To be an effective database programmer, you need to master SQL for the database you're going to be using. So this is first a book for programmers who use Microsoft SQL Server. However, this is also a great book for anyone who wants to learn standard SQL, because its CD includes everything you need for running SQL on your own PC.
Why learn SQL? First, because most database programmers would be better programmers if they knew more about SQL. Second, because SQL programming is a valuable specialty in itself. And third, because knowing SQL is the first step toward becoming a database administrator. In short, knowing SQL makes you more valuable on the job.
What you'll learn in this book
In section 1, you'll learn the concepts and terms you need for working with any database. You'll also learn how to use the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE) and the client tools for SQL Server 2000 that come on the CD. At that point, you'll be able to run SQL statements on your own PC, and you'll be prepared for rapid progress as you learn SQL.
In section 2, you'll learn all the skills for retrieving data from a database and for adding, updating, and deleting that data. These skills move from the simple to the complex so you won't have any trouble if you're a SQL novice. And they present skills like using outer joins, summary queries, and subqueries that will raise your SQL expertise if you do have SQL experience.
In section 3, you'll learn how to design a database and how to implement that design by using either SQL DDL statements or the Enterprise Manager that comes with SQL Server. When you're done, you'll be able to design and implement your own databases. But even if you're never called upon to do that, this section will give you perspective that will make you a better SQL programmer.
To complete your SQL skills, section 4 presents the skills for working with database features like views, stored procedures, functions, triggers, cursors, and transactions. Once you master these features, you'll have all the SQL skills you'll ever need for database programming.
3 reasons why you'll learn faster with this book
First, unlike most SQL books, this one starts by showing you how to query an existing database. Why? Because that's what you're most likely to do first on the job. Once you master those skills, the book teaches you how to design and implement a database...whenever you need to do that. Or, you can learn how to work with other database features like views and stored procedures...whenever you need to do that.
Second, like all our books, this one includes hundreds of examples that range from the simple to the complex. That way, you can quickly get the idea of how a feature works from the simple examples, but you'll also see how the feature is used in real-world examples.
Third, like all the books in the Murach series, all of the information is presented in 'paired pages,' with the essential syntax, guidelines, and examples on the right page and the perspective and extra explanation on the left page. This helps you learn faster by reading less...and this is the ideal reference format when you need to refresh your memory about how to do something later on.
With features like those, this is the book you'll want on your desk whenever you're using SQL. And if you're a programmer, this book is the ideal companion for our Visual Basic and Java books.