C.J. Date has a stature that is unique within the database industry. C.J. is a prolific writer, and is well-known for his best-selling textbook: An Introduction to Database Systems (Addison Wesley). C.J. is an exceptionally clear-thinking writer who can lay out principles and theory in a way easily understood by his audience.
Database Design and Relational Theory: Normal Forms and All That Jazzby C. J. Date
What makes this book different from others on database design? Many resources on design practice do little to explain the underlying theory, and books on design theory are aimed primarily at theoreticians. In this book, renowned expert Chris Date bridges the gap by introducing design theory in ways practitioners can understand—drawing on lessons learned over
What makes this book different from others on database design? Many resources on design practice do little to explain the underlying theory, and books on design theory are aimed primarily at theoreticians. In this book, renowned expert Chris Date bridges the gap by introducing design theory in ways practitioners can understand—drawing on lessons learned over four decades of experience to demonstrate why proper database design is so critical in the first place.
Every chapter includes a set of exercises that show how to apply the theoretical ideas in practice, provide additional information, or ask you to prove some simple theoretical result. If you’re a database professional familiar with the relational model, and have more than a passing interest in database design, this book is for you.
Questions this book answers include:
- Why is Heath’s Theorem so important?
- What is The Principle of Orthogonal Design?
- What makes some JDs reducible and others irreducible?
- Why does dependency preservation matter?
- Should data redundancy always be avoided? Can it be?
Databases often stay in production for decades, and careful design is critical for avoiding subtle errors and processing problems over time. If they’re badly designed, the negative impacts can be incredibly widespread. This gentle introduction shows you how to use important theoretical results to create good database designs.
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I found this book by a keyword search, not specifically looking for this book. I am very glad I took the gamble. The reading is very dense and dry. It may even be particularly challenging and maddening, but if you have patience to do many re-reads, this can be just the paradigm shift you need. The two big things that changed my views were: (a) do not allow nulls into your system, and (b) normalize. My first reaction was, "How do I handle the situation given to me in the real world? What is your proposal?" On the surface, he doesn't appear to offer alternatives, but you begin to see those better solutions the more you re-read and think about what is actually saying. The only downside is that he is advocating Tutorial D in seemingly every paragraph. He has his reasons (the main one that he's focusing on relational theory and not database products), but even so, it's noise that I filter out.