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Databases in Depth: The Relational Model for Practitioners

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    shows limitations of SQL implementations

    Hmm. Didn't look like an O'Reilly book, at first glance. No 19th century style woodcut on the cover. Seriously, though, Date presents what you might call a 'clarification' of a relational database usage. He takes issue with current SQL implementations. But to gain from this book, you need proficiency in SQL and some understanding of relational databases. Not for the tyro. If you also hail from a pure maths background, that will aid in understanding. He revisits the basic concepts of relational databases; injecting considerable rigour into defining these. Perhaps most importantly, he shows why nulls are very bad in a table. Relational theory is built on Boolean logic, but nulls force a ternary logic that can screw everything up. And duplicate tuples (rows) are almost as bad. The fact that all current SQL implementations routinely permit nulls and duplicates shows their limitations. Rather unsettling, if you thought that db2 or Oracle were the last words in this field.

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