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Sams Teach Yourself SQL™ in 10 Minutes
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Sams Teach Yourself SQL™ in 10 Minutes

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  683 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Offering a tutorial to the themes and techniques involved in applying the SQL language, this book includes coverage of versions of major commercial SQL platforms. It also covers MySQL, and PostgreSQL. It contains examples which have been tested against each SQL platform, with incompatibilities or platform distinctives called out and explained.
Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Sams (first published 1999)
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Keysh Jose That is a great point that you make, that there is a distinction between "writing SQL" and setting up your SQL Environment (and possibly a few other…moreThat is a great point that you make, that there is a distinction between "writing SQL" and setting up your SQL Environment (and possibly a few other areas of SQL depending on how you want to chop it up. This book is great for "writing SQL" and learning the language.
However, this assumes you have an environment setup already and its not good for that process nor for administering that environment and other "DBA" type things. Even for "writing SQL" this is great to learn at the beginning, but once you have mastered it, it is not that deep.
For a "deeper" book on writing SQL, it does depend on your Database (MySQL vs MS SQL vs Oracle vs PostGre, etc), and what you want to do. There is some great BI and Data Analysis books in general. I personally like anything by Murarch ( ), the "SQL Bible" is very comprehensive ( ), and the next level of Sams Teach Yourself with "Sams Teach Yourself SQL in One Hour a Day" ( ) are all really good. I have all of these and read all of them (no review yet), and probably enjoy and use the Sam's the most, followed by the Murarch book (depending on which DB). I would also recommend anything by Joe Celko for a deeper more advanced book ( ).
As far as getting things setup, like I said, this is does depend on the Database (Oracle vs MS SQL vs etc), and the computer you are setting it up on ( Apple, Linux, Windows 7, 8 , 10, etc.) and a few other things including preferences. I don't think there is any 1 good book on "how to setup your DB". Often the documentation from the company is fairly comprehensive and will go through several scenarios and there is often a few similar tech blogs that will have a post going through the steps, sometimes better than the company.
Oracle DOES have a printing company called Oracle Press, and they have some good books that will cover just about anything. I think they have one called "Oracle Database Install, Configure and Maintain Like a Pro" ( ). At a previous place we had a book shelf filled with the different "Oracle" books from Oracle Press over the past 20+ ish years. Everyone at that place said they like the books, but they stopped buying them about 7 years ago so they have no idea how they are now, but liked them back in the day. I don't think its a good comparison, but the "Dummies" series of books I heard had some good books on setting up Databases as well and cover many different variations.
I would try to stick with either the Oracle Press books, or a "for Dummies" book, OR do a web search and see if there is a tech blog that has what you are looking for and use that. Typically, for this purpose, I use the blog approach mostly because its a "one and done" situation and I personally know many of the details, so I don't need a book to explain in 500 pages what I can see 1 or 2 web pages.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chris Gould
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
First, the title is a misnomer - it is a series of 10 minute lessons. But you can't honestly pick up a book hoping to learn SQL in 10 minutes anyway, so it wasn't a surprise. Overall, this is a very good intro to SQL concepts. My biggest complaint is that working with SQL Server, PSE, and Pervasive today, there still seems to be some terminology that I am missing.

Bottom line, if you need a quick primer on SQL, definitely worth picking up.
Keith Davis
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
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Yes, I know the above script would not actually work.

This is a useful book, particularly as a quick reference for SQL. If you need something to keep handy for checking terms and query structure the 10 Minute guide would serve you well. Much easier than trying to look something up in one of the many larger more technical books on SQL.
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this book to brush up on SQL knowledge for my job. I think it was very helpful from a beginner's standpoint if you do not have a lot of background knowledge. The concepts towards the end of the book got a little confusing for me but I would recommend doing the hand's on practices while you read.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
*WARNING* The title implies this is an SQL for the complete beginner. It Certainly is not!

The book looks beautiful simplistic and the tone and language used is fairly easy to understand, it gets the core concepts across quite well and isn't overly busy.

However, all these positives are completely ruined by the fact I have no idea how to set up the template files and thus actually do any of the exercises.

A PDF file with setup instructions is included on the website, but it makes little to no sense
Keysh Jose
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone beginning to learn to write SQL
Recommended for ALL SQL beginners and a good mini/quick reference for those more advanced or intermediate or those that don't use SQL too much. I tell people this is THE book to read if/when they want to get into SQL, and all they need to read is the first 50-ish pages to know MOST of SQL and its a relatively small book overall that could fit in a pocket. This helps people as there are thousands of SQL books that are phonebook size and are intimidating when people just want to know something lik ...more
Nicole Gaudier
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

Trust me, you will want this book to JOIN your others.

