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The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
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am 18. September 2000
Ah, where to begin. This book is a masterpiece. It is over the top. It distills, in one volume, all that's worth knowing about advanced Transact-SQL. If you've read the Books Online, this book is a natural next step in your T-SQL education. It took me from a rank amateur to an advanced coder within days. It gave me insights into new ways of coding that I'd never have thought of on my own. It showed me how to work in harmony with T-SQL and SQL Server, rather than try to get them to do things they weren't designed to do.
The best chapters, are, IMHO, these:
- DML Insights
- DDL Insights
- The Mighty SELECT
- Statistical Functions
- Transactions
- Cursors
- Sets
- Arrays
- Stored Procedures and Triggers
- T-SQL Performance Tuning
- Administrative T-SQL
- OLE Automation
- Undocumented T-SQL
There's so much good info in this book, it's hard to pick a list of the "best chapters." To be sure, there's not a weak chapter in the book, and you should read every last one of them.
Another reviewer called this book the ultimate magnum opus for T-SQL. He was right. This book is a must-read for anyone serious about coding in Transact-SQL.
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am 18. September 2000
I love this book because it's so practical. It doesn't have the obligatory fluff that most computer books have. It cuts to the chase and gets right down to business immediately. I like that. And I like the fact that it focuses on things not in the Books Online. Want to learn how to do full-text searching from Transact-SQL? See Chapter 18. Want to learn how cursors really work and when you should and shouldn't use them? See Chapter 14. Want to learn advanced techniques and pitfalls to watch out for? See Chapter 15. This book has it all. If you want to become an expert SS practitioner, get this book.
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am 18. September 2000
This is a wonderfully insightful book. I learned more in the first chapter than I've learned in the entirety of other SQL books. For example, I learned that row positioning problems (e.g., computing a median) don't require a cursor. This one insight alone opened a whole new way of coding SQL for me. I learned how transactions *really* work - something no other book gave me. I carry this book to and from the office with me - that should tell you how much I value it.
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am 5. April 2000
I loved this book. I've already ordered several more copies to use with the classes I teach. Henderson is practical, scholarly, thorough, and often quite funny. The quotes that begin each chapter are insightful as well as humorous and give us some insight into who the man behind the book is. I like technical books that I can connect to on a personal level.
As for technical merits, you will have to look very hard for a better T-SQL book. I have most of the T-SQL books out there and the Guru's Guide beats them hands down. Henderson includes everything but the kitchen sink without being overwrought. I especially like the chapters on cursors and transactions. I never really understood the fine details of transactions until I read this book. Also very handy was the chapter on full text searches via T-SQL. I'd always wanted to know how to use this powerful facility in my own code, but had never really delved into how to go about it. The Guru's Guide makes it easy.
Lastly, I really liked the free T-SQL programming environment the author included. It's apparently one he wrote himself (!) It beats the pants off Query Analyzer, runs faster, and has features we could only dream of in QA (block indention, comment spell check, scripting, keyboard macros, etc., etc.). My team and I have switched to it as our main T-SQL development environment and have realized some real productivity gains in doing so. The author could easily sell this package and make real money from it. If you want a great book and a tremendous CD value, get the Guru's Guide.
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am 15. Mai 2000
A friend gave me this book for my birthday and I must say -- it was a very fine present indeed. I have already put several of Mr. Henderson's techniques to use in my own work. The book is to the point and has character and depth that only the best books have. The best parts are (IMHO):
* The SELECT chapter -- everything you ever wanted to know about the SELECT statement, including many things that you'd never guess it could do
* The statistics chapter -- a cornocopia of techniques for extracting stastical info from large data banks
* The transactions chapter -- at long last, someone has finally spelled out how transactions work, with complete examples for each isolation level and complete explanation for the ramifications of each
* The tuning chapter -- the A-Z of tuning T-SQL queries -- everything from query hints to bcp hints to perfmon and everything in between
* The undocumented chapter -- finally someone has created a one-stop-shopping repository for that hidden info many of us in the business had used, but never had a reference for
I highly recommend this one. If you buy just one SQL Server book, get The Guru's Guide.
