to databases, so if you're new to SQL and database administration, you may want to look elsewhere or purchase an introductory text to databases to complement this book.

To really get the most out of this book you need to use the online resources and complete the tests at the end of each chapter - which is where the book is let down. All the effort of making the text easy to read and follow is ruined by the mismatch between the examples in the book and the data supplied on the O'Reilly site.

There are positives and negatives to this - a huge negative is that for a while I thought I was getting things wrong, and repeatedly doubting myself and my ability to learn SQL. A positive on the other hand is that it makes you look at the database structure and raw data to see why you can't get the answer that the book suggests is possible. After much investigation, I discovered the data populated via the online SQL file doesn't match to the data being used by the author.

After a while this just becomes annoying, especially when you try to complete the tests and can't get the correct answers. You then have to either populate the data (good practice I suppose) or modify your query to get a different answer, using the same approach.

The book would get five stars if it wasn't for the problems mentioned above.

Delivery etc, excellent as always from Amazon.
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on 5 November 2008
I'm not a programmer and I bought this book having no idea of SQL, and I can say I learned a lot from it. It's easy to understand and it's well structured. Maybe it doesn't cover every aspect of SQL, but it's the place to start to write your first queries. Give it a try, you won't regret!
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on 15 April 2008
After wanting to get a better grasp on SQL and its Syntax I bought this book along with it other companion "SQL Cookbook".

It has a nicely written and easy to understand flow with exercises at the end of each chapter. I find this a great help as when you have read the chapter, you can try and solve the exercises and hopefully it will have sunk in more.
The hardest section is on subqueries as it seem that you can put them everywhere(ugggh).

It also explains the nuances with SQL Server and Oracle, as the syntax changes for little things like altering tables and transaction.
So in all a very good book that will prove a useful reference and tool for improving ones knowledge of SQL.
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on 21 March 2012
After many years avoiding SQL, I thought I'd better have a go and decided to go with this book.
The book is well written and has some good examples to follow; However, with the downloaded datasets differing from the examples in the book, some additional braincells are required to actually get the example to work. While this adds to the challenge ( and perhaps the learning experience ), it's really annoying and spoils the flow.
From a beginners POV would prefer the "AS" optional keyword to be used as it makes code easier to read. Experienced users may not have an issue with this, but the book is for novices.
If you are skilled in coding and databases you can probably even just read the book and pick up enough knowledge without actually doing the examples, but you'd miss out much of the fun and point of the book. Typing lines in a DOS box quickly becomes a drag too. Though if you are slick of mind, you quickly figure out how to script commands from Notepad.
Overall, still worth the price and Amazon performance 100% as usual.
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on 10 February 2013
If this book was entitled "Learning MySQL", it would have been fine. As it is, it just says "Learning SQL" so naturally, I felt it would be an excellent primer for MS SQL as in SQL Server 2008 R2.

When I started reading further in, it became obvious that all the examples are for MySQL not SQL. He does suggest that readers download MySQL and run the examples that way. But I cannot really see the point of that because many MySQL functions and commands do not work in MS SQL.

I guess it was my fault for not thumbing through the "Look Inside" facility. That'll teach me!

By the way, the author also insists that SQL does NOT stand for "Structured Query Language" (!) but fails to offer any alternative or explanation. 'Nuff said.
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on 17 August 2013
Returning to SQL after a 7 year hiatus this was a useful book to remind me of the basics. It also had the added advantage of filling some gaps in my knowledge, mostly theoretical ones.
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on 3 June 2016
I've read a lot of books on SQL and this is one of the good ones.
Explains with clarity what each statement is doing.
Really well written.
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on 21 July 2014
Good book to have as a resource.
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on 21 July 2010
Before start to buy this i have no idea about this book. but i like to learn SQL i searched at amazon and two read two people comments with a hope i bought this book. if u want to learn SQL you can buy this book. it was well structured and very easy to learn. I learned many things from this book.
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