Welcome to another edition of Inside the Data Reading Room, a regular feature of the blog in which I review the latest and greatest database- and data-related books.
The first book up for review today is Microsoft Access 2013 Programming by Example with VBA, XML, and ASP by Julitta Korol (Mercury Learning and Information, ISBN 978-1-938549-80-9). Although I usually write more about enterprise database issues, Microsoft Access is fair game, especially since it is one of the more popular and widely-deployed DBMS packages out in the field.
This particular book is an updated edition of Korol’s popular Microsoft Access book (previous editions are available for Access 2003, 2007 and 2010). If you have one of the earlier editions and have moved along to Access 2013, it would be a wise move to get the latest edition of Korol’s book, too. And if you are just learning how to program using Microsoft Access, this is probably one of the best books to use to do so. The books assume that you have some familiarity with the Access user interface, but even for novice users the book is very straightforward and explanatory.
If you want to automate some of your day-to-day tasks in Access, this book can help. It introduces programming concepts using simple-to-follow, hands-on lessons. The exercises are thorough and well-written.
By following the explanations provided in this book, you can learn how to write and test code with the built-in Visual Basic Editor, use common VBA programming structures, code a message box, reprogram characteristics of a database, among many other useful explanations.
If you are looking for help building solutions with Data Access Objects (DAO) and ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), look no further — Korol offers up tactics and techniques to help you learn.
Overall, the material is presented systematically, with good examples, and helpful descriptions. I recommend this book to anybody looking to learn VBA with Microsoft Access.
The next book on our bookshelf today is Freemium Economics: Leveraging Analytics and User Segmentation to Drive Revenue by Eric Benjamin Seufert (Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 978-0-12-416690-5). Of course, the first question you may ask is what the heck is Freemium Economics? The best quick-and-dirty explanation is to start by thinking about those “free” games that are popular on smartphones and tablets. Many of them are free to download, but as you play, there are optional in-game purchases that make the gaming experience more fun and enriching. So you start with a free platform that has some value and then enrich the value with pay-to-play add-ons.
What does any of this have to do with data and databases? I’m getting to that! Seufert’s book provides extensive guidance on analyzing the data generated by a freemium product to boost retention and drive revenue. By collecting and deploying analytics on large amounts of data generated by users of the product, through all stages of development and usage, the author explains how you can optimize your implementation of the freemium model.
If you are interested in the freemium model, big data and analytics, or want to learn more about how data analytics can drive revenue, then give Freemium Economics a read.
The final book we’ll take a look at today is Learn SQL Server Administration in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones (Manning, ISBN 978-1-617-29213-2). This concise little book offers up an ideal way to tackle learning how to administer Microsoft SQL Server.
In short chapter, each designed to be read and worked through in about an hour, the author describes a specific area of SQL Server administration. By taking the time to read (and practice what you just read) during your lunch hour, you can learn the basics of Microsoft SQL Server database administration in just about a month.
Of course, you won’t have the valuable on-the-job experiences that make an ideal DBA (e.g. dealing with end users’ performance issues in real-time or recovering production data under less than ideal circumstances). But Jones’ book can get you moving toward becoming a SQL Server DBA…
And that concludes this edition of Inside the Data Reading Room. If any of these books sound interesting to you, consider clicking on the links above to order them from amazon.com… and be sure to tune in regularly to this blog for future database book reviews and other helpful data-related reading!