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on 30 June 2012
The edition I am reviewing is the second edition (1997). Because of the date you would expect the SQL used to be horribly out-of-date.

Putting that isuue aside, even at the time that this book was published, it would have been a very poor buy.

I have recently started to thin some of the books in my library to make way for newer and better books. I am currently doing database. In chaper 1 (Relational Database Fundamentals) I notices that much of the information is either totally wrong or poorly explained.

When explaining the benefits of the relational model (p15), it states "Probably the most important of these attributes is that, in a relational database you can change the database structure without requiring changes to applications - implying that you cannot do this with older database models such as network databases. This is not true at all. This feature is dependant on the 3 level database architecture. Network DBMSs such as VAX DBMS employed this feature. In particular you wrote subschemas corresponding to the exterior level. These subschemas map onto the structure of the database represented by the conceptual level and implemented by a schema. There are other explanations in this short chapter that are totally wrong. More importantly the author does not demonstrate how relational databases can be modified without affecting existing applications.

There follows in this book another 20 chapters that cover the use of SQL. THe general tone of the book is that it is very verbose taking very many words to explain quite simple things. The book is just too boring even for someone who knows something about database and SQL. The thought of having to sift through so much useless waffle in the hope that you might actually learn anything useful certainly put me off reading much of the book - and I was only scanning the book to determine whether it is worth keeping.

This book certainly will not motivate a beginner unless they have a lot of patience. For a beginner who wants to make a start using SQL I can recommend the following;

SQL in easy steps. Mike Mcgrath. Computer Step 2004
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on 10 August 1999
A good introduction to SQL for people who have some programming experience, and need to know how to integrate their applications with a database, and for people who use MS Access, but want to work independently of the query design grid. The book is especially good for defining the common SQL and database terminology. It was nice to finally get a thorough explanation of the various types of joins, and the brief chapter on ODBC was pleasantly simple. SQL is not a very exciting subject, however, and a little more humor would have been helpful to ward off boredom. Some hands-on exercises for MS Access, VB or SQL Server would have been helpful.
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2003
I like to start off projects with simple concepts and a few examples to get off the ground. Well this book does just that. Unfortunately I would also like to have some example of input and output. I chose this book because it was not database specific, as I am converting files from an Informix database, through a filter, to a flat file, for later conversion to an Oracle database, with a different structure. Unfortunately this book (being universal) has no universal explanation as to how to get information from a flat file in or out of the database. First you have to find the term they use, not ASCII, not flat, not import, not export, not not not. The term is found in chapter 7 "foreign." The explanation on how to do this is to "...turn to one of the professional data translation services." Great, just what I wanted to know.
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on 15 November 2002
Having only skimmed the surface of databses in the past I was faced this week with a rather large challenge; learn SQL in a week to give a discussion to 150 people!
On the face of it, it would seem that this was an impossible task for someone who had only dealt with HTML and XML before, but then Allen G Taylor came to my rescue!
SQL for dummies takes you through all the stages of databases from what are relational databases, tables, SQL commands, data retreival and security issues in SQL. This book is a true masterpiece and anyone wishing to get to grips with SQL should not hesitate to but this invaluable source of facts.
Allen gently guides you through all of the areas with hints, tips and reminders of commands and queries along the way.
I can honestly say that of all the books I have read relating to computer technology, none has come close to the simple practical advice of this book.
I look forward to Allen G Taylors next offering.
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on 15 September 1998
I found myself in a Borland C++ Builder seminar full of database programmers who all new SQL. Fortunately, most of them didn't know C++. The seminar leader recommended this book to me and I found it useful as a primer. It has good examples which I've used repeatedly. It is especially nice for Borland C++ Builder users since that is the RAD tool which the author is using.
It covers most of the features of SQL supported by the Borland Database Engine for Database creation and manipulation, although I found it somewhat lacking in the area of security.
I've read several other books on the subject now and I think it compares favorably with most. I find the subject of normalization lacking in all of the books. If you are new to SQL my recommendation is to reduce the subject of normalization down to this: keep the long tables skinny and the fat tables short and minimize data redundancy.
If your new to SQL it's a good starting place and worth the price. It's especially useful for BCB or Delphi Programmers.
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on 28 July 1999
Someone who is interested in getting the facts for rapid database development will find this book frustrating. Uses way to much filler.
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on 9 February 2004
Dummies shouldn't be messing with SQL. If you need to do SQL get a real book.
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