20. Strategies for Displaying Data

In this final chapter, we’ll return to the main theme of this book—namely, methods of retrieving data from relational databases. In the previous few chapters, we took a detour from data retrieval to the related topics of updating data, maintaining tables, and designing databases. Now we want to focus again on the role of SQL in retrieving data. More specifically, we’ll compare the capabilities of SQL to other reporting tools available to the end user and discuss strategies for employing the most appropriate tool for the job at hand.

In the broad business and corporate world, Microsoft Excel is the most widely available and pervasive reporting tool for the end user. One would be hard-pressed to find a business ...

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