I bought this work as I was finishing my class to get a better understanding of SQL.
Mission Accomplished! It guides you through different aspects of SQL, how to use it, and specific cflauses etc.
I've had a difficult semester & I wish i'd picked it up earlier as it would have prepared me to work on Microsoft Access for class. That said, I LOVE that it was one of very few books that when discussing Access, doesn't simply assume you'll use
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
Every 10 rows of this book I was sent to my "DBMS documentation".
It's not only redunant but also very annoying. Hey Ben, you told me once and I got you, thanks.
Anyway that book is not that bad but again - what I missed sometimes is the list of DBMS that do support (or not) feature you talking about.
Instead of reminding me to check my DBMS specs you could write something like "Do not use Oracle if you want that stuff to be supported".
And thus the reader of your book could have at least some idea
Paula Fernandez
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good place to start with learning SQL... But definitely only the very beginning of the topic, and not enough information here to do more than the most basic work. I'll need a more expansive course to really make progress.
Warren Green
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great refresher or first time intro
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my first sql book
Благовест Бошков
Неплохое пособие по SQL для начинающих.
Ventsislav Buhlev
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best SQL introduction in my opinion. Well chosen examples, structured in small self contained chapters.
Deborah J Miles
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Good tool for learning SQL but I preferred Sams Teach Yourself MySQL in 24 hours
Andrey Melchenko
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good book to refresh your knowledge
Todd N
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This book was recommended to me as a way to quickly brush up on SQL, and I’m glad I read it. I generally stay away from books with titles that end in “In 10 Minutes,” so I certainly wouldn’t have picked it up on my own.

Most of my recent SQL work was with an old version of MySQL (3.something), which lacked support for a bunch of useful features, so I needed a quick intro to those features as well.

The book is structured as twenty-two brief “lessons," each covering a topic like sorting, aggregating
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: data
This is the only book I've read dedicated exclusively to SQL, rather than general database concepts, using Access, etc. My goals reading this were: 1) to expand my understanding of relational databases; and, 2) to learn the basics of SQL in case I someday need to use a DBMS other than Access. After reading this book, I feel I have a much better understand of SQL, and I'm confident that, should I need to, I can learn to work with other DBMS's as well (given a little time for the learning curve, o ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you want to to learn SQL, this is a good place to start although it will take more than 10 minutes to go through the book. The title is misleading. My biggest problem with the book was that none of the Transactions commands/functions worked on my PostgreSQL database. Despite that, I thought the book was rather good. I used a PostgreSQL server to run through the examples but you would be better off using MS SQL or Oracle if you have access to that because some of commands (not including the Tr ...more
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: skimmed
For someone starting to learn SQL from scratch, this is a very helpful book. Very readable and clear. It contains 22 chapters that you can read in 10 minutes each. It naturally takes longer to actually practice the lessons. The book doesn't offer much help in installing a software package that uses SQL, i.e. a DBMS or database management system, so you'll need to rely on the DBMS documentation or online help for that part. Once you've overcome that hurdle, Sams Teach Yourself SQL is quite helpfu ...more
Tigran Berberyan
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really like this book. For people who are beginners to SQL coding, this book explains SQL concepts easily and provides plenty of examples on how to apply the concepts. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Basic SQL Programming or needs a refresher if he has not used it for a while. However, the only complain I have about this book is that the last lessons were very confusing and not as organized as the beginning ones.
Scott Howard
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Part of the excellent Sams Teach Yourself series of books, this methodically leads the reader through learning SQL in short, easily accomplished lessons that build competence and comfort with the technology slowly but steadily. Examples are clear and the formatting of the technical verbiage makes it easy to follow. Links to sample data and instructions help the reader set up a test environment for trying out the examples and experimenting.
Zach Freeman
Oct 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone learning SQL
I read this book about a year ago and then just read it again since I'm doing more complicated SQL work at my new job. I'd say it's really helpful for learning the basics of SQL, but you'll need a thicker book to really get into intermediate level SQL. But it's still a great reference to keep nearby for a quick reminder of simple things.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Really nice for giving you the basics or filling in the gaps. Obviously it's not comprehensive and I would say don't let this be the extent of your learning, but it does give the basics for general SQL in a very easy to read format. I took a Database class in college in 2013 but I still found myself saying "Ohhhh, so THAT'S what that is. Why didn't my prof just say that?"
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think this a great primer if you want to learn SQL. However, you have to keep practicing the concepts or you will forget them. This book exposes all the basic fundamental expressions and operations of SQL
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lengthy in sometimes unnessecary ways, but is fantastic from a beginner's standpoint as surely some of the concepts can be challenging without other programming knowledge. From a developer standpoint, this is a great quick intro into sql but is fairly useless past the first read.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: depends....
if youre looking to brush up on Structured Query Language, then yes, i would recommend this quick and easy read. if you dont know what SQL is and youre not interested in learning about SQL, then do not read this... it will bore you.
Tom Armstrong
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for beginners. This book makes concepts clear and easy to understand and should serve as a good reference going forward. It's a very basic look at SQL, so probably not appropriate for folks with SQL experience.
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical
It was pretty simple for the first pages but I soon was grateful for his simplistic overview of SQL as the material became more difficult. Great introduction into the SQL language and it was nice to know of the possibilities of how it can be used. It's going to make my programming much easier!
Carole Hayes
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book for beginners or people who need to brush up on the SQL skills. Had hands on exercises included, so it works well for visual and kinetic learners.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Good introduction to SQL and relational databases. SQL queries and code, but I find it a little too simple.
Oreilly is more thorough, I guess
Feb 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this for work with the goal of getting an overview of SQL. I need knowledge of that programming language because I foresee a change coming.
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Ben Forta is an author and Senior Technical Evangelist for Adobe Systems, particularly ColdFusion and Flex, and the owner of EmTek Systems. He previously worked in a similar capacity for Macromedia and Allaire Corporation, the two previous owners of ColdFusion.

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