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on 24 September 2005
It's a big book. In my experience that either means daunting, or brilliant. This is the latter. Very well written, everything's well explained, and it's easy to skip bits. I've been looking for a kick towards professional database design, (I'd call myself intermediate) from hacked db's in access and mysql - and this is it.
This would help a beginner, (except for the short section on installing it) get used to the basics of sql and databases in general, as well as providing a guide for practical, efficient / effective design. For the expert, this book seemingly covers every individual publicised feature of pgsql, and gives information on extending /customising postgresql from the source for ultimate performance etc.
Unlike my review, the book is extremely well written! Highly recommended. Especially for such a potentially complex topic.
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on 19 January 2006
If you have to do any work involving postgres I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
As a 4th year software engineering student I found this book invaluable in completing my honours dissertation.
As the previous reviewer said, it is very well written and starts with the real basics through to the most complicated issues. However, each chapter is reasonably independent of the last, so it is very easy to jump around different parts of the book without getting lost.
In particular the chapters on accessing postgres using different programming languages such as C, java, and perl are entirely self-contained and are well explained using several examples.
In summary, this is a perfect book for beginners right through to experts, buy it now!
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on 1 March 2009
As with other reviewers, I have high praise for this book. It has a very good index that helps finding what you want quickly and the book is well structured so it is easy to jump around to find different topics.

Also at over 1000 pages it works out at only a few pence per page, so is excellent value for money in my opinion.

My only caveat about this book is that the typeface is very small. If, like me, you have bad eyesight then you might find yourself reaching for the magnifying glass quite often. But then if the typeface were any larger then I think this book would have to be split into two separate books as it would be so huge.

Overall I would recommend this book.
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on 24 March 2009
There are some truly shocking SQL books out there - but this isn't one of them! It's really well written. I'm a seasoned DBA but was new to PostgreSQL and this book got me going in no time. But it's also great for those who aren't that solid on their SQL. The basics are covered well here too! A keeper for sure!
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on 15 January 2009
I must confess a prior knowledge as someone who worked for Illustra (a commercialisation of an earlier version of Postgres set up by its inventor, Mike Stonebraker).

I bought this book on the strength of the 2 previous reviews and a need to re-awaken my Postgres knowledge. Overall it is not a bad book.

However, I must add a couple of caveats:

1. It is good for beginners but a lot of it is a slightly improved copy of the documentation that comes with Postgres.

2. It has some major aspects of Postgres completely omitted. Probably most noticeable is the SQL Re-write or Rule system.

I can understand why they may want to put this in an advanced section but it is an important fundamental part of the system with major consequences.

By not explaining Rules they do not help the developer understand how the query plans for SELECTs on VIEWS are generated which if you are tuning is important. In addition they state that VIEWS are read only which is true in part but this can be addressed with Rules.

Yes get this book as an introduction but read something that has the rest of the system included as well.
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on 20 August 2009
This book is nearly 1,000 pages long and more than 1/2 of this covers "Programming with PostgresSQL". I would have expected more on important database issues such as backup and recovery, performance monitoring and improvement than the few pages on these topics in this book. If you want chapters on how your Perl program (or Python, or PHP, in fact any number of different program types) can connect to a postgres database and do simple data manipulations then this book would he useful. But if your main interest is installing, administration and managing a postgres installation - i.e. you are a DBA, then much of this book is of limited use. The book should have been entitled "PostgresSQL for Developers".
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