The SQL Pocket Guide isn’t a mandatory book to have in your desk because you can always take a look at good documentation from a database vendor, but the more databases you need to code against it, the more you will appreciate having it close to quickly find the information you need to resume your work. That is, when you read this book, you skip a lot of specifics about each database engine to concentrate in the practical aspects of SQL programming.
For those who have a hard copy, the organization of the book will turn out to be very useful, since every section name matches common practices of SQL. Some sections, like the ones dedicated to SELECT, Pivoting, and Joins, shine for including a concise and clear description of the concept at hand. Other sections like those discussing regular expressions, window (olap) functions, date and time functions, and data type conversions, will well be worth the cost of the book, since they merge all the know-how’s required to use these (ubiquitous) features in a couple of pages.
I can’t conclude my review without mentioning that in the process of reading it I found a few minor errors, albeit that fact, I think the purpose of the author to fit a great amount of information regarding the five major database engines in a short guide, has been achieved.
I rate this book with four stars and I would recommend it to anyone working actively on SQL, especially if the domain of work involves more than one database vendor.
This review was not otherwise solicited or compensated from O’Reilly, and the opinions of the review are the opinion of its author. The electronic copy (PDF) on wich this review is based was provided for free as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program