- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing 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: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning Database Design: From Novice to Professional 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing Edition
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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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What it is not: Don't expect to learn much about any specific Database software. It won't teach you much SQL, Microsoft Access, or any other Database software. (There are some section that bring up certain areas of these topics and basic Database Querying is discussed, but it's far from being in depth.)
The majority of the book explains how a database can be designed so that it match the needs of most clients, and how to anticipate the future needs of a client. It discussions the relationships between data and how to maintain those relationships. It highlights common mistakes in database design that can add unintended limitations and shows alternate ways of designing the same databases to allow the data freedom to grow.
I purchased this book for two reasons. One is that I'm a firm believer in learning and mastering fundamentals. In my case, I do a lot of computer programming. I've learned that the most important part of any software is it's data. Another reason is that I was assigned a project at work that involved updating a database to meet a new requirement. (I don't find the fundamentals as terribly interesting to study (like most people), but their value is priceless).
Each chapter includes review questions at the end to put into practice what you learned. There is not any solutions given to help you know if you answered the questions correctly, but it helps to you go back and review some of the topics for better learning.
I detracted one star for the sake of the Kindle version of the book not being correctly formatted. The Kindle version identifies the Topic Headers as "Chapters" rather than having the Chapters as "Chapters". Kindle readers estimate how much time till I've completed reading a chapter, but throughout the entire book, it was estimating how much time until the next section. Rather annoying. (Not sure if this is the fault of Amazon or Apress).
Despite that, I can give my recommendation of the content of this book on this topic. Mastering these fundamentals will truly make you a "Professional" database designer.
** WARNING ** BUY THE KINDLE VERSION!
Unfortunately, there's 1 major problem with this book: The publisher skimped on printing. The font is WAY too small (~8 point text), AND it's printed at a low-quality resolution using ink that is far too light (~80% grey ink, not solid black). The letters are too small and light to comfortably read without holding the book fairly close to your face, and the text looks like it was printed on a dot-matrix printer circa 1992. It's that bad. It really is a pity, because otherwise it's a great book. I was able to read it and learn a lot, but it was a big headache. If you have great eyes it might not bother you, but all buyers would be better off with the kindle version than this terrible print quality. I would give it 5 stars, but for that I ding it to 3 stars. It's a pity.
I would knock down my rating one start due to the print and page quality of the book. The pages feel cheap, if that makes sense. In addition the print quality is horrible. It actually feels a little gritty, as if there is print residue. For the price of the book I would have expected more professional printing.
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.