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The Definitive Guide to SQLite by Michael…
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Review of "The Definitive Guide to SQLite", Second Edition by Erik Bachmann. 2010-12-22 http://clicketyclick.dk/databases/sqlite/2010-12-22_Review_of_-_The_Definitive_G...

Free, functional and well documented software in a single package is not to be sneezed at.

Normally I associate open source with some code that more or less can be used by qualified developers. Typically, some basic features that requires a re-coding prior to practical use.

The is NOT how SQLite works. It's at fully fledged relational database system, which distinguishes itself from most other open source RDBMS's by being very simple to use, well documented and very compact. That is indeed an art in itself.

The entire database system consists of a driver (or an executable application for Windows / Linux) and some APIs for various programming languages. It is plain simple to get started creating a SQL-base database without any hassle with file-, user or network sadminitration. The beauty is that all data and configuration resides in one file only. There is no external structure or configuration files to be bundled with the database.

There are several books on SQLite, but this is THE book on SQLite. There is a thorough description of the idea, history and principles underlying SQLite. The book is faithful to the database system. Many advantages are listed, but the shortcomings are certainly also explained in detail.

Especially the "Getting Started" chapter of the book, with the thorough description on how to obtain source code for SQLite and compile it for different platforms is perhaps the top. But no readers left behind in the process. Both rookies and the experienced developer can benefit from this book. The learning curve is not very steep, but there is much depth in the description of SQLite. More experienced users probably do well in just skimming the intro chapter on "how to define a relational database."

The book is not just SQLite, an also an excellent intro to RDBSM for beginners, with straightforward examples on creating a database and basic SQL. In this second edition the authors have unfortunately chosen to remove a general chapter on the relational data base fundamentals - and it is unfortunate choice. That chapter was a key argument for using the book as teaching material on databases in general.

The text it self is somewhat uneven and the syntax is not too good. Should we put the example / figure before or after the explanation. In this book, all possible variants tested. This causes some page flipping, when a longer example in descriptive text, only becomes evident when you meet SQL expression or table definition three pages further on. Nevertheless, this book rocks. It manages to simplify very complex matter without compromises.

If you don't like hard coding SQL - or you want a point-and-click application - this book is not of interest to you. SQLite is a relational database system for embedding in other applications. Interfacing the database is solely up to you. However - there is a section of links to various utilities and applications (including the point-and-click interfaces).

The book is highly recommendable for beginners on relational databases and SQL - even though the general chapter on relational databases have been removed. This is really "Bang for the buck". ( )
  ErikBachmann | Oct 11, 2012 |
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