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T-SQL vs SQL differences Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 4:43 PM


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You're not alone. Even some of the "best" authors suck wind when it comes to teaching be it through the written word or through videos. I've stopped recommending some of the video sites that I was familiar with because not only did they not do such a hot job, some of the information they were passing out as "best practices" was just flat out wrong, IMHO. For example, using a recursive CTE to "count" or create a sequence is absolutely one of the worst ways both performance and resource usage wise, yet the videos on the subject never gave such a warning. In fact, the videos that I say on the subject did just the opposite and actually recommended the damned things as the "modern way to do such a thig i SQL Serv 2005 and up".

I find the same thing in books. Although there are a great number of good to great authors, I sometimes wonder what they were thinking when they set out to teach someone T-SQL. Even some of the very-greats, who do a wonderful job explaining some advanced techniques, seem to fall real short in the order of revelation and writing "simple" things that are supposed to create understanding. This is especially true in the latest MS Press Certification Study books. It seems, mostly because the books say so, that you need to already have a year or two of experience. Most of them are not targeted for fundamentals which, coincidently, may Developers seem to be missing, nowadays.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #1418150
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 3:40 AM
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Many thanks for your reply. I am glad I am not alone in struggling to find good books and training resources. IT training is generally expensive and I don't have a budget to go on 4-day training courses so I am basically doing everything myself and trying to imagine workplace scenarios where an employer would ask me to do x or y etc. This is not easy, but upgrading my skills from Access to SQL Server was no option as Access is not an in demand database. I did attend a T-SQL training course at Learning Tree but that was a one off as they had reduced the price of the course by 70%.

The combination of training resources I am using now is youtube, internet articles, forums and books. However, the books are very much a hit and miss process. The "in easy steps" series are not bad (the earlier editions were better as the code was more amalgamated and now it is split up (although I must say with more explanations)). I would say generally though, unless you have a hefty training budget then there is an element of pot luck and even with the training courses your understanding will depend on the strength of the training materials, quality of the teacher and your learning curve. I guess some people are naturals at picking things up, but for me it can sometimes be a slog as I prefer regimented and formal training programs so I can then understand the basics of an application's capability in full.

The great fault in technical writing is reams of unexplained code which results in the reader trying and think out what the program means and if they are going through it for the first time, this can be hard and open to misinterpretation.

When I first studied foreign languages, there was a formal training process involving a dictionary and grammar book. Sadly, this type of formal and logical approach is missing in many programming books as well as an affinity with the potential reader. In other words many books seem to be written by authors who do not spend adequate time thinking about their audience.
Post #1418286
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 4:04 AM
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I think the problem with most MS based training courses is that they often focus on only the new shiny-shiny toys that you get, eg in T-SQL for 2012 these are the windows functions, or on the DBA side the High availability stuff.

My advice is keep hanging out here at SSC and read the articles, if theres anything you want to know then somoene has probably written an article on it. I've been a T-SQL coder since 2002, but its only the last 2-3 years that I've started to knock a lot of bad habits on the head after having read the forums and articles written by people like Jeff (to name a few).


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Post #1418301
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 4:46 AM
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Thanks. I will make more use of this site as a resource for SQL Server!
Post #1418317
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 4:49 AM


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If you are trying to learn T-SQL, you can't go very far wrong picking up Itzik Ben-Gan's book. He has a fundamentals book and the Inside book.

I don't know of any free resource that's going to do a good, thorough, and accurate job of teaching t-sql. You'll either have to bounce around a lot or find a for pay resource. Sorry. But it's true.


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Post #1418318
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 7:52 AM
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Thanks. I will take a look at his books on Amazon. I have heard his name being mentioned before positively, so that must be a good sign.
Post #1418442
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 9:39 AM
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The SQL 2012 Microsoft Training material does actually take time to state what is ANSI compliant and what is Microsoft specific.
Post #1568990
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:00 PM
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T-SQL and SQL certainly are different. I, therefore, would never assume someone knew TSQL just because they wrote SQL on a resume.

TSQL to me would mean the person understood the full language around the SQL statements, including meanings related specifically to MS, such as @ for variables, @@ for global variables, CONTEXT_INFO(), #, ##, etc..

Just SQL could be from any RDBMS.


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It didn't matter in the thick of the fight." : the inimitable Mr. Billy Joel, about the Vietnam War
Post #1569102
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 7:00 AM
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Grant Fritchey (2/11/2013)
If you are trying to learn T-SQL, you can't go very far wrong picking up Itzik Ben-Gan's book. He has a fundamentals book and the Inside book.

I don't know of any free resource that's going to do a good, thorough, and accurate job of teaching t-sql. You'll either have to bounce around a lot or find a for pay resource. Sorry. But it's true.


+1
Post #1569245
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 4:27 AM
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This is an old post!

Just FYI, I found the video series on T-SQL here excellent:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNObiptSMSI&list=PL08903FB7ACA1C2FB][/url]
Post #1569507
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