Book Review - SQL Visual Quickstart Guide (2nd Edition) by Chris Fehily
To a large extent, I've been able to avoid much SQL work in my regular day-to-day programming. But with the release of Notes/Domino 7.0, it will be easier to integrate Notes data into a DB2 backend. That makes SQL expertise much more important. To help, I got a copy of SQL Visual Quickstart Guide (2nd Edition) by Chris Fehily. Pretty good book...
Chapter List: DBMS Specifics; The Relational Model; SQL Basics; Retrieving Data From A Table; Operators And Functions; Summarizing and Grouping Data; Joins; Subqueries; Set Operations; Inserting, Updating, and Deleting Rows; Creating, Altering, and Dropping Tables; Indexes; Views; Transactions; Creating The Sample Database; SQL Keywords; Index
Visual Quickstart books tend to be short on dry, meaningless dronings and heavy on practical "here's how you do ..." material. This one is no exception. Fehily has written a book that can be easily jump back and forth between tutorial and reference guide. You'll initially want to use the book to learn the specific skill, like how to create different types of joins between tables. You'll end up going back to the material on numerous occasions to either refresh your knowledge or look up a keyword. And because of the practical nature of the material, you won't spend a ton of time wading through stuff that doesn't directly relate to your job.
Another thing that's very useful in this book is that it's vendor-inclusive. In the DBMS Specifics chapter, Fehily talks about how the material relates to Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. This chapter doesn't tell you how to install those software packages, but it does tell you how to enter and run SQL scripts on each platform. Throughout the book, he also points out when a particular vendor either deviates from the standard, adds a nonstandard feature, or implements a feature in a fashion different than the others. So while you might be able to find specific SQL books for a specific platform, this will be a great addition for the person who has to interact with a number of relational database vendors on a regular basis.