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Review by David Haertzen
The Murach's latest book about SQL Server 2012 is your key to being an expert in this useful technology. This nearly 800 page book exceeds my expectations for books that teach database and software development. Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers is a current book - it supports the last SQL Server version - 2012.
This book could also be useful for learning SQL Server 2008. Just keep in mind that some new features described in the book, such as the THROW command are new for 2012.
First, Bryan Syverson and Joel Murach provide an overview of databases and SQL. This would be useful for the database beginner. Then they introduce the use of tools which is a practical way to start using the database. Instructions are provided to download no cost software versions to enable hands on experience. SQL Server 2012 Express Edition, a free version of SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server 2012 Management Studio Express, a free development environment are used as platforms for training. In addition, sample code and data are provided by Murach to support hands on learning.
Next the book teaches essential SQL skills. There are a number of skill levels for querying data, starting with querying a single table, the multiple tables followed by summary queries and subqueries. The chapter about subqueries is especially good and will help you to move from beginner to intermediate or advanced. Next, the book shows how to maintain SQL Server 2012 databases using the insert, update and delete statements. Use of data types and functions rounds out the basic SQL skills.
What if you need to perform DBA functions such as create a new database? The next section shows how to design a database. The emphasis is more on physical data modeling than conceptual and logical data modeling. Here you learn about creating and managing tables, indexes, auto incrementing keys and views. A chapter of this section shows how to manage security.
What if you need to develop software using SQL Server 2012? The book explains how to use SQL Server 2012 stored procedures, functions and triggers. This section will help you to gain database software development skills such as managing transactions and locking. A chapter about BLOBs teaches you how to use this feature to manage images and unstructured data - every more important in this highly visual world. Additional development topics including: XML, CLR, aggregate functions and user defined types.
In conclusion, Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers is an wonderful book for both learning and mastering SQL Server 2012 database technology.
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