Relational Theory for Computer Professionals


All of today’s mainstream database products support the SQL language, and relational theory is what SQL is supposed to be based on. But are those products truly relational? Sadly, the answer is no. This book shows you what a real relational product would be like, and how and why it would be so much better ...

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Relational Theory for Computer Professionals

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All of today’s mainstream database products support the SQL language, and relational theory is what SQL is supposed to be based on. But are those products truly relational? Sadly, the answer is no. This book shows you what a real relational product would be like, and how and why it would be so much better than what’s currently available.

With this unique book, you will:

  • Learn how to see database systems as programming systems
  • Get a careful, precise, and detailed definition of the relational model
  • Explore a detailed analysis of SQL from a relational point of view

There are literally hundreds of books on relational theory or the SQL language or both. But this one is different. First, nobody is more qualified than Chris Date to write such a book. He and Ted Codd, inventor of the relational model, were colleagues for many years, and Chris’s involvement with the technology goes back to the time of Codd’s first papers in 1969 and 1970. Second, most books try to use SQL as a vehicle for teaching relational theory, but this book deliberately takes the opposite approach. Its primary aim is to teach relational theory as such. Then it uses that theory as a vehicle for teaching SQL, showing in particular how that theory can help with the practical problem of using SQL correctly and productively.

Any computer professional who wants to understand what relational systems are all about can benefit from this book. No prior knowledge of databases is assumed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449369439
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Sales rank: 960,001
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Date has a stature in the database industry that’s unique. He enjoys a reputation that’s second to none for his ability to explain complex technical issues in a clear and understandable fashion. His previous books for O’Reilly include SQL and Relational Theory (2nd edition); Database Design and Relational Theory; and View Updating and Relational Theory. The present book serves as an introduction to those previous ones.

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Table of Contents

About the Author;
Who Should Read This Book;
Structure of the Book;
Chapter 1: Basic Database Concepts;
1.1 What’s a database?;
1.2 What’s a DBMS?;
1.3 What’s a relational DBMS?;
1.4 Database systems vs. programming systems;
1.5 Exercises;
1.6 Answers;
Chapter 2: Relations and Relvars;
2.1 Relations;
2.2 Relvars;
2.3 Exercises;
2.4 Answers;
Chapter 3: Keys, Foreign Keys, and Related Matters;
3.1 Integrity constraints;
3.2 Keys;
3.3 Foreign keys;
3.4 Relvar definitions;
3.5 Loading the database;
3.6 Database systems vs. programming systems bis;
3.7 Exercises;
3.8 Answers;
Chapter 4: Relational Operators I;
4.1 Codd’s original algebra;
4.2 Restrict;
4.3 Project;
4.4 Exercises I;
4.5 Answers I;
4.6 Union, intersection, and difference;
4.7 Rename;
4.8 Exercises II;
4.9 Answers II;
4.10 Join;
4.11 Relational comparisons;
4.12 Update operator expansions;
4.13 Exercises III;
4.14 Answers III;
Chapter 5: Relational Operators II;
5.3 Image relations;
5.4 Aggregation and summarization;
5.5 Exercises;
5.6 Answers;
Chapter 6: Constraints and Predicates;
6.1 Database constraints;
6.2 Relvar predicates;
6.3 Predicates vs. constraints;
6.4 Exercises;
6.5 Answers;
Chapter 7: The Relational Model;
7.1 The relational model defined;
7.2 Types;
7.3 The RELATION type generator;
7.4 Relation variables;
7.5 Relational assignment;
7.6 Relational operators;
7.7 Concluding remarks;
Transactions and Database Design;
Chapter 8: Transactions;
8.1 What’s a transaction?;
8.2 Recovery;
8.3 Concurrency;
8.4 Locking;
8.5 A remark on SQL;
8.6 Exercises;
8.7 Answers;
Chapter 9: Database Design;
9.1 Nonloss decomposition;
9.2 Functional dependencies;
9.3 Second normal form;
9.4 Third normal form;
9.5 Boyce/Codd normal form;
9.6 Concluding remarks;
9.7 Exercises;
9.8 Answers;
Chapter 10: SQL Tables;
10.1 A little history;
10.2 Basic concepts;
10.3 Properties of tables;
10.4 Table updates;
10.5 Equality comparisons;
10.6 Table definitions;
10.7 SQL systems vs. programming systems;
10.8 Exercises;
10.9 Answers;
Chapter 11: SQL Operators I;
11.1 Restrict;
11.2 Project;
11.3 Union, intersection, and difference;
11.4 Rename;
11.5 Exercises I;
11.6 Answers I;
11.7 Join;
11.8 Evaluating table expressions;
11.9 Table comparisons;
11.10 Displaying results;
11.11 Exercises II;
11.12 Answers II;
Chapter 12: SQL Operators II;
12.2 EXTEND;
12.3 Image relations;
12.4 Aggregation and summarization;
12.5 Exercises;
12.6 Answers;
Chapter 13: SQL Constraints;
13.1 Database constraints;
13.2 Type constraints;
13.3 Exercises;
13.4 Answers;
Chapter 14: SQL vs. the Relational Model;
14.1 Some generalities;
14.2 Some SQL departures from the relational model;
14.3 Exercises;
14.4 Answers;
A Tutorial D Grammar;
Set Theory;
What’s a set?;
Subsets and supersets;
Set operators;
Some identities;
The algebra of sets;
Cartesian product;
Concluding remarks;
Relational Calculus;
Sample queries;
Sample constraints;
A simplified grammar;
A Guide to Further Reading;
Papers by E. F. Codd;
Books by C. J. Date;
Books by C. J. Date and Hugh Darwen;
Other Publications Related to SQL;

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