Programming languages, as you know, come and go. The flavour of the month at the moment is OO-programming, what will it be next? Who knows. But did you know that the de facto standard for talking to and creating databases hasn't changed since the early 70s? SQL was created all that time ago and it has been refined and standardized several times since its inception but it remains the way of choice of communicating with all databases, whether they are Oracle, SQL Server, MYSql, Access, etc.
With that in mind, those who work with relational databases need to understand how to interact with their data. Even those who use a tool that generates SQL for them, such as a reporting tool, may need to bypass the auto generated code and write their own SQL statements. Alan Beaulieu, the author of Learning SQL, believes that SQL can be fun, even exhilarating, and that taking a tricky data manipulation or reporting problem and solving it with a single, well written statement is a good thing to learn. So he decided to write a pain-free introduction to SQL for beginners, to gently guide readers to a proficiency in the language. And, I believe, he has done just that.
Don't you hate picking up a book to learn something and finding that the author is aiming the text at the experienced user rather than you, the novice? This book speaks to the novice and in an easy to understand and structured tutorial.
While this book is a tutorial on SQL it actually uses the MySQL database package. Which, in my opinion, is a great decision by the author, as MySQL is open source, meaning its free and available to anyone wanting to follow the tutorials in this book. You won't have to invest in any software to learn basic SQL skills. Great decision.
With topic headings like A Little Background, Creating and Populating a Database, Query Primer, Filtering, Querying Multiple Tables, Working with Sets, Data Generation, Conversion, and Manipulation, Subqueries, Joins Revisited, Conditional Logic, Transactions, Indexes and Constraints, ER Diagram for Example Database, MySQL Extensions to the SQL Language, Solutions to Exercises, Further Resources, you can see that even though it is a book aimed at beginners there isn't alot missing.
SQL may be an old language but its going to be around for a long time ... the author suggests that even as computers get faster and faster there is still a need to store and retrieve data in/from databases and SQL's future looks bright. This is a nice book and, for me at least, a keeper.