Bob McConnell wrote:
> From: PJ
>> First, let me thank you all for responding and offering suggestions. I
>> appreciate it and I am learning things.
>> However, it looks like my message is not getting across:
>> The problem is not to retrieve only the authors whose last names begin
>> with A:
> Actually, it appears you simply don't like the accurate answers you have
> been given.
First, let me say that I am pretty fresh to all this.
Second, I believe I can get the authors with several more queries as I
have done for listings of all the books and by categories, but I am
trying to limit the queries thinking that that will speed up the data
Third, I have tried the answers proposed and have not been able to make
them work up to now. Will continue... (it's a bit difficult at the
moment as I do not have my entire head about me - nasty cold)
Fourth, I don't see any reference to the book_author.ordinal which seems
important to me to determine the placement of the authors.
>> 1) which books have a second author?
>> 2) who is the second author ?
>> This is determined by table book_author column ordinal (which can be 1
>> or 2) - if there is only 1 author for a book then there is no ordinal
> 2
>> linked to book_author bookID and authID.
> There is no way to do that in a single select. You need to have at least
> two and possibly three queries to answer your question. First you get a
> list of authors where their name begins with 'A'. Then you use that
> result to select a list of all books with more than one author. Then you
> can use that result to select all authors for them.
I am a bit confused as to how to use the result in further queries.

And I don't understand what the difference is in using:
    LEFT JOIN book_author AS ba ON = ba.bookID
    LEFT JOIN author AS a ON ba.authID =
    WHERE LEFT(last_name, 1) = '$Auth' ";

instead of:
        FROM book b, book_author ba, author a
        WHERE = ba.bookID && = ba.authID && LEFT(a.last_name,
1) = '$Auth' ";

It seems simpler without the JOINs; but is there an advantage or is that
merely a personanl choice of several possibilities?

> Everyone has told you this requires processing beyond what SQL can
> provide. Why is that a problem?
It's not a problem. I'm just trying learn what can and cannot be done.
For instance, I could just put new columns in the db for author1 and
author2. But I suspect it might not be as efficient with a great many
books (like thousands).
> Bob McConnell

unheralded genius: "A clean desk is the sign of a dull mind. "
Phil Jourdan ---

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