Free Programming Books

8 Excellent Free Books to Learn SQL

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.


1. Practical PostgreSQL by Joshua D. Drake, John C. Worsley

Practical PostgreSQLPractical 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 on user management, database maintenance, and backup & recovery. With Practical PostgreSQL, the reader will discover quickly why this open source database is a great open source alternative to proprietary products from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.

Chapters cover:

  • 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 LXP.
  • PostgreSQL Command Reference.
  • Appendixes: Multibyte Encoding Types, Backend Options for Postgres, Binary COPY Format, and Internal pyql Variables.

This book may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later.

Read the book


2. Database design with UML and SQL, 4th edition by Alvaro Monge

 Database design with UML and SQLDatabase Design with UML and SQL covers basic UML & SQL, UML design, and SQL technique.

The book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The author is a professor of computing at California State University Long Beach.

Read the book


3. “Use The Index, Luke!” by Markus Winand

Use The Index LukeUse The Index, Luke is the free web-edition of SQL Performance Explained. This resource 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 product.

Starting with the basics of indexing and the WHERE clause, the book 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 index.
  • 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 and scalability.
  • 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 use indexes.
  • Partial Results – explains how to benefit from a “pipelined” execution if you don’t need the full result set.
  • Insert, Delete and Update.
  • Appendices: Execution Plans, Myth Directory, and Example Schema.

“Use The Index, Luke!” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Read the book


Next page: Page 2 – PostgreSQL Documentation and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Practical PostgreSQL and more books
Page 2 – PostgreSQL Documentation and more books
Page 3 – SQL for Web Nerds and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.