Unlike many of the other "hacks" books this one has a logical structure and a whole heap of useful "how to" information. A useful resource for anyone with at least a basic knowledge of SQL looking for solutions to common and not so common SQL problems.
I haven't really taken to the "hacks' series of books since the majority of those that I have seen apppear to be a mish-mash of how to do all sorts of things that I thought were either really obvious or so obscure that I was left wondering why anyone would ever want to do them in the first place.
SQL hacks therefore came as a pleasant surprise. This is by far the best of the hacks books that I have read so far. This book doesn't waste time on trivial examples and it does cover all of the significant SQL based databases so that you wont be caught out when the one you are using works slightly differently from the others.
All of the "hacks" presented in this book are useful ideas on how to take your database programming to the next level. If you really want to make your programs as efficient as possible by getting the database engine/optimizer to do what it does best then you need to know the techniques covered in this book.
This book wont teach you Structured Query language and it isn't a reference to the language either but then it isn't intended to be. Instead the book is a collection of real world database problems and the best way to solve those problems by making use of the full capabilities of SQL.