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SQL Cookbook: Learn Advanced SQL Techniques and Features with Anthony Molinaro


SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro: A Review




If you are looking for a comprehensive and practical guide to SQL, you might want to check out SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro. This book is not a beginner's introduction to SQL, but rather a collection of recipes and techniques for solving real-world problems with SQL. Whether you use Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or DB2, you will find something useful and relevant in this book.




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What is SQL Cookbook?




SQL Cookbook is a book written by Anthony Molinaro, an experienced SQL developer and data scientist. It was first published in 2005 by O'Reilly Media, and has been updated in 2020 with a second edition. The book contains over 200 recipes that cover various aspects of SQL, such as querying, manipulating, transforming, analyzing, and optimizing data. Each recipe consists of a problem statement, a solution using SQL code, and a discussion that explains how the solution works and provides additional tips and insights.


Who is Anthony Molinaro?




Anthony Molinaro is a data scientist at Johnson & Johnson. He has been working with SQL for over 20 years, and has used it to solve problems in various domains, such as manufacturing, finance, health care, and research. He holds a BA in Mathematics and an MA in Applied Mathematics & Statistics from CUNY Hunter College. He is also a member of the open science OHDSI community, which develops tools and methods for observational health data analytics.


What are the main features of SQL Cookbook?




Some of the main features of SQL Cookbook are:



  • It covers multiple flavors of SQL, including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and DB2. It also provides platform-specific notes and variations where applicable.



  • It focuses on advanced SQL techniques and features that go beyond the basic SELECT-FROM-WHERE syntax. For example, it covers window functions, common table expressions (CTEs), pivoting and unpivoting data, hierarchical queries, string manipulation, regular expressions, and more.



  • It provides practical solutions for common SQL problems that arise in different scenarios, such as data cleaning, validation, aggregation, calculation, formatting, reporting, warehousing, and analytics.



  • It explains the logic and reasoning behind each solution, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. It also offers best practices and tips for writing efficient and readable SQL code.



Why should you read SQL Cookbook?




If you already know the basics of SQL, but want to learn more about its expressive power and versatility, you should read SQL Cookbook. Here are some of the benefits you can get from reading this book:


Learn advanced SQL techniques and features




SQL is a deceptively simple language to learn, but it has many hidden gems and nuances that can make a big difference in your data work. SQL Cookbook will teach you how to use some of the most powerful and useful features of SQL, such as window functions, CTEs, pivoting, and more. These features can help you perform complex tasks and calculations with SQL inside the database, before pushing data across the network to your applications. You will also learn how to write SQL queries that are compatible with different SQL implementations, and how to leverage the database-specific features of each platform.


Solve common SQL problems with practical solutions




SQL Cookbook is not a theoretical or academic book, but a collection of real-world problems and solutions. You will find recipes that address common challenges and questions that SQL users face every day, such as how to find duplicates, how to rank rows, how to generate running totals and subtotals, how to create histograms and buckets, how to parse and format strings, how to handle dates and times, and more. You will also find recipes that demonstrate how to use SQL for data warehousing and analytics, such as how to create star schemas, how to perform ETL (extract, transform, load) operations, how to calculate descriptive statistics, how to create pivot tables and charts, and more.


Improve your SQL skills and productivity




By reading SQL Cookbook, you will not only learn new SQL techniques and features, but also improve your existing SQL skills and productivity. You will learn how to write SQL code that is clear, concise, and efficient. You will also learn how to avoid common pitfalls and errors that can cause performance issues or incorrect results. You will also get inspired by the creative and elegant solutions that Anthony Molinaro shares in his book. You will be able to apply the knowledge and skills you gain from this book to your own data projects and challenges.


How to get SQL Cookbook?




If you are interested in getting SQL Cookbook, you have two options: you can download the PDF version for free from the Internet Archive, or you can buy the print or ebook version from O'Reilly Media.


Download the PDF version for free




If you want to get a free copy of SQL Cookbook in PDF format, you can download it from the Internet Archive website. The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that provides free access to digital books, music, videos, and more. You can find the PDF version of SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro here: https://archive.org/details/sqlcookbook0000moli. You can either read it online or download it to your device.


Buy the print or ebook version from O'Reilly Media




If you prefer to get a physical copy of SQL Cookbook or an ebook version that you can read on your Kindle or other devices, you can buy it from O'Reilly Media. O'Reilly Media is a leading publisher of books and courses on technology, programming, data science, and more. You can find the print or ebook version of SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro here: https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/sql-cookbook/0596009763/. You can also get unlimited access to this book and thousands of other titles from O'Reilly Media by subscribing to their learning platform.


