SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code

“SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code” by C.J. Date is the successor and replacement to “Database in Depth”. The content is   partially rewritten and greatly extended, so that now this book is even more a book about “relational theory for practitioners” than its predecessor was and therefore has all requisites to open itself up to a wider audience. That however does not mean, that one can expect an easy read. Date goes very much into details. But this happens with such a precision in his expression and impressive clarity of argumentation, that allows the reader to follow his thoughts without neccessarily having a very strong theoretical backgroud.

It comes as no suprise that Date is concerned about the ANSI-SQL standard instead of any specific SQL dialect. But it is not difficult to understand the numerous examples, even if one is “only” proficient with SQL Server Transact-SQL dialect. The reader should not expect that Date will show him, how to write SQL code. The focus is more on pointing out where and how the predominating SQL databases differ from relational databases and how one can design and query SQL databases as far as possible in a relational way.

This book is not one of those book that one can (or should) read in one go. But it’s definitely worth reading anyway.


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