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on 3 September 2010
I have read over 25 books on SQL Server.
In my opinion - This one is by far the best - highly recommended for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
To become proficient in querying relational databases - you have to understand the maths based set theory and predicate logic, upon which Relational Databases are founded. This book elegantly achieves the difficult task of - clearly explaining the theory, then building upon this with illustrations which solve hundreds of realistic real world complex problems .
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on 7 November 2011
NB I am primarly reviewing the earlier version Inside Microsoft® SQL ServerTM 2005: T-SQL Querying (Solid Quality Learning) and have only read parts of the newer book to cover various updates. But it is the best tech book I have read, even just a few pages of chapter one showed how much I didn't know. EG that the select statement didn't read (or was processed top to bottom) It starts with the 'from' statement goes down to the 'having' then up to the top for 'Select' and 'Distinct' then back to the bottom to 'Order by' then back to the top for the keyword 'Top'. This is pretty obvious once you know but why is it not in other books or in the course I went on! Anyway superbly written. Don't be put off by the physical query execution and the (query tuning/indexes) sections. I still haven't read most of those two chapters and still rate this as the best tech book I've ever read.
Worth the money. As another reviewer said, I'd buy another when this one falls apart.
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on 12 February 2015
Great book. Pitched at a sensible level - assumes you know the basics of SQL, so doesn't waste time covering these, just straight into useful stuff. Covers the following topics:

- Logical query plans v physical query plans
- Examining query plans and query optimisations
- Missing indexes
- Join ordering
- Window / ranking functions
- The apply operator
- Aggregation and pivoting
- Data updates
- Querying partitioned tables
- Common SQL problems (top n for each group, compare current and previous)
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on 8 May 2012
This is a great book that give you a firm foundation in understanding SQL and the RDBMS model. It is methodical and explains the best methods of writing your code and more importantly how it will improve performance and reduce cost. There are always examples to illustrate the concept being explained and the logic behind it. An ex excellent resource.
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