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on January 23, 2006
I also am a reviewer of the book and an interested colleague. I've used this book since its first edition as my main reference on basic data modeling, and I have been happy to comment on its newer editions. This 4th edition improves on earlier ones by including the Unified Modeling Language (UML), my own first choice for a design language for data modeling. The chapter on the UML includes everything you need, but it keeps it as simple and straightforward as possible, making the material very accessible. The real contribution of the book is in the normalization chapter and in the excellent description and examples of n-ary relationships and the consequences of their multiplicities, a very-hard-to-understand corner of the data modeling world. The inclusion in this edition of material on OLAP and data warehousing is also welcome, though very limited in scope. Finally, moving the physical design material into a separate book makes this book much more cohesive and useful as a reference for data modeling.
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on January 21, 2006
I am one of the reviewers for this book, but have no connection to the authors, other than being an impressed colleague.

This is a well-written, solid book by knowledgeable authors. Based on my consulting experience, many applications fall flat because of missing or inferior database conceptualization and design -- the subject of this book. The authors clearly explain how to build a database in terms of Entity-Relationship modeling. So if you think you could benefit from some advice, I recommend that you consider Teorey et al's new book.
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on June 13, 2009
This book can be considered as having been structured in four distinct parts.

First part, the introductory one, is made of three chapters starting with the description of the Database Lifecycle, from Requirements Analysis to Physical Design. Then, follow the Entity-Relationship Modeling and the UML chapters in which the reader is presented ER constructs and basic UML notation used in the following chapters.

Second part is about the core of the book: Data Modeling. Requirements Analysis and Conceptual Modeling are addressed in chapter 4.
Next chapter is about transforming the Conceptual Data Model to SQL and contains a very useful set of figures that summarize how different relationship types, i.e. one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, are translated into sets of SQL table creation constructs, including primary and foreign key attributes. This chapter alone may be worth the price of this book.
Chapter 6 addresses Normalization. Expectedly, First, Second, Third and Boyce-Codd Normal Forms are explained here, without resorting to too much theory. Things are different, however, for the Fourth and Fifth Normal Forms, as a good understanding of MVD - Multivalued Dependency - and of related rules and axioms are needed to grasp what 4NF and 5NF really mean. These are the most theoretical 10 pages or so of this book.
In the last chapter of this part, there is "An example of Logical Database Design"; an insignificant chapter of a few pages long, based on a very simplistic implementation of the all-too-common "Retail Store" problem that barely translates into 8 SQL table creation construct sets.

Third part, chapter 8, is about Business Intelligence. It covers Data Warehousing, OLAP and Data Mining. It is unclear to me why the authors chose to spend - should I say waste - 40 pages on a 200 plus page book addressing OLAP-specific data modeling, that is in many aspects in opposition with OLTP-specific data modeling principles - denormalized vs. normalized tables, star schema vs. ER diagrams - that the authors addressed, developed and promoted in the first 145 pages of the book.

Fourth and last part addresses CASE Tools for Logical Database Design. Although useful and interesting, we have here 25 pages prone to quick obsolescence because somewhat product-specific.

This book does not address the handling of business rules and of time-dependent data, although common in real-life databases.

Overall, this is a nice to read introductory book, but certainly not your unique book if you expect to be able to perform serious database modeling. The statement on back cover "... get plenty to help you grow from a new database designer to an experienced designer developing industrial-sized systems" seems a bit presumptuous.

My suggestion to the authors: Drop chapter 8 and write another book on OLAP-specific data modeling; rewrite chapter 7 by referring to a more realistic and consistent case example; address handling of business rules and time-dependent data.
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on June 14, 2006
This book is now next to my desk as a reference text. It does a good job at explaining the basics of relational database models and how they fit into a modern business architecture. The authors obviously have a methodology that works for them and the chapters seem to be organized according to their methodology. They start with UML, analyze the model in UML for potential problems, then move into SQL, normalization at the SQL stage, and end with an example. It's nicely written and concise.

-Frank Cohen


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on September 2, 2009
I thought the early chapters had some good information, but it's information I can find in some other books that I've already read. Earlier editions of this book may have been there first chronologically, I don't know. I really have problems with Chapter 6 on Normalization: I think the main example (figure 6.2) is very non-intuitive (report_no isn't a primary key for the Report table--it seems to be a one-to-one relationship with editor, dept_no, dept_name, and dept_addr based on the small sample data). Additionally, the example repeatedly states that there is only one candidate key in this table. The data sample doesn't seem to bear that out. I also think it would have been better if the author had given an example of how a table might NOT meet the First Normal Form, rather than just starting with an example of a table that is. I think the definition of 2NF is imprecise, although the example and solution are correct. I think the whole topic (of Normalization) is covered much more clearly and realistically by Clare Churcher in "Beginning Database Design".
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on March 22, 2011
Excellent introductory book . In less than 300 pages the authors provide a good solid foundation on database modeling. The only sore point is the way OLAP and BI are presented, they are covered in very little detail to be useful.
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on March 18, 2007
This book is clear, concise, and to the point. The language is in such a way as to pack the maximum information into the minimum space and yet remain fully intelligible.

The techniques and methods described are top rate. If your desire is to not simply learn database design and implementation but to "understand" it, this is the book for you.
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on May 5, 2008
The authors have done an exceptional job of making the process of data modeling from requirements analysis to conceptual to logical very, very clear. Even their coverage of seeminingly simple concepts like nomenclature explanations and expecially UML were very helpful. The sections on transformation, 3NF, and BI (including data warehouse, OLAP adn mining) were clear, and a great "how to". Given the state of BPM, SOA and BPEL this is a must have reference for anyone who is responsible for enterprise information and data.
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on January 22, 2006
For those in Data Modeling, Data Architecture, and similar disciplines, I highly recommend this book ! An excellent discussion of database design and modeling, practices and techniques.
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