Databases are capable of storing incredible volumes of data.  However, their true value is found when we learn to mine and manipulate that data.  Structured Query Language or SQL is the language of databases and is common – with some exceptions – to all of the major databases on the market today.

A custom front end is typical of most database solutions where we are immune from having to work with the raw data directly.  Unfortunately, the front end solutions typically provide “prepared” or “canned” reports with limited capabilities to tailor them.

SQL gives you the ability to unlock your data.  Customized queries can provide new insights into your data that would otherwise never be tapped.  Of the many books available to teach you SQL, SQL Queries For Mere Mortals – Third Edition is one of our top recommendations.

SQL Queries For Mere Mortals – Third Edition, John L. Viescas and Michael J. Hernandez.  760 pages.  ISBN-13:  978-0-321-99247-5 / ISBN-10:  0-321-99247-4.  Addison-Wesley

Tap into the power SQL to get the most out of your relational database.  SQL is not a difficult language to learn and you can become dangerously knowledgable in a matter of a few hours or even minutes.  On the other hand, to use it effectively requires more than a basic understanding of a handful of commands.

Learning how to use SQL to it’s greatest advantage begins with a solid foundation in SQL.  This book walks you through the evolution of SQL before commencing with any serious teaching of the language itself.  Numerous examples demonstrate how to use the skills discussed in the text and all of the examples and databases are available for download from the book’s website.  Five unique databases – Sales Orders, Entertainment Agency, School Scheduling, Bowling League, and Recipes – demonstrate the importance of understanding the underlying schema to formulate effective and efficient queries.


At 710 pages of chapter content alone, this book is for those who want an in depth guide to learn how to write effective SQL queries.  While the pace of the book may seem a little slow through the first 5 or 6 chapters, you will appreciate the foundation they set for the materials presented in chapter 7 and beyond where joins, unions, and subqueries are presented.  Of particular importance is the initial overview of database design.  You will quickly discover that a well designed database is essential for writing effective and efficient queries.
Become the wizard! SQL – you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.  You’ll also discover that SQL is more common than you may be aware of.

Leave a Reply

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