Introduction to Database Systems / Edition 8by C.J. Date
Pub. Date: 08/05/2003
Readers will gain a strong working knowledge of the overall structure, concepts, and objectives of database systems and will become familiar with the
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Extremely useful reference for the relational model; the foundations and principles which are essential to properly understanding _why_ I should care about reading 'SQL in a nutshell' or 'Oracle for dummies'. I would recommend reading several varying introductions to relational theory first, in order to learn what the vocabulary is, learn what the crack-pot explanations are, and generally get a vague sense of the theory. ** In particular, if one is already familiar with SQL, one -- as an absolute prerequisite -- must gain a basic understanding of all the relational algebra operations. ** Some of the contained criticisms of OO techniques, although valid, are not generally valid against OO in general, in exactly the same way that its criticisms of sql and common databases are not valid against relational theory in general.
People looking for a cookbook approach or trying to get answers for questions like 'How can I do X in the SQL of product Y?', look further, or better contemplate on your real needs and questions. This book forms a firm, solid foundation for thinking about and working with data. I personally don't regard it as a mere 'Introduction', but as a reference guide on the Relational Model. When you leave the paradigm of SQL behind you, it's easy to follow. You get an understanding of what Database Systems are about and the formal language that makes reasoning about it understandable and less prone to misundertandings. You don't a mere syntax for creating tables. The only nasty thing about it, is that it leaves you with the question 'Why did the industry fail to implement the Relational Model in the decades since its conception?'. Figuring out an answer on a rainy Sunday morning is depressing. In that sence, Ignorance is Bliss, and don't read the book.