6 of the Best Free SQL Books
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a specialized programming
language originally developed by IBM in the early 1970s. The language
is designed specifically for accessing and manipulating data held in a
relational database management system (RDBMS).
Almost all database management systems have a SQL
implementation. It is the most popular query language for database
administrators, as it provides good functionality, power, and
relative ease of use. It is widely used in
both industry and academia, often for large, complex databases.
SQL was standardized by the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) in 1986 and has undergone many revisions. The language
consists of a data definition language and a data manipulation
language. The language is divided into a number of elements: clauses,
expressions, predicates, queries, and statements.
SQL is one of the easiest languages to learn and
use. The focus of this article is to select some of the
finest SQL books which help database administrators quickly get up to
speed with this special-purpose programming language. All of the books
are available to download for free.
To cater for all tastes, we have chosen a good range of books.
All of the texts here come with our strongest recommendation. So get
reading (and downloading).
1. Practical PostgreSQL
Practical PostgreSQL is a comprehensive book that shows
the reader how to compile PostgreSQL from source, create a database,
and configure PostgreSQL to accept client-server connections. It also
covers the many advanced features, such as transactions, versioning,
replication, and referential integrity that enable developers and DBAs
to use PostgreSQL for serious business applications.
The thorough introduction to
PostgreSQL's PL/pgSQL programming language explains how you can use
this very useful but under-documented feature to develop stored
procedures and triggers. The book includes a complete command
reference, and database administrators will benefit from the chapters
user management, database maintenance, and backup & recovery.
With Practical PostgreSQL, the reader will discover quickly why this
source database is a great open source alternative to proprietary
products from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.
- Introduction and Installation
- Using PostgreSQL - cover understanding SQL, using SQL
with PostgreSQL, operators and functions, PostgreSQL clients (psql and
PgAccess), and advanced features
- Administrating PostgreSQL - authentication and
encryption, database management, user and group management
- Programming with PostgreSQL - PL/pgSQL, JDBC, and
- PostgreSQL Command Reference
- Appendixes: Multibyte Encoding Types, Backend Options
for Postgres, Binary COPY Format, and Internal pyql Variables
2. SQL Performance Explained
SQL Performance Explained helps developers to improve
database performance. The focus is on SQL; it covers all major SQL
databases without getting lost in the details of any one specific
Starting with the basics of indexing and the WHERE clause, SQL
Performance Explained guides developers through all parts of an SQL
statement and explains the pitfalls of object-relational mapping (ORM)
tools like Hibernate.
Topics covered include:
- Anatomy of an Index - the fundamental structure of an
- The Where Clause - explains all aspects of the where
clause, from very simple single column lookups to complex clauses for
ranges and special cases such as LIKE
- Performance and Scalability - looks at Performance
- The Join Operation - an explanation of how to use
indexes to perform a fast table join
- Clustering Data - the difference between selecting a
single column and all columns
- Sorting and Grouping - even order by and group by can
- Partial Results - explains how to benefit from a
"pipelined" execution if you donít need the full result set
- Insert, Delete and Update
- Appendices: Execution Plans, Myth Directory, and
3. A Primer on SQL
A Primer on SQL is a fairly short ebook teaching the basics of SQL. The
author assumes that the reader has no previous experience of SQL.
While the examples and text use Ingres as the database management
system, the code should work correctly on any SQL compliant database.
Since this text deals largely with
teaching SQL in a product independent manner, rather than the teaching
of Ingres per se, details with respect to installation and specific
operations of the product is kept to a minimum.
- An Introduction to SQL
- Getting your Database ready - covers the basic of
creating a database, inserting data, and writing a query
- a rule that you apply or abide by while doing SQL operations. This
chapter examines selective fields INSERT, primary key constraint,
unique key constraint, and the differences between a primary key and a
- Operations on Tables - drop tables, create new tables
from existing tables, modify tables, verifying the result in Ingres and
other database systems
- Writing Basic Queries - a query is a SQL statement
that is used to extract a subset of data from your database and
presents it in a readable format
- Manipulating Data - looks at the Data Manipulation
Language (DML) part of SQL which is used to make changes to the data
inside a relational database
- Organizing your Data - covers normalization,
atomicity, repeating groups, and splitting the table
- Doing more with Queries - more examples of how we can
modify SELECT statements; counting the records in a table, column
aliases, and using the LIKE operator
- Aggregation and Grouping - an aggregate function is
used to compute summarization information from a table or tables. Looks
at using DISTINCT with COUNT, using MIN to find minimum values,
grouping data with the GROUP BY clause of a SELECT query, and the
- Understanding Joins - a join operation allows you to
retrieve data from multiple tables in a single SELECT query
This material is licensed under the Open Publication
License, v1.0 or later.
Section: 6 of the Best Free SQL Books - Part 2
Last Updated Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 07:36 PM EST