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This book's intended audience is developers with SQL experience and significant database components, and their managers. The object is to enable you to increase your ability to improve SQL performance. Although the cover says "/THEORY/IN/PRACTICE," I was disappointed that the practice did not include details for major RDBMSes - A few specific examples were given, usually Oracle.

The back cover describes how the author deals with SQL performance with an "Art of War" metaphor (Sun Tzu's well-known book). Often he does, but almost as often, the metaphor theme is inconsistent. What struck me is that this book does not (normally) use the typical grade 8 language you would find with most technical books, these days, but even that was a bit inconsistent at times. The use of higher level language was refreshing, on one hand, yet slowed my comprehension, on the other - I think I've been effectively dumbed down due to a lack of use of some of the language used! As much as I do not like "writing down," I also know that for what I write to reach more readers, it's something I have to do.

What I do like about the book, though, is that it is a gold mine of both general and specific techniques to help you deal with the bloat that SQL really is (IMHO). Back in my early days, it was necessary to understand the impact of what you did on the system and other users and other jobs. Today, you can use some very powerful languages (SQL among them), that trade a lot of that power for the performance you might actually need. This book will lead you through these considerations so that you may not have to call in an SQL tuning guru, because you've designed your database and application properly, to begin with. And if not, maybe you'll learn how to better deal with taking over a poorly designed database, application, or just some bad queries.

So, although I would have really appreciated seeing examples specific to (in my case) MySQL, there is enough presented that I can use directly, or know what to look for, elsewhere. I'm happy to have this on my bookshelf.

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