Hands-On SQL

Not for beginners, SQL Performance Tuning is an instant classic.

If you don't know much about SQL, SQL Performance Tuning isn't a starting point. Nor is it for someone pursuing a certification as a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA). This isn't surprising, as the authors Peter Gulutzan and Trudy Pelzer never intended this to be a "beginner's guide to SQL" or a "how to get Microsoft certified" book. Instead their goal was to pen a handbook of practical solutions for busy database professionals that would prove a valuable resource. They not only succeeded, but Gulutzan and Pelzer have created a certain classic. SQL Performance Tuning is an indispensable handbook for managing and tuning SQL across multiple platforms.

Packed with tips, techniques and best practices, this hands-on guide covers SQL commands and queries over a wide range of conditions and environments. Every facet of the SQL environment is covered, from concurrency control to optimization—and every issue in between. The book includes an overview of the most widely used database management systems (DBMS) and provides tuning tips for common, day-to-day situations.

The book is jam packed with an array of practical solutions that cover today's most popular and widely installed database environments, including IBM DB2, Informix, Ingres, InterBase, MySQL, Oracle, Sybase ASE and, of course, Microsoft SQL Server.

SQL Performance Tuning is suitable for both experts and beginners, although basic SQL knowledge is a prerequisite. You should also have a good understanding how SQL databases are used as back-end to n-tier applications. One thing to note: The authors did limit the scope of the book to how to tune ANSI/ISO SQL: 1999. But if you're strictly a SQL Server DBA or developer who only works with Transact-SQL—don't worry. Much of what you'll learn also applies to Transact-SQL. For administrators with databases that don't fully support ANSI SQL, the authors provide database-specific notes or pointers during their discussions.

Gulutzan and Pelzer also do a wonderful job explaining the methods behind the madness of the most common SQL commands. They also tackle—head on and in a light, informative manner—how to tune the actual SQL code itself. In fact, the authors show a SQL programmer making his or her programs hum in terms of code efficiency and optimization of data retrieval, providing plenty of example code. The authors also explain why the new code works better. This helps the programmer—by being shown "behind the tools" and by understanding what's going on within them—develop the skills needed to fine-tune code for maximum efficiency.

This book covers all the major commands within the SQL standard and warns you of anomalies within specific tools. The SELECT command, for example, is covered in great detail, as are the optional portions of the command, such as GROUP BY and ORDER BY, to show how the SQL products are retrieving the information.

SQL Performance Tuning also provides definitions of tables that help the reader understand the decisions that need to be made on the data types in the table columns. The book shows how to best use indexes and how stored procedures are utilized. If a specific tool doesn't have a certain feature, the reader is informed of that as well.

SQL Performance Tuning belongs on the bookshelf of every serious SQL developer and programmer. This isn't a book to read or flip through—it's an extremely well crafted guide to be savored and cherished.

About the Author

David W. Tschanz, Ph.D., MCSE, is author of the recent "Exchange Server 2007 Infrastructure Design: A Service-Oriented Approach" (Wiley, 2008), as well as co-author of "Mastering Microsoft SQL Server 2005" (Sybex, 2006). Tschanz is a regular contributor to Redmond magazine and operates a small IT consulting firm specializing in business-oriented infrastructure development.


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