Teach Yourself SQL in 24 Hours


COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW
 
361 words

Title: Teach Yourself SQL in 24 Hours; Ryan K. Stephens & Ronald R. Plew;
Sams Publishing; ISBN: 0-672-31245-X; Paperback; 384 pages; US$24.99,
CAN$35.95, UK22.95

Reviewer: Peter B. MacIntyre, "Teach Yourself SQL in 24 Hours is a great
little book that covers all the bases offering suitable examples, chapter
summaries, and quizzes. It is an excellent vehicle to get started with; one
on which a firm foundation in the world of SQL can be established."

SQL (Structured Query Language) from top to bottom.

The world of SQL (Structured Query Language, also pronounced "see-quel")
can be an intimidating place for the unfamiliar. Some of the older
programmers who are still making the transition to newer technologies, and
the "newbies" alike will have a similar challenge in mastering this newer
technology. The book Teach Yourself SQL in 24 Hours is an excellent primer
for mastering the relational database model and all its intricacies.

The authors, who seem to have excellent credentials, take the reader from
the foundation and definition of the technology right through to the more
complex queries that can be accomplished in the SQL arena. Topics like
basic concepts, database design, building effective queries, building
sophisticated queries, performance tuning, user and security management,
data structures, and advanced tips for real-world use are all covered in a
progressive manner throughout the book.

Since SQL itself only has its manifestations in company products, the
authors had a challenging task attempting to generalize the lessons in a
way that could be useful to all readers on all computer platforms. Since
ORACLE, SYBASE, Computer Associates, and Microsoft (to name a few vendors)
all have their own "flavors" of SQL, the lessons (chapters) concentrated
on what was common to the major vendor products (ANSI SQL) with frequent
reminders and notes about the sometime subtle differences.

The structure of the book was designed to cover a particular subject in
about an hour, some of the sections however could be completed in half the
allotted time. There seemed to be a shortage of material and examples that
could have been better developed giving the reader a better handle on the
topics covered. The summaries, questions, and quizzes at the end of each of the 
chapters were good review material in general, but it also seemed that there
was a page count quota that was being considered as opposed to the quality
of the lesson material.

Teach Yourself SQL in 24 Hours is a great little book that covers all the
bases offering suitable examples, chapter summaries, and quizzes. It is an
excellent vehicle to get started with; one on which a firm foundation in
the world of SQL can be established.


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