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Keywords: Java, SQL, databases
Title: Java and SQL
Author: Malcolm Taylor
Publisher: Malcolm Taylor
Level: Introductory Java and SQL
Verdict: Introduces Java and SQL at the same time.
The Java and SQL combination is a fairly widespread development requirement, particularly in the enterprise application space, so it's surprising that there are relatively few books that combine the two topics. While many introductory Java titles will mention Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) to some extent, this is a book that looks in considerable detail are the SQL side of things as well as the Java side.
The first part of the book introduces Java and object oriented development. The author assumes no prior knowledge of either, and so starts from the beginning, including instructions on how to install Java and set up environment variables, how to compile a run a program etc. From this the author guides us through looping, conditional statements, arrays, regular expressions, encapsulation, polymorphism and other elements of object orientation. The material continues on through to a chapter that looks at collections, files and threads.
With that out of the way the book switches to databases with four chapters devoted to key database concepts, SQL, stored procedures and advanced querying. It's important to note that the database that is used for examples is Oracle, though much of the material is independent of database implementation, the are some topics, such as stored procedures which might be of less value to developers using other RDBMS systems.
The final couple of chapters knit the Java and database worlds together by looking at JDBC in some detail. This is really the topic where more material would have been a benefit. What's there is good, it's just that more on JDBC and the practicalities of interfacing Java and databases would probably be more useful to readers than some of the material that looks at the history of database development or the more abstract side of relational theory.
The book does cover some of the material to a good depth, particularly on the SQL side of things, the are also some points worth noting. Firstly the book does suffer from a lack of presentation - the same fonts and layouts are used throughout the text. Some variation in layout would have helped break up the text and made it easier to differentiate between sample code and explanatory text. Secondly the tone of the work is slightly on the dry side, at times this reads like an academic treatise or textbook (this is particularly the case in the chapter that introduces the relational model and other database concepts).
That said, for someone looking at a book that teaches both Java and SQL in one place then this certainly covers both.