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Beginning SQL by John W. Colby, Paul Wilton

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Introduction

Data, data, data! Data is where it's at as far as computers go, whether processing millions of calculations or keeping a record of your Aunt Maude's birthday. When it comes to storing data, the database is the king. In almost eight years of professional programming, every single project I've worked on has involved databases somewhere along the line—that's how essential they are to most business applications and projects. Admittedly, some areas, such as computer games, don't make the same use of databases. My guess is that "Mega Doom 99: The Final Bloody Massacre" isn't running an Oracle database in the background!

However, I have a confession! Around 10 years ago, when I first started learning about databases, I initially found them very confusing. I'd been programming in my spare time for a few years and was used to using text files to store information. I decided to leap right in and start creating databases and writing SQL, and I got very confused and odd results. Databases, their design, and their underlying concepts are very different from storing data in simple files, and the Structured Query Language (SQL) used to access and manipulate data in databases is very different from any procedural language. One of my first aims with this book is to soften the blow of new concepts and ways of doing things. To that end, I explain all the underlying concepts and theory you'll need to get started with databases and in programming with SQL. How to get the answers you want ...

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