The Language of SQL

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/27/2016
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

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The Language of SQL, Second Edition

Many SQL texts attempt to serve as an encyclopedic reference on SQL syntax -- an approach that is often counterproductive, because that information is readily available in online references published by the major database vendors. 

For SQL beginners, it’s more important for a book to focus on general concepts and to offer clear explanations and examples of what various SQL statements can accomplish. This is that book.

A number of features make The Language of SQL unique among introductory SQL books.

First, you will not be required to download software or sit with a computer as you read the text. The intent of this book is to provide examples of SQL usage that can be understood simply by reading.

Second, topics are organized in an intuitive and logical sequence. SQL keywords are introduced one at a time, allowing you to grow your understanding as you encounter new terms and concepts. 

Finally, this book covers the syntax of three widely used databases: Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle. Special “Database Differences” sidebars clearly show you any differences in syntax among these three databases, and instructions are included on how to obtain and install free versions of the databases. 

This is the only book you need to gain a quick working knowledge of SQL and relational databases.

Learn How To...
  • Use SQL to retrieve data from relational databases
  • Apply functions and calculations to data
  • Group and summarize data in a variety of useful ways
  • Use complex logic to retrieve only the data you need
  • Update data and create new tables
  • Design relational databases so that data retrieval is easy and intuitive
  • Use spreadsheets to transform your data into meaningful displays
  • Retrieve data from multiple tables via joins, subqueries, views, and set logic 
  • Create, modify, and execute stored procedures
  • Install Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or Oracle
Contents at a Glance

1  Relational Databases and SQL
2  Basic Data Retrieval
3  Calculated Fields and Aliases
4  Using Functions
5  Sorting Data
6  Selection Criteria
7  Boolean Logic
8  Conditional Logic
9  Summarizing Data
10 Subtotals and Crosstabs
11 Inner Joins
12 Outer Joins
13 Self Joins and Views
14 Subqueries
15 Set Logic
16 Stored Procedures and Parameters
17 Modifying Data
18 Maintaining Tables
19 Principles of Database Design
20 Strategies for Displaying Data

A Getting Started with Microsoft SQL Server
B Getting Started with MySQL
C Getting Started with Oracle

Author Biography

Larry Rockoff has been involved with SQL and business intelligence development for many years. His main area of interest is with using reporting tools to explore and analyze data in complex databases. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in Management Science. He currently works with data warehouse and reporting applications for a major retail pharmacy. Besides writing about SQL, he has also published books on Microsoft Access and Excel. He also maintains a website which features book reviews on technology topics, focusing on analytics and business intelligence, as well as broader issues regarding technology and society at www.larryrockoff.com

Table of Contents

The Language of SQL, 2nd Edition

   Topics and Features
   What’s New in the Second Edition
   Plan of the Book
   Companion Website

1. Relational Databases and SQL
   SQL Defined
   Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle
   Relational Databases
   Primary and Foreign Keys 
   NULL Values
   The Significance of SQL

2. Basic Data Retrieval
   A Simple SELECT
   Syntax Notes
   Specifying Columns 
   Column Names with Embedded Spaces
   Preview of the Full SELECT

3. Calculated Fields and Aliases
   Literal Values
   Arithmetic Calculations
   Concatenating Fields
   Column Aliases
   Table Aliases

4. Using Functions
   Functions Defined
   Character Functions
   Composite Functions
   Date/Time Functions
   Numeric Functions
   Conversion Functions

5. Sorting Data
   Sorting in Ascending Order
   Sorting in Descending Order
   Sorting by Multiple Columns
   Sorting by a Calculated Field
   Sort Sequences

6. Selection Criteria
   Applying Selection Criteria
   WHERE Clause Operators
   Limiting Rows
   Limiting Rows with a Sort
   Pattern Matching

7. Boolean Logic
   Complex Logical Conditions
   The AND Operator
   The OR Operator
   Using Parentheses
   Multiple Sets of Parentheses
   The NOT Operator
   The BETWEEN Operator
   The IN Operator
   Boolean Logic and NULL Values

8. Conditional Logic
   The CASE Expression
   The Simple Format
   The Searched Format
   Conditional Logic in ORDER BY Clauses
   Conditional Logic in WHERE Clauses

9. Summarizing Data
   Eliminating Duplicates
   Aggregate Functions
   The COUNT Function
   Grouping Data
   Multiple Columns and Sorting
   Selection Criteria on Aggregates
   Conditional Logic in GROUP BY Clauses
   Conditional Logic in HAVING Clauses
   Ranking Functions

10. Subtotals and Crosstabs
    Adding Subtotals with ROLLUP
    Adding Subtotals with CUBE
    Creating Crosstab Layouts

11. Inner Joins
    Joining Two Tables
    The Inner Join
    Table Order in Inner Joins
    Alternate Specification of Inner Joins
    Table Aliases Revisited

12. Outer Joins
    The Outer Join
    Left Joins
    Testing for NULL Values
    Right Joins
    Table Order in Outer Joins
    Full Joins
    Cross Joins

13. Self Joins and Views
    Self Joins
    Creating Views
    Referencing Views
    Benefits of Views
    Modifying and Deleting Views

14. Subqueries
    Types of Subqueries
    Using a Subquery as a Data Source
    Using a Subquery in Selection Criteria
    Correlated Subqueries
    The EXISTS Operator
    Using a Subquery as a Calculated Column
    Common Table Expressions

15. Set Logic
    Using the UNION Operator
    Distinct and Non-Distinct Unions
    Intersecting Queries

16. Stored Procedures and Parameters
    Creating Stored Procedures
    Parameters in Stored Procedures
    Executing Stored Procedures
    Modifying and Deleting Stored Procedures
    Functions Revisited

17. Modifying Data
    Modification Strategies
    Inserting Data
    Deleting Data
    Updating Data
    Correlated Subquery Updates

18. Maintaining Tables
    Data Definition Language
    Table Attributes
    Table Columns
    Primary Keys and Indexes
    Foreign Keys
    Creating Tables
    Creating Indexes

19. Principles of Database Design
    Goals of Normalization
    How to Normalize Data
    The Art of Database Design
    Alternatives to Normalization

20. Strategies for Displaying Data
    Crosstab Layouts Revisited
    Excel and External Data
    Excel Pivot Tables

A. Getting Started with Microsoft SQL Server
   Installing SQL Server 2014 Express
   Installing SQL Server 2014 Management Studio Express
   Using SQL Server 2014 Management Studio Express

B. Getting Started with MySQL
   Installing MySQL
   Using MySQL Workbench

C. Getting Started with Oracle
   Installing Oracle Database Express Edition
   Using Oracle Database Express Edition 

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