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am 2. Mai 2000
Because it was called a "Guru's Guide" I didn't know whether this book expected me to already be a guru or whether it was claiming that it was written by one. Luckily for me, it was the latter.
Myself, I'm relatively new to Transact-SQL. When I got this book, I very much considered myself a beginner. I'd only begun working in T-SQL about a year and a half ago.
I can honestly say that this book was so full of great information that I began moving to the next level almost immediately. The author pulls no punches and delivers on his committment to avoid filler material throughout. This is a dense, gem-packed treatise on the language that belongs in the library of every would-be Transact-SQL expert.
Favorite parts:
- Cursor chapter (the story of the ill-fated SQL Server conversion is priceless -- I have been there, I have been there...)
- Performance & Tuning chapter (could be a book unto itself)
- Undocumented T-SQL chapter (because I like hidden goodies)
- Preface (because it's honest)
If you want to be a Transact-SQL coder or DBA worth your money, get this book and learn its many secrets inside out.
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am 16. Juni 2000
I found The Guru's Guide to be one of the best computer books I've ever had the privilege to read. It is not just another computer book. It's a deep, insightful, provocative treatise on the language, and I'll be using it for years to come. I think these parts deserve special mention:
* Quotes: each chapter begins with a thoughtful quote. These quotes have a lot to say about the industry as well as learning T-SQL. I think they add a special 'spice' to the book.
* P&T chapter: the chapter on performance and tuning is worthy of its own book. It's a catalog of all the things you can do to speed up your code.
* Undocumented chapter: the secrets revealed by this chapter are true gems. I'm already using many of them.
* Cursors chapter: I liked the story from the trenches about the conversion. I can empathize with the author. It can be frustrating to work with poor developers.
Overall, I'd say this is the best investment you can make with your SQL Server dollar. I like this book even better than Inside SQL Server, which is saying something.
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am 12. April 2000
This book is priceless. Within a week of getting it, it helped me solve two separate T-SQL problems that had been dogging me for years. The author is a genius. He seems to have superstar abilities in solving difficult technical problems as well as in explaining how he did it. Even finding those qualities in one person is rare, let alone getting them to write a book. I've only had the book for about a month, and already it's showing signs of wear. And I really like the epigraphs that start each chapter. They're thought-provoking and insightful. They help us keep things in perspective.
My favorite chapters are: - T-SQL data type nuances - Cursors - Transactions - Stored Procedures & Triggers - T-SQL Performance Tuning - OLE Automation - Undocumented T-SQL
The chapter on performance and the one on Automation are particularly good. I can definitely recommend this book. It's the only one like it on the market.
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am 5. Juli 2000
I'm a consultant working with SQL Server for several years now and I'm using T-SQL more and more each day.
This book is THE FIRST and usually ONLY T-SQL book I reach for when I have a T-SQL question or need a solution. I also own "Transact-SQL Programming" from O-Reilly (ISBN 1565924010), but unfortunately it reads much more like a plain textbook. I really enjoy Henderson's writing style - it's very easy to read for a technical book and one of the few that I can just pickup and read anytime without falling alseep to gleem information from several of the more interesting chapters. There is not a lot of "fluff" added to enlarge the size of the book - the author gets right to the point.
As a previous reviewer stated, "I began moving to the next level almost immediately." If you buy just one T-SQL reference book, this should be it.
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am 4. April 2000
This is one of the best Transact SQL books out in the market. I am on the first chapter and Mr. Henderson is already talking about topics that other books have in Chapter 21 or not at all. For e.g., He writes why a where clause in a join may give incorrect resultset if you use the old join syntax. On the other hand this should not be the first book for a SQL newbie. S/he will probably not be able to follow. I mean if you don't know what a join is you would not gain from reading about the nuances. The author points out in the preface that it was his goal to not use filler material and he has succeded in that. This book has a very high density of good information and requires and repays careful rereading. I would highly recommend this book. It will also help to have Chris Date's Guide to SQL Standard handy to complement.
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