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#3453246 - 08/12/14 09:15 AM Good SQL book for beginners?
Hokiefyd Online   content


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11973
Loc: North Carolina
I have long dabbled with light computer programming (Turbo Pascal, VB, C++), but gave that up in college. However, I have found many uses for database development at work, and have what I would call a moderate level of experience with Access. I can deconstruct a written SQL statement and modify it for my needs, but I'd be hard-pressed to write one from scratch.

I've lately been encouraged to move some of my database tables to SQL server. And I'd like to learn it. They are going to install SQL Server Management Studio on my machine later this week. I'd like to find a book that goes over SQL database design and management and some SQL programming as well.

The "xxx for Dummies" book series is highly popular, but I don't know if it's always the best resource. For you SQL people out there, please point me to a few resources (hopefully in hard copy, that I can purchase and use over time) that would be appropriate for an SQL beginner.
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#3453265 - 08/12/14 09:38 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: Hokiefyd]
lugNutz Offline


Registered: 05/19/13
Posts: 416
Loc: Somewhere in IL
I have not really read any SQL books, but I can lend you a hand in this. Check out this site: it-ebooks

Pick a few different ones relating to SQL and buy the one that you like - or don't if you want to be a thief, lol. I have often used this to find new resources when needed, until I found one that I liked.

I prefer to find books that are published by O'reilly Media. For some reason that have some good stuff! O'Reilly
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#3453305 - 08/12/14 10:19 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: Hokiefyd]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4923
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
It might be easier to buy a book written for the database system you'll be using. As someone who uses Oracle, MS and Sybase on a daily basis the differences in syntax between them are minor, but sometimes difficult for someone just getting started.

If you had to choose I'd go with MS sql since it's free for what you sound like you'll use it for. MySQL is as well, though we can't seem to get that past any auditing as it's open source.
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#3453322 - 08/12/14 10:36 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: Hokiefyd]
redhat Offline


Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 1129
Loc: Western New York
I bought a used SQL 2000 book on eBay. It has been a good learning tool for me. SQL is very powerful and IMO if you are proficient in it, a lot of doors are unlocked.
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#3453325 - 08/12/14 10:41 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: bepperb]
pandus13 Online   content


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 710
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: bepperb
It might be easier to buy a book written for the database system you'll be using. As someone who uses Oracle, MS and Sybase on a daily basis the differences in syntax between them are minor, but sometimes difficult for someone just getting started.

If you had to choose I'd go with MS sql since it's free for what you sound like you'll use it for. MySQL is as well, though we can't seem to get that past any auditing as it's open source.


OP, he is referring to the MS Sql BOL (Books Online) Help.
OP, please learn the difference between select * from <large amount of data with lots of columns table> and select column 1,2,3 from <same large table> where yadda-yadda.
could be difference between staring at the screen seconds instead of 2 days...
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#3453355 - 08/12/14 11:05 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: Hokiefyd]
rjundi Offline


Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 6630
Loc: USA
I never succeed much with books.

Google works for me mostly but I do have a basis from college(took C and Pascal on unix using vi as editor!):


http://www.w3schools.com/sql/

There are sites with live servers to play with too. Good luck. You can also use some decent tools to generate SQL and then learn from it too. They are not perfect but give you hint at least what to look up.
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#3453408 - 08/12/14 11:57 AM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: rjundi]
Hokiefyd Online   content


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11973
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Google works for me mostly but I do have a basis from college(took C and Pascal on unix using vi as editor!)


Mr. Google has taught me many things over the years, but what I feel that I miss from it are the foundational aspects. I Google for (and hit) all of the little 5- and 10-meter targets that I'm working on at that time. So I get bits and pieces of a greater concept, and I end up with code that achieves the mission, but without a mastery of the fundamentals behind it.

bepperb, sorry; yes, we use Microsoft SQL server here.
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#3453641 - 08/12/14 03:10 PM Re: Good SQL book for beginners? [Re: Hokiefyd]
oldoak2000 Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 19
Loc: tx
1. sign up here for free: http://www.sqlservercentral.com (be sure to checkout the FORUMS section)

2. buy any old book on sql server 7 (or sql8, or sql2000, or sql2005/08/12). the basics are the same

3. download sqlserverexpress with full tool set (free @ Microsoft.com) onto your home computer, and start playing with it.

4. Easily import some of your Access data into it, and start playing around with it; Once you figure the basics out w sql, you will Laugh at Access and wonder why you ever messed with such lousy junk.

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