Microsoft SQL Server 2008: T-SQL
Publication Date: October 22, 2008
Order the book at:
Barnes & Noble
- Oreilly (Ebook also
available) (use discount code MSINT,
This book walks you through your first steps in
T-SQL (also known as Transact-SQL), which is the Microsoft SQL Server dialect
of the standard ANSI-SQL language. You’ll learn the theory behind T-SQL
querying and programming, how to develop T-SQL code to query and modify
data, and get an overview of programmable objects.
Although this book is intended for beginners, it is
not merely a step-by-step book. It goes beyond the syntactical elements of
T-SQL and explains the logic behind the language and its elements.
Occasionally the book covers subjects that may be
considered advanced for readers who are new to T-SQL; therefore, those
sections are optional reading. If you already feel comfortable with the
material discussed in the book up to that point, you may want to tackle the
more advanced subjects; otherwise, feel free to skip those sections and
return to them after you’ve gained more experience. The text will indicate
when a section may be considered more advanced and is provided as optional
Many aspects of SQL are unique to the language, and
are very different from other programming languages. This book helps you
adopt the right state of mind and gain a true understanding of the language
elements. You learn how to think in terms of sets and follow good SQL
The book is not version-specific; it does, however,
cover language elements that were introduced in recent versions of SQL
Server, including SQL Server 2008. When I discuss language elements that
were introduced recently, I specify the version in which they were added.
To complement the learning experience, the book
provides exercises that enable you to practice what you’ve learned. The book
occasionally provides optional exercises that are more advanced. Those
exercises are intended for readers who feel very comfortable with the
material and want to challenge themselves with more difficult problems. The
optional exercises for advanced readers are labeled as such.
Who This Book Is For
This book is intended for T-SQL programmers, DBAs,
architects, analysts, and SQL Server power users who just started working
with SQL Server and need to write queries and develop code using
What This Book Is About
The book starts with both a theoretical background to
T-SQL querying and programming (Chapter 1) laying the foundations for the
rest of the book, and also coverage of creating tables and defining data
integrity. The book moves on to various aspects of querying and modifying
data (Chapters 2 through 8), then to a discussion of concurrency and
transactions (Chapter 9), and finally provides an overview of programmable
objects (Chapter 10). The following section lists the chapter titles along
with a short description:
Chapter 1, “Background to T-SQL Querying and
Programming,” provides a theoretical background about SQL, set theory, and
predicate logic; examines the relational model and more; describes SQL
Server’s architecture; and explains how to create tables and define data
Chapter 2, “Single-Table Queries,” covers various
aspects of querying a single table using the SELECT statement.
Chapter 3, “Joins,” covers querying multiple tables
using joins, including cross joins, inner joins, and outer joins.
Chapter 4, “Subqueries,” covers queries within
queries, otherwise known as subqueries.
Chapter 5, “Table Expressions,” covers derived
tables, CTEs, views, inline table-valued functions, and the APPLY operator.
Chapter 6, “Set Operations,” covers the set
operations UNION, INTERSECT, and EXCEPT.
Chapter 7, “Pivot, Unpivot, and Grouping Sets,”
covers data-rotation techniques and working with grouping sets.
Chapter 8, “Data Modification,” covers inserting,
updating, deleting, and merging data.
Chapter 9, “Transactions and Concurrency,” covers
concurrency of users that work with the same data simultaneously; it covers
concepts including transactions, locks, blocking, isolation levels, and
Chapter 10, “Overview of Programmable Objects,”
provides an overview to the T-SQL programming capabilities in SQL Server.
The book also provides an appendix, “Getting
Started,” to help you set up your environment, download the book’s source
code, install the sample database TSQLFundamentals2008, start writing code
against SQL Server, and learn how to get help by working with SQL Server