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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Databases Hardcover – March, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Sagebrush Education Resources (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613917901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613917902
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Databases brings the elements of a database together using easy to understand language, perfect for the true beginner. It not only gives specific hands on practice, but also provides an overview of designing, maintaining and using a database. This book covers what databases are used for, why databases are important, why the design of the database is important, database normalization, keys to solid database design, differences in types of databases, and indexeswhat they are, how we use them, and why they are important. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John V. Petersen is president and founder of Main Line Software, Inc., a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based software application and database design firm. MLSI development platforms include Visual FoxPro, Visual Basic, Access, SQL Server, and Microsoft's newest development platform Visual Studio .NET.

John earned an MBA from the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph's University in 1993. John is currently a 2L at the Rutgers University School of Law. John has presented at many industry events including Microsoft Developer Days and Microsoft Tech-Ed. John's writing projects have included Visual FoxPro 6 Enterprise Development and Hands-On Visual Basic 6 Web Development from Prima Publishing, ADO Jumpstart MSDN Whitepaper, and numerous feature articles on application development and database design issues. John has been an annual recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional award since 1996.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

It's also easy to read and very user-friendly, by the way.
J. Soper
That aside from everything else the book never states that Visio 2000 and Access 2000 are what are used, it is assumed.
"bustifur"
This book is great for people just beginning to learn about databases.
Robert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By cindy_uf on July 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had no experience with databases before I read this book. I didn't even understand the basic concepts. This book includes basic definitions, detailed database design, SQL statements, how to use Microsoft Access (creating tables, relationships, queries, forms and reports). If you have little or no experience with databases, you will definitely take advantage of this book. It's very easy to read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Soper on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This won't necessarily be a book you look at much once you've digested its contents. What it does is outline basic database concepts using Access in its examples. You can use the book to get a basic Access database started, but don't rely on it if you're looking to create databases. Get an Access or database design book if that's your primary goal - IF, that is, IF you can make heads or tails out of most of what those books are talking about.

What I love about the book is its dedication to simplicity: I looked all over the place for a book that outlined basic database concepts in an easy to understand manner, and found book after book that promised to be 0-60, and spent about, oh, 2 pages on the 0-10. Where's the core basics, guys? Answer: in this book. It'll getcha up to 10 MPH, and then you can move on to bigger and better stuff.

After reading this book (and I had it bookmarked twelve ways come Sunday for about two months), I am finally ready to consider those more advanced books. I'm not a dummy, but sometimes a simple book is needed to bridge the gap between being a novice and being experienced. This was the book for me, and I highly recommend it to anybody who needs more than 2 pages of core database theory explanation. It's also easy to read and very user-friendly, by the way.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lamb on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Now here is a book that really DOES live up to its title! Even for those of us who have built databases before, it contains surprises and would hold a worthy place on your shelf for review purposes if nothing else. As another review said, the additional info on the use of Visio is a nice touch. I personally had a few problems using it, but I was using Visio 2002 and Access 2002, and not version 2000, as the book used. This could have been the source of my problems, (that or an inability for me to follow instructions!) Either way though, the book really does have good, usable information under its covers, and is a worthy read for neophytes as well as the more experienced database mechanics and architects.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By UXF on November 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book aims to give a basic conceptual overview of databases and a specific introduction to Microsoft Access. It fails at both.

I found the conceptual overview incomprehensible, and I have read some pretty dense technical stuff and learned software from manuals. The author has a serious problem with definitions, explanations, and examples. His definitions are either inane ("A table represents a 'thing' about an organization." - basically not a definition at all) or unhelpful ("Database normalization can best be described as the process of organizing a database." - isn't everything in the book about the process of organizing a database?) or indecipherable ("The fourth normal form isolates independent multiple relationships, and the fifth normal form isolates semantically related multiple relationships." - because all "absolutely beginners" know what an independent multiple relationship or a semantically related multiple relationship is, right?).

It seems as if the author gives purposely useless definitions so that he can say, Let me explain by using an example instead. But he does not know how to explain from examples. His writing does not make clear what in the example is a universal principle and what is a specific illustration. One example moves to another without an idea of what the point of the example was. After reading and re-reading his chapter of database normalization, one of the basic conceptual principles, I had a deep urge to whip out my college writing instructor's red pen. If I did, the pages would bleed with comments like, How? Why? How does this relate to this? How does this sentence follow from the previous sentence? Unclear!

It doesn't help that the author has a lazy, annoying writing style filled with crutches like "The question is ...
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "bustifur" on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
The book does contain SOME good information. That is as far as I will go. Every review failed to mention that the diagrams require a magnifying glass to read. I would assume that every reviewer had 20/20 vision but I know my wife does and she needed a magnifying glass to read the diagrams as well. It is littered with errors. One such is on page 63 "Did you notice relationship 5 is marked with an asterisk". I would like to know where the asterisk is, magnifying glass or not on any page. The book and reviews fail to spell out you better have Visio 2000 and Access 2000 to follow along. That aside from everything else the book never states that Visio 2000 and Access 2000 are what are used, it is assumed. You know what they say about assume. For a begginers book and the lack of editing I give it a "D". For general information about databases I give it a "C". I would say better luck next time but I would not drop another dime on a book written by this author. I hope he makes a better Attorney than an author.
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