Database Design for Mere Mortals : A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design / Edition 1

Database Design for Mere Mortals : A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design / Edition 1

4.5 4
by Michael J. Hernandez

ISBN-10: 0201694719

ISBN-13: 9780201694710

Pub. Date: 12/12/1996

Publisher: Addison Wesley Professional

Database design expert Michael J. Hernandez introduces the core concepts of design theory and method without the technical jargon. Database Design for Mere Mortals will provide any developer with a common-sense design methodology for developing databases that work.


Database design expert Michael J. Hernandez introduces the core concepts of design theory and method without the technical jargon. Database Design for Mere Mortals will provide any developer with a common-sense design methodology for developing databases that work.

Product Details

Addison Wesley Professional
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments.


1. What Is a Relational Database?
Types of Databases.
Early Database Models.
The Hierarchical Database Model.
The Network Database Model.

The Relational Database Model: A Brief History.
Relational Database Management Systems.

2. Design Objectives.
Why Should You Be Concerned with Database Design?
The Importance of Theory.
The Advantage of Learning Good Design Methodology.
The Importance of Understanding Database Design.

Objectives of Good Design.
Advantages of Good Design.
Database Design Methods.
Traditional Design Methods.
The Design Method Presented in This Book.

3. Terminology.
Why This Terminology Is Important.
Value-related Terms.

Structure-related Terms.

Relationship-related Terms.
Types of Relationships.
Types of Participation.
Degree of Participation.

Integrity-related Terms.
Data Integrity.


4. Conceptual Overview.
The Importance of Completing the Design Process.
Defining a Mission Statement and Mission Objectives.
Analyzing the Current Database.
Creating the Data Structures.
Determining and Establishing Table Relationships.
Determining and Defining Business Rules.
Determining and Establishing Views.
Reviewing Data Integrity.

5. Starting the Process.
Conducting Interviews.
The Case Study: Mike's Bikes.
Defining the Mission Statement.
The Well-written Mission Statement.
Composing a Mission Statement.
Case Study.

Defining the Mission Objectives.
Well-written Mission Objectives.
Composing Mission Objectives.
Case Study.

6. Analyzing the Current Database.
Getting to Know the Current Database.
Paper-based Databases.
Legacy Databases.

Conducting the Analysis.
Looking at How Data Is Collected.
Looking at How Information Is Presented.
Conducting Interviews.
Conducting User Interviews.
Reviewing Data Type and Usage.
Reviewing the Samples.
Reviewing Information Requirements.

Conducting Management Interviews.
Reviewing Current Information Requirements.
Reviewing Additional Information Requirements.
Reviewing Future Information Requirements.
Reviewing Overall Information Requirements.

Compiling a Complete List of Fields.
The Preliminary Field List.
The Calculated Field List.
Reviewing Both Lists with Users and Management.

Case Study.

7. Establishing Table Structures.
Defining the Preliminary Table List.
Determining Implied Subjects.
Using the List of Subjects.
Using the Mission Objectives.

Defining the Final Table List.
Refining the Table Names.
Indicating the Table Types.
Composing the Table Descriptions.

Associating Fields with Each Table.
Refining the Fields.
Improving the Field Names.
Using the Ideal Field to Resolve Anomalies.

Refining the Table Structures.
A Word about Redundant Data and Duplicate Fields.
Using the Ideal Table to Refine Table Structures.
Establishing Subset Tables.

Case Study.

8. Keys.
Why Keys Are Important.
Establishing Keys for Each Table.
Candidate Keys.
Primary Keys.
Table-Level Integrity.

Reviewing the Initial Table Structures.
Case Study.

9. Field Specifications.
Why Field Specifications Are Important.
Field-Level Integrity.
Anatomy of a Field Specification.
General Elements.
Physical Elements.
Logical Elements.
Specification Information.

Defining Field Specifications for Each Field in the Database.
Case Study.

10. Table Relationships.
Types of Relationships.
One-to-One Relationships.
One-to-Many Relationships.
Many-to-Many Relationships.

Identifying Existing Relationships.
Establishing Each Relationship.
One-to-One and One-to-Many Relationships.
Many-to-Many Relationships.
Reviewing the Structure of Each Table.
Refining All Foreign Keys.

Establishing Relationship Characteristics.
Establishing a Deletion Rule for Each Relationship.
Identifying the Type of Participation for Each Table.
Identifying the Degree of Participation for Each Table.
Verifying Table Relationships with Users and Management.

Relationship-Level Integrity.
Case Study.

11. Business Rules.
What Are Business Rules?
Types of Business Rules.
Categories of Business Rules.

Defining and Establishing Business Rules.
Working with Users and Management.
Defining and Establishing Field-Specific Business Rules.
Defining and Establishing Relationship-Specific Business Rules.

Validation Tables.
What Are Validation Tables?
Using Validation Tables to Support Business Rules.

Reviewing the Business Rule Specification Sheets.
Case Study.

What Are Views?
Anatomy of a View.
Data Views.
Aggregate Views.
Validation Views.

Determining and Establishing Views.
Working with Users and Management.
Establishing Views.
Reviewing the Documentation for Each View.

Case Study.

13. Reviewing Data Integrity.
Why You Should Review Data Integrity.
Reviewing and Refining Data Integrity.
At the Table Level.
At the Field Level.
At the Relationship Level.
At the Level of Business Rules.
At the Level of Views.

Assembling the Database Documentation.
Done at Last!
Case StudyÐWrap Up.


14. Bad Design - What Not To Do.
Flat-File Design.
Spreadsheet Design.
Dealing with the Spreadsheet View Mind-set.
Database Design Based on Database Software.
A Final Thought.

15. Bending or Breaking the Rules.
When May You Bend or Break the Rules?
Designing an Analytical Database.
Improving Processing Performance.

Documenting Your Actions.
In Closing.

Appendix A. Recommended Reading.
Appendix B. Sample Designs.
Appendix C. Diagram Symbols.
Appendix D. Documentation Forms.

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Database Design for Mere Mortals : A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book provides a clear platform independant approach to Database Design. I wasn't going to buy this book because of the 1996 publishing date, but decided to because of a review I read about it in a database tutorial I found on the web. I'm very glad I did. The design approach is as applicable now as it was in 1996. This book is very readable and easy to understand compared to other database design books I have read. While the other books are good, the technical language is hard to understand. 'Database Design for Mere Mortals' is written in plain english and has helped me to both understand database design and appreciate the technical books. Thank you Mr. Hernandez
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have a very basic background on DB but I work in a place where I'm constantly exposed to them. Wanting to learn more I asked around and many people suggested this book. I purchased and at first I thought it was very 'philosophical', but soon into Chapter 7 I realized that the preceeding pages were necessary to a full understanding of the 'real' stuff DB are made of. This book talks to you in plain English with examples that are really easy to follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You don't know anything about database design? No problem! I didn't and I picked this book up and suddendly I was a master of average level database desing. Now the fact that I'm a student studying computer science might give me an edge in this area, however if you don't know anything about computer programming this book gives you a good start too. Check it out if you get the chance. I'm sure there are better books out there but nothing as comprehensive to the wee lil' people like you and me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
NEED SOMETHING? come here if you need to find something? Come here!