Visual Developer SQL Database Programming with Java
Creating Fast, Efficient Database Applications for the Web
by Bill McCarthy

Visual Developer SQL Database Programming with Java
Bill McCarthy
Coriolis Group Books
512 pages, CD-ROM

SQL Database Programming with Java focuses on SQL, and how to use the JDBC in conjunction with databases. In 512 pages is explained what SQL is, what commands SQL has, how to set up your database, and most important of all how to use all this in your Java programs. The accompanying CD-ROM contains a trial version of Microsoft's Visual J++, all the examples presented in the book and a collection of shareware and freeware utilities to interact with your database. The presence of a trial version may indicate that all examples are written in J++, but you don't have to worry: all examples are written in 100% pure Java.
Bill McCarthy introduces the reader in the first two chapters to Java, Client-Server systems , relational database systems, and Microsoft Access. Access is used as an example database. This is very useful, because a lot of people have Access on their PCs and can go right ahead with the examples provided. Without the need of a big DBMS having installed. The third chapter introduces an example program for connecting to Access.
Chapters 4 to 7 explain the basic SQL commands, like SELECT statements. Also joining and grouping, and joins and unions are explained. The JDBC API makes its appearance in chapter 5. These chapter contain numerous examples that will help the reader in understanding.
Chapter 8 focuses on database design. It is a theoretical background on how to design a good database. Normalisation, choosing data types are a couple of the subject covered. In the next chapter the SQL commands to make a database, the SQL Data Definition Language, is explained. And after a database is set up, Bill McCarthy explains the SQL commands to populate your database with data. In chapter 11 more sophisticated SQL queries are explained.
As from chapter 12 the contents gets more advanced and this is were Microsoft Access isn't enough to run the examples by yourself. Chapter 12 focuses on views on your database, the next chapter addresses multi-user considerations, and finally the last chapter covers database security and recovery.
The three appendices contain quick references to SQL statement and functions, and Microsoft Access data types.

This is a very good book if you want to learn and use SQL in your Java programming. All relevant SQL commands are explained and the examples are very clear and useful. The focus is more on SQL than on JDBC. JDBC is just an instrument to execute the SQL commands. The fact that Microsoft Access is used as an database example in the first part of the book, makes experimenting with SQL quite useful, because not everybody has a full blown DBMS at their hands.

(Hubert A. Klein Ikkink)

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