- Series: Expert's Voice
- Hardcover: 379 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (June 19, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597451
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597453
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals (Expert's Voice) 1st ed. Edition
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From the reviews:
"It starts with the mathematical foundation of relational databases: concepts and their notation are introduced step-by-step, defined, and clearly explained. … this book is a very good introduction to the foundations of database design for an intermediate or advanced audience … ." (K. Balogh, ACM Computing Reviews, Vol. 49 (12), December, 2008)
About the Author
Lex de Haan studied applied mathematics at the University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands. His experience with Oracle goes back to the mid-1980s, version 4. He worked for Oracle Corporation from 1990 to 2004 in various education-related roles, ending up in Server Technologies (product development) as senior curriculum manager for the advanced database administration curriculum. In that role, he was involved in the development of Oracle9i and Oracle Database 10g. In March 2004, he decided to go independent and founded Natural Join B.V. (http://www.naturaljoin.nl). From 1999 until his passing in 2006, he was involved in the ISO SQL language standardization process, as a member of the Dutch national body. He was also one of the founding members of the OakTable network (http://www.oaktable.net).
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Top customer reviews
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Having said all of that, fast forward 2 weeks after reading this book. I'm working on a project where I discovered a database design we were using was inconsistent. Using my symbolic logic background from college I formally proved the inconsistencies of the design; and using knowledge from this book, redesigned the database--which ended up being simpler, smaller, and met the requirements for the project.
I can't praise this book and its concepts enough. By the way, the project I was working on uses MS SQL Server while the book uses Oracle (generically, and barely at all, since you're not learing about a DBMS, but about how to properly design a database using sound mathematical principles); I did not find this to be a problem, so don't let the fact that the author uses Oracle in his examples make you shy away from this book. It is applicable to ANY RDBMS. The examples mostly use trivial CRUD statements and some CHECK constraints and TRIGGERs here and there to help enforce data integrity.
This well written and well structured book takes the reader gently through rudimentary relations and sets in Part I, to the more complex database-related aspects in Part II, and finally culminating in Part III where the theoretical is applied to the practical - in this case through Oracle, but will equally apply to any of the major Database Management System (DBMS) vendors.
Although the reader is taken `gently' through the learning process, I believe that any experience in Formal System Specification would be a great help to the reader, similarly with any degree of knowledge of relations and sets. With no knowledge of either of these then the curve may not be so `gentle', but what can be assured, however, is that the exercises are well enough designed to bring the knowledge levels up appropriately as the book progresses.
Conversely, what probably isn't of great assistance is a high degree of proficiency with SQL, with its manifold attendant shortcomings and deficiencies. The difficulty here arises where the reader will tend to approach it logically from an SQL perspective (with the perhaps now instinctive mental workarounds), where this book approaches from a much more logically complete, theoretically sound, and neutral angle.
That said, however, there is much of value in this book for the seasoned SQL practitioner, if only to alert as to how incomplete the current DBMS offerings are, how this (potentially) compromises data integrity on several levels (tuple, table, database), how to avoid those same shortcomings, and on how to exploit the maximum declarative constraining from those same DBMSes in their current incarnations. For the not so seasoned, it will lay a solid, sound theoretical basis that will serve very well throughout a career with databases.
This book deconstructs all of what it is to be a database. This book is like a vivsection on the "brain" of an RDBMS (specifically, but not exclusively, Oracle).
Why this book succeeds is because it walks you, step-by-step, through the simple (yes simple) and well defined (yes, you don't really have to guess) logic that the database uses for EVERY request made of it.
It is a must-have for anyone serious about truly understanding why databases work the way they do. Have you sat in any of those meetings where people guessed or even voted on how they thought the database worked? It's so silly.
This book will not help you get certified with any database. Certifications are vendor specific and cover a lot more than the narrow focus of this book. So you'll be disappointed if you expect a broad database education.
The narrow focus of this book is laying out the internal rules of the database's "thought process." If you understand the power of that narrow focus, this book is for you. If not, keep it on your wish list and I'll bet you'll come back to it someday.
I have made this book mandatory reading for my Oracle and SQL Server DBA's (the only databases I currently have DBA's for).
While it is in no way a complete database education, I think no database education can be complete without it.