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Review of Murachs SQL for SQL Server


Murach has been around for quite a while, but until recently I had not taken

the opportunity to look over any of their books. They were kind enough to

provide me with a review copy (which some lucky reader will win in a contest

down the road) and I have to say I was pleased with the quality.

Let's start with some details. It's a good sized book, 8-1/2x11, 574 pages,

and a CD that includes a eval copy of SQL2K Enterprise addition, the databases

used in the examples, and a selection of the scripts from the book. Nice layout,

easy to read and plenty of room to mark it up with notes if you desire. Retail

is $49.50, lists for $34.65 at Amazon. Decent reviews on Amazon as well.

I'd call this a great book for a beginner and probably well suited to a class

room as well. It starts with a discussion of how client server works and the

basics of DBMS before moving into application specific stuff. From there it

moves into writing queries, then how to create databases, followed by more

advanced topics such as scripting, stored procedures, triggers, cursors, and

transactions, finishing up with a discussion of sql security. It's written in

small 'how-to' portions that represent manageable chunks to learn at a time.

You'll note that it leaves out backup/restore, replication, and all the stuff

that a DBA typically handles. This book covers what a developer needs to use SQL

effectively but does not delve into data access using ADO or ADO.Net. I like

that, because while there is a lot to be learned about different data access

technologies, what this book is teaching is what you can do with SQL. The days

of a DBA writing all the stored procedures are mostly over, this book covers

what your developers need to know to use the platform effectively.

The only thing I really noticed missing (and that I always look for) is a

good clear explanation that triggers fire once per transaction, not once per row

along with an example that shows how to do row based processing inside a trigger

(not a great idea, but sometimes you need it).

Overall I'll rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I like the book enough that I'm

going to get a couple copies for work to give to some of the 'power user' group

that use Access right now and are missing out on a lot of good stuff SQL has to



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