Book Review - SQL DeMystified by Andy Oppel
There is obviously no lack of titles on the subject of SQL. The main choice you have to make is whether you want a conversational or traditional style approach to your learning. Personally, I'm more into conversational, and I had the chance to review a book along those lines... SQL DeMystified by Andy Oppel.
Contents: Relational Database Concepts; SQL Concepts; Defining Database Objects Using SQL; Retrieving Data Using Data Query Language (DQL); Combining Data from Multiple Tables; Advanced Query Writing; Maintaining Data Using DML; Applying Security Controls Using DCL; Preserving Database Integrity Using Transactions; Integrating SQL into Applications; SQL Performance and Tuning Considerations; Final Exam; Answers to Quizzes and Final Exam; Index
The DeMystified series takes the approach of cutting through jargon and theoretical prose, and goes straight to the core concepts without all the trappings. As a result, I find it much easier to learn what I need to know, as well as how I can apply it immediately. Oppel uses the example of a film library database to take the reader through database concepts, normalization processes, and how the data can be manipulated within a relational database environment using SQL. Once you finish with the book, you will know everything in the way of base concepts. Your learning is also reinforced with a series of quizzes at the end. A nice way to measure your progress. Another positive is that the material is vendor-neutral, so you don't need to worry about whether you have the right software or not. Any relational database system will use these same concepts and processes. The author does point out areas in which certain vendor packages have differed in their implementation, so any large landmines you might encounter can be avoided.
It would be hard *not* to learn what you need to know from this book. As a result, you wouldn't go wrong with this choice for your SQL education.