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How to Use This Book

SQL in a Nutshell, Second Edition, is primarily a command reference. As a consequence, you'll probably use it to look up a variety of SQL commands and functions. However, with documentation for the ANSI standard itself, plus five database platforms, each command has the potential to get very large.

In order to reduce the verbiage describing each command, we compare each platform's implementation to the SQL2003 standard. If the platform supports a clause described in the SQL2003 discussion, then we won't repeat that clause again.

Generic and transportable examples are provided within the body of each SQL2003 command description. Since the SQL2003 standard is ahead of most database platforms, examples aren't provided for elements of the SQL2003 commands that are not supported by any platform discussed in this book. In addition, more examples are provided for each database platform that highlight unique extensions and enhancements.

We recognize that our approach may necessitate jumping from a description of a platform's implementation of a command back to the corresponding SQL2003 command description. However, we felt that this was better than packing the book with hundreds of pages of redundant content.

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