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Planning to buy a SQL Server book. What's the best one, from your experience, that would teach me:

1. To create triggers
2. To write cursors
3. To program stored procedures
4. To write transactions
5. Other query optimization stuff
6. Tell me a little bit about database administration
7. MOST IMPORTANT: Map set theory with UNIONS, JOINS and stuff.

At the moment, I know SQL but I believe I need to learn more. I am a programmer who's got 7 yrs exp, so I am not a newbie. I need in depth SQL, to drink in.

Friday, October 15, 2004
I liked 'Inside SQL Server' from MS Press by Karen Delaney. It's a little 'SQL Server can do no wrong', but really goes into a lot of guts of how the DB works.
NetFreak Send private email
Friday, October 15, 2004
I found "Inside Microsoft SQL Server 7.0", by Ron Soukup and Kalen Delaney to be very good at the time, although you'd want to get an updated version to cover SQL 2000.

I also liked the old SQL Server Unleashed book, by Sams, but again make sure you get one that covers the later version of SQL.

Both of these are pretty in depth, but you can also skim them for interesting bits, as and when you need to.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thank you. More. More people. More.

Friday, October 15, 2004
There's a Stored Procedures book with a green and white cover that I've beat the hell out of - it's the best for cursors and other TSQL type stuff.

Philo [MSFT] Send private email
Friday, October 15, 2004
The Guru's guide to TSQL
Friday, October 15, 2004
Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming
by Rob Vieira

is my favorite.
Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004
In addition to the above,

Good begining book: Murach's SQL for SQL Server, Bryan Syverson

Good in depth book: Microsoft SQL Server Programming By Example, Fernando G. Guerrero.

I really like the Murach series for learning programming languages (intro level).


Friday, October 15, 2004
Well, if you want to get hard core, in addition to Inside SQL Server 2000 (Delaney), and Programming SQL Server 2000 (Viera), get the Designing and Implementing Databases self study kit from Microsoft.  This will give you a lot of low level information on how SQL can be optimized and how the server does it's thing.  (Indexes, datafiles, etc...)

I have the version for SQL Server 7, and it was very informative.

Here's the link for the current version, reviews are not that great, so it's content may have changed some...
Friday, October 15, 2004
The more you learn about the details of SQL the more you'll think what a shitty language it is. Especially when trying to map it to set theory or the relational algebra.
Matt Send private email
Friday, October 15, 2004
Any recommendations for a good book on the theoretical end of things? Preferably not a $200 thousand-page textbook.
Michael E.
Friday, October 15, 2004
"The more you learn about the details of SQL the more you'll think what a shitty language it is. Especially when trying to map it to set theory or the relational algebra."

Really? I've never had any major issues with it. Mind you, I've never tried to do massive calculations in SQL - I do that in procedural languages that call on SQL for their data.

Philo [MSFT] Send private email
Friday, October 15, 2004
As a cross-platform book I recommend Sql for Smarties.

For details on procedural languages et al you're going to need something vendor-specific.
Jonathan Ellis
Friday, October 15, 2004
Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL by Ken Henderson

I consider this one of the must have books if you are working with SQL Server.
Friday, October 15, 2004
I like Joe Celko's books. SQL for Smarties and the one on Trees and Hierarchies.  He mostly sticks to ANSI standard SQL.

Good books--showed me how to build a tree/node set in SQL,
and then I was able to use that to build an XML file.

Celko is good if you have a basic understanding of SQL and
now want to make it "sit up and beg".
Project Lead/Nobody
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thanks, people.
Monday, October 18, 2004
I've been tempted to buy "SQL for Smarties" but the customer reviews are in two categories 1) "oh boy what a great book" and 2) complaints about lots of typos and bad examples

I'm on the fence, but am not ready to spend any money on it.
Any further insights ?
not full time DBA
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
"SQL for Smarties" was the only SQL book I read, and it was enough to get me designing a database (with foreign keys) and writing SQL (but not stored procedures).
Christopher Wells Send private email
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
To qualify my support of SQL for Smarties:

I don't read technical books for syntax.  I read them to learn concepts and ways to apply the concepts (I tend to use Google or find the software developer's reference online).  I haven't found too many technical books without lots of typos, except for O'Reilly.  The problem with O'Reilly books is that they are great reference, not great teaching books.

My learning style went well with Celko's teaching style.  Your mileage may vary.

Sigh.  That is why I end up with at least three books on every subject.  One to teach, one for reference, and one for advanced topics in the same subject.

P.S.  I knew basic SQL before I picked up Celko. He taught me to think in "sets", which is quite different from my mental development in programming.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

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