This chapter introduces you to the fundamentals of the SELECT statement, focusing for now on queries against a single table. The chapter starts by describing logical query processing—namely, the series of logical phases involved in producing the correct result set of a particular SELECT query. The chapter then covers other aspects of single-table queries, including predicates and operators, CASE expressions, NULL marks, all-at-once operations, manipulating character data and date and time data, and querying metadata. Many of the code samples and exercises in this book use a sample database called TSQL2012. You can find the instructions for downloading and installing this sample database in the Appendix A.