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Beginning Database Design: From Novice to Professional Paperback – November 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590597699 ISBN-10: 1590597699 Edition: 1st ed. 2007. Corr. 2nd printing 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. 2007. Corr. 2nd printing 2007 edition (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597699
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Clare Churcher is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Applied Computing at Lincoln University, New Zealand. She holds a degree in physics with first class honors and completed a Ph.D in physics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She has done postdoctoral research in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, England. Clare s research interests are in the management and visualization of data especially for scientific research. She has a background in database design, and has taught programming, analysis and design of information systems, and database management at undergraduate level, as well as software engineering and scientific visualization at post graduate level.

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Customer Reviews

I learn by reading so I picked up several of the top-rated books on the subject.
Bjorn D. Tyreus
The book is well-written and very organized, and the examples do a good job of illustrating the concepts.
K. Pate
I read this book and found it to be a very good foundation for a person to learn database theory.
A. Quintero

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 83 people found the following review helpful By MedIT VINE VOICE on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bottom line first: This is a fine book. If you use MS Access on your desktop to maintain a SOHO database this book is for you. If you have ever used MySQL or PostgreSQL on the command line or connected to a database from application code it will be much too basic.

Three stars because this book is not what I have come to expect from the Apress 'From Novice to Professional' series:
1) The book is written in a very 'chatty' style which results in a much lower information density than other titles in this series.
2) The book stops miles short of 'Professional'. At best, I'd say it lands the reader at competent, maybe dilettante, most likely charlatan.
3) The underlying technology is treated as an unfortunate complication from which the reader is insulated rather than the subject of the book.
4) The theory is illustrated through best-case examples rather than rigorously defined with boundary cases.

I'd say this book should be subtitled "For the Unwilling Accidental DBA" or published in the "For Dummies" series. It's a fine book and with either of those title it would likely end up in the correct hands.

A couple of other notes:
- The book deals almost exclusively with relational databases. Don't expect a mention of key-value stores or NoSQL (there is a chapter on using relational databases as OO databases).
- The book is not RDBMS specific; however, the author's figures, screenshots, and implementation examples are MS Access heavy.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Bjorn D. Tyreus on June 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
While having many years of object-oriented design and programming experience, until recently I had no experience in designing or implementing relational databases. I learn by reading so I picked up several of the top-rated books on the subject. I found Clare Churcher's book to be the best by far! There are two aspects of the book I found particularly attractive. First, it is short and to the point. You can read it in a day or two and learn enough of the essentials to get started on your first database design project, I did. Second, it clearly demonstrates the relationship between object-oriented data modeling and relational database design. The latter aspect made the concepts and examples particularly easy for me to understand and I suspect it will do the same for anyone else reading this book with an object-oriented programming background. Simply a great book!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. Pate on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book does a great job of explaining data modeling, including how it corresponds to tables in a database. The book is well-written and very organized, and the examples do a good job of illustrating the concepts. It's also mercifully short compared to other options.

It's appropriate for database beginners, and for experiences developers who are getting into database design for the first time. There's a section on how this all relates to OOP, with no focus on a specific language.

The examples apply to any database systems that support standard SQL including Access and MySQL. Note that the book does not cover Access and MySQL directly -- you'll need different resources for that. For MySQL, the tutorials on the MySQL site itself are a surprisingly good place to start.

This book tells you how to think about your database *before* you begin to develop it, which can be critical if you're designing anything even slightly complicated.

I'm developing a Ruby on Rails web app, and this book really helped me think through some issues that I had not considered until now.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Annuzzi on January 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been looking for a practical yet easy to read book on relational database design and I wish I had this book when I started to read up on the subject. This book is a pleasure to read, and the author is definately an expert in the domain. This book will act as a guide during your design decisions and will give you pointers on how to get the design right the first time, helping you avoid painful reworks and mistakes.

If you are new to the subject, and would like to learn more, or even if you are experienced, this book gets down to the basics of what it is you are trying to model, and teaches the steps you can take on how to do it.

The book is short, sweet, to the point, and will get you modeling databases right in no time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Filipuci Bruno on January 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that surely covers the basics everybody involved in database design needs to know.
A first chapter, named "What Can Go Wrong", somewhat short, is all about the shortcomings that will ensue from a poorly modeled database.
A summary of the development process, from problem statement to design then to implementation follows. Requirements and use cases are addressed right after.
Data Modeling is addressed in the next 6 chapters, with the support of sound and sensibly chosen practical examples. Usual database design topics such as Relationship Cardinalities, Specialization, Generalization, Normalization, Constraints, etc. are well explained in a very practical way. There is not much theory in there.
The Queries chapter is MS Access-oriented and, as such, does not give much insight on SQL constructs, although some are provided as examples. If your project requires serious SQL querying, you'll definitely need additional SQL book(s).
This book is clearly aimed at beginners and mainly intended for small and "simple" database designs, standalone MS Access applications. If you are new to database design, this is a very good book to start with, but if your database project requires more complex design, you'll definitely need to get additional reading digging deeper into Data Modeling and SQL.
The book is accessible, easily understandable and well illustrated. I've noticed no typing errors.
To get the most out of this book, I would recommend putting it into application in a small standalone MS Access database design of your own, and then only moving on to further reading.
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