Author: James Huddleston et al
Publisher: Apress, 2007
Aimed at: Inexperienced .NET programmers
Pros: Plenty of examples
Cons: Short on explanation and motivation
Reviewed by: Mike James
Here I’m reviewing two books – the second is the companion title on C# 2005 (ISBN: 978-1590597774). Pick whichever suits your choice of language – they are essentially the same with the examples translated into C# or VB as stated in the title. Topics covered range from the elementary ideas needed to work with SQL, write queries, updates, work with tables and so on, through to the details of coding ADO .NET and LINQ. Although there are short sections that explain some of the basic ideas – such as normal form - most of the text is a set of examples one after another with little introduction or motivation. As a result the book is a strange cross between a step-by-step guide and a recipe-oriented approach. The big problem is that the explanations are very patchy at most of the time the author avoids anything deep or complicated. As a result if you already have a rough idea how things work then you will follow the examples and at least see the techniques in action. If you really are a complete beginner then I doubt you will find them so helpful and you will need rather more help with background and orientation than is supplied. In addition any guidance to best practice is notably absent and there is no advices as to when should you use LINQ, ADO, TSQL, stored procedures, and no indication about when SQL Express is appropriate and when is nothing but full SQL Server will do. If you already know what database is all about and looking for a book of simple examples then this might have some value. Overall, however, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is an uninspired and uninspiring attempt to present the use of SQL from two .NET languages.
<Reviewed in VSJ>