What are some of the topics covered in SQL Cookbook?




SQL Cookbook covers a wide range of topics and techniques related to SQL. Here are some examples of what you can learn from this book:


Window functions




Window functions are arguably one of the most significant enhancements to SQL in the past decade. They allow you to perform calculations over a set of rows that are related to the current row. For example, you can use window functions to rank rows, calculate moving averages, compute cumulative sums, find gaps and islands in data, and more. Window functions are supported by most modern SQL platforms, such as Oracle 11g+, SQL Server 2012+, MySQL 8+, PostgreSQL 8.4+, and DB2 9.7+. In SQL Cookbook, you will find recipes that show you how to use window functions for various purposes.


Pivoting and unpivoting data




Data warehousing and analytics




Data warehousing is the process of collecting, integrating, and organizing data from various sources for analytical purposes. Data analytics is the process of extracting insights and value from data using various methods and tools. SQL is a powerful and versatile language for data warehousing and analytics, as it can handle large volumes of data, perform complex calculations and transformations, and create reports and visualizations. In SQL Cookbook, you will find recipes that show you how to use SQL for data warehousing and analytics, such as how to create star schemas, how to perform ETL operations, how to calculate descriptive statistics, how to create pivot tables and charts, and more.


String manipulation and regular expressions




Strings are sequences of characters that represent text data. String manipulation is the process of modifying, extracting, or formatting strings using various functions and operators. Regular expressions are patterns that describe a set of strings that match certain criteria. Regular expressions can be used to perform advanced string manipulation tasks, such as validating input, finding and replacing text, splitting and joining strings, and more. In SQL Cookbook, you will find recipes that show you how to use SQL for string manipulation and regular expressions, such as how to parse and format dates, numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, and more.


Conclusion




In conclusion, SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about SQL and improve their data skills. The book covers a wide range of topics and techniques that can help you solve common and complex SQL problems with practical solutions. The book also explains the logic and reasoning behind each solution, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. The book is suitable for intermediate to advanced SQL users who have some familiarity with the basic syntax of SQL. Whether you use Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or DB2, you will find something useful and relevant in this book.


If you are interested in getting SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro, you can download the PDF version for free from the Internet Archive website: https://archive.org/details/sqlcookbook0000moli, or you can buy the print or ebook version from O'Reilly Media website: https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/sql-cookbook/0596009763/. You can also get unlimited access to this book and thousands of other titles from O'Reilly Media by subscribing to their learning platform.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for your time and attention.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about SQL Cookbook by Anthony Molinaro:



  • What is the difference between the first edition and the second edition of SQL Cookbook?



The second edition of SQL Cookbook has been updated with new recipes that reflect the widespread adoption of window functions and common table expressions (CTEs) in SQL implementations. It also has expanded solutions for working with numbers and strings. The second edition also covers MySQL 8+ and PostgreSQL 8.4+, which were not included in the first edition.


  • Is SQL Cookbook suitable for beginners?



SQL Cookbook is not a beginner's introduction to SQL, but rather a collection of recipes and techniques for solving real-world problems with SQL. It assumes that you have some familiarity with the basic syntax of SQL, such as SELECT-FROM-WHERE clauses. If you are new to SQL, you might want to start with a more introductory book or course before reading SQL Cookbook.


  • How can I practice the recipes in SQL Cookbook?



If you want to practice the recipes in SQL Cookbook, you will need access to a database system that supports SQL. You can either install a database system on your own computer or use an online service that provides a database environment. You will also need some sample data to work with. You can either use your own data or download some sample data sets from various sources on the internet. You can then run the SQL code from the book on your database system and see the results.


  • What are some other books or resources that are similar to SQL Cookbook?



If you like SQL Cookbook, you might also like some of these books or resources that are similar to it:


  • SQL Queries for Mere Mortals by John L. Viescas and Michael J. Hernandez. This book teaches you how to write effective and accurate SQL queries using a simple and logical method.



  • SQL Practice Problems by Sylvia Moestl Vasilik. This book provides you with 57 practice problems that test your SQL skills and help you prepare for interviews and exams.



  • SQLZOO. This is a website that offers interactive tutorials and exercises on SQL. You can learn and practice SQL using various database systems, such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and more.



  • How can I contact the author of SQL Cookbook?



If you want to contact the author of SQL Cookbook, Anthony Molinaro, you can reach him via his LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthony-molinaro-4b7b1a/. You can also follow him on Twitter: @AnthonyMolinaro.


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