SQL: A Comparative Survey by Hugh Darwen

sql-comparative-surveyThe author of the book wrote this book is a companion to my An Introduction to Relational Database Theory (reference [7]) and is intended to be read in parallel with that text, hereinafter referred to as “the theory book”. As I noted in the preface of that book, a university course on relational databases is typically divided into a theory component and an “industrial” component requiring the student to learn the basics of SQL. In that preface I also mention that in my own teaching I encourage students to “compare and contrast SQL with what they have learned in the theory part”. This book is my own attempt to compare and contrast it, piece by piece, with what I have taught in the theory book. The structure of the book closely parallels the first six chapters of the theory book, and the structure of each chapter is such that each section, example, and figure corresponds by number to its counterpart in the theory book. There are some gaps in the numbering. These arise when there is something in the theory book for which there is nothing relevant to discuss in the context of SQL. Conversely, I sometimes need several SQL examples in connection with a single example in the theory book, in which case I suffix the example numbers with a, b, c, and so on. In this book the readers will read Collection of variables, What is an SQL Database? “Table” not equal to “Relation”, Anatomy of a table, What is a DBMS? SQL is a database language,


What does an SQL DBMS do? Creating and destroying base tables, Taking note of integrity rules, Taking note of authorizations, Updating variables, Providing results of queries, Values, types, variables, operators, Anatomy of a commands, Important distinctions, A closer look at a read-only operator (+), Read-only operators in SQL, What is a Type? What is a Type used for? The Type of a table, Table literals, Types and representations, What is a variable? Updating a variable, Predicates and propositions, What is a predicate? Substitution and instantiation, How a table represents an extension, Deriving predicates from predicates, Relational Algebra, The Foundation, Relations and predicates, Relational operators and logical operators, JOIN and AND, Renaming columns, Projection and existential quantification, Restriction and AND, Extension and AND, UNION and OR, Seraidifference and NOT, Concluding remarks, Buidling on the foundation, Seraijoin and composition, Aggregate operators, Tables with in a table, Using aggregation on nested tables, Summarization in SQL, Grouping and ungrouping in SQL, Wrapping and unwrapping in SQL, Table comparison, Other operators on tables and rows, Constraints and updating, A closer look at constraints and consistency, Expressing constraint conditions, Useful shorthand for expressing some constraints, Updating tables and much more.

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