Steven Mandel

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This book is an update of an earlier version that was written for SQL Server 2000. It employs the Murach approach of dual pages that repeat and enhance the concepts being presented on each page. If you're new to SQL Server 2005 you'll gain a lot from this book. It has three goals: to teach T-SQL (Transact SQL), introduce you to the new .NET CLR integration, and introduce you to the new graphical user interface called SQL Server Management Studio that replaces the enterprise manager and query analyzer that were part of the SQL Server 2000 package of software tools. The authors do a really good job of covering the basics of this new interface. They also provide handy appendices to show you how to install the software required by this book as well as how to install the sample databases and files. If you've worked with T-SQL in SQL Server 2000, you'll see that few new ... (more)

Book Review: Murach’s SQL Server 2008 for Developers

Murach's SQL Server 2008 for Developers is an upgrade from an earlier version that was written for SQL Server 2005. It employs the Murach approach of dual pages that repeat and enhance the concepts being presented on each page. As the authors have done with previous releases of SQL Server, this book serves as a good review and as an introduction to the new features added to SQL Server 2008. In addition, because of the relative newness of SQL Server 2005, they also point out features that were added with that release as well. The book has 22 chapters that are divided into five sect... (more)

Book Review: Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# 2010

It's a daunting task to author a book of over 1000 pages and maintain the interest of the reader. Matthew MacDonald is able to do so for several reasons. He maintains a good sense of humor and he is not afraid to express his opinion about a topic. Two examples come to mind. The first example is during his mention of the creation of a new Microsoft framework for the Internet called "MVC." He states that "to some the MVC pattern is cleaner and more suited to the web, to others it's a whole lot of extra effort with no clear payoff." In regard to some of Microsoft's practices he stat... (more)

Book Review: The CSS3 Anthology

The CSS3 Anthology by Rachel Andrews is subtitled instant CSS answers, how-to's, and examples. This subtitle clearly explains the goal of this book. The book consists of nine chapters. The first chapter is a quick review of CSS. The other chapters cover major topics such as text styling, image design elements, navigation, tabular data, forms and user interfaces, CSS positioning basics and CSS for layout. The topics in each chapter are laid out in the form of a question followed by one or more solutions and then a discussion explaining why that solution was offered. Here is an exa... (more)

Book Review: Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers

Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers by Brian Syverson and Joel Murach is an introduction to SQL Server 2012 and to developing key T-SQL (Transaction SQL) skills to become a successful developer. T-SQL is the language used by SQL Server to communicate with SQL Server databases. This book continues the Murach philosophy of using twinned pages to enhance the learning experience by repeating and enhancing the information on the first page with information on the facing page. I like this approach as it helps to reinforce the concepts being presented. The book contains 23 chapters... (more)