Revealing the Secrets to Coding SQL

"SQL Performance Tuning" will help the experienced SQL programmer make his or her code sing in terms of efficiency of code and optimization of data retrieval.

"SQL Performance Tuning" is a book that will take the database developer to the next level. This book will help the experienced SQL programmer make his or her code sing in terms of efficiency of code and optimization of data retrieval.

Peter Gulutzan and Trudy Pelzer do a wonderful job explaining the methods behind the madness of the most common SQL commands. They take the top eight SQL database products and compare each of them in terms of how they use standard commands. At the same time, the authors show you how to optimize your code and demonstrate the performance gains that you will see when the updated code is executed.

The top eight SQL database products covered in this publication are: IBMs DB2, IBMs Informix, Computer Associates Ingres, Borlands Interbase, Microsoft SQL Server, the open source MySQL, Oracle and Sybase. For each standard command on each platform, the authors not only show you how to tune your code to make it run more efficiently, they also explain in great detail why the new code works better. This is a wonderful addition as it helps the programmer to get behind the tools and better understand what is going on within them. With that understanding, the programmer will have the skills needed to fine-tune code for maximum efficiency in the future.

This book covers all the major commands within the SQL standard and also warns you of any anomalies within the specific tools to watch out for. The SELECT command, for example, is covered in great detail. And all the optional portions of the command like GROUP BY and ORDER BY are covered to show just how the SQL products are retrieving the information.

All the aspects of using a SQL tool are also covered very well. "SQL Performance Tuning", for example, provides definitions of tables and helps the reader understand the decisions that need to be made on the datatypes in the tables columns. In addition, the book shows how to best use indexes and how stored procedures are used. If a specific tool does not have a certain feature, you are informed of that as well. For example, the MySQL tool does not currently support stored procedures.

The authors also add a performance gain gage at the end of each discussion showing the reader just how much better the new code using recommended optimizations executes on each of the eight database platforms.

This book from Addison-Wesley will be very useful to any programmer who has a good understanding of how to use the SQL language and wants to produce code that runs as smoothly as possible. At its reasonable price, "SQL Performance Tuning" should be a useful addition to your library.

  • Title: SQL Performance Tuning
  • Authors: Peter Gulutzan
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley (
  • Length: 495 pages
  • Length: 44.95 pages

Peter MacIntyre is involved in custom software development, design and architecture. He lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Other reviews by Peter can be found at