Title SQL In A Nutshell – Desktop Quick Reference
Author Kevin Kline (with Daniel Kline & Brandon Hunt)
Publisher O’Reilly

SQL In A Nutshell book cover

First thought I had when pulling this book out of the box: How do you write a review about a dictionary for SQL commands?  However, reading the first few pages of the preface (yes I read that part of a book), I found this book includes a little history and a little fundamental information on SQL commands.

Now let’s get this part over with: there is not much I don’t like about the book.

Now the next part: I do like this book.  Now, truthfully I did not read this book cover-to-cover.  It IS a reference book.  However, I did read the first 2 chapters of the book and would suggest unless you just know everything about ANSI standard on Structured Query Language released in 2003 (SQL3), you should read those chapters.  These chapters were full of information and history.  I actually liked the history and would of enjoyed learning that in the Database Management class I took in college.

Now I am only an administrator on the side of Microsoft SQL Server.  I do not do all that much with T-SQL coding (at least not right now).  If you are a developer and you want to succeed, you would do good to get this for your desk.  Just like the chameleon is best known for the ability to change their appearance to adapt to their physical environment, this book will help any data professional adapt to the RDMS they are supporting.  This book covers every major RDMS on the market right now: MySQL, Oracle 11g, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.  I only deal with Microsoft right now but it is handy to know how that one command would work in Oracle.  The vendor documentation can only help so much when checking the syntax of a command.  This book goes a little deeper in the explanation of what each parameter will do, which is what I like.