- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596100124
- ISBN-13: 978-0596100124
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Database in Depth: Relational Theory for Practitioners 1st Edition
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"it's a manifesto for change written by someone who might make it happen." - Graham Morrison, Linux Format, October 2005
About the Author
C.J. Date has a stature that is unique within the database industry. C.J. is a prolific writer, and is well-known for his best-selling textbook: An Introduction to Database Systems (Addison Wesley). C.J. is an exceptionally clear-thinking writer who can lay out principles and theory in a way easily understood by his audience.
Top customer reviews
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Date advertises his other books heavily throughout this one - perhaps one of them has the kind of detail I was hoping for. And, perhaps that book won't use terms like Design Theory in ways so at odds with other established usages.
I find the editing poor in that the author very often states that some point is explained in later chapters or later in a given chapter. While this is fine once or twice, it quickly becomes tiresome and frustrating; to many forward references.
This book is not quite a theory book (light on the math side) but a book to be read nonetheless as it delves into matters seldom found in database books (at least the mainstream crop).
So, forget about this one if you were to buy his new book.
Speaking as someone who really enjoys abstract theoretical discussions of programming concepts, my only significant fault with the book was that occasionally Date's use of language was a little more informal than I would have liked; I would have liked a slightly more rigorous explanation of the links between the predicate calculus and set theory and the relational model, and could have used more mathematical notation. In addition, sometimes Date is... if not disingenuous, a little quick in glossing over the changes he has made to the relational model over the years (he and E. F. Codd, the originator of the relational model, diverged in their thinking a bit over the years).
One caveat: this book is not a cookbook or a how-to guide. It works from first principles outwards, and as such isn't exactly filled with immediately useful code snippets. In fact, as much as possible Date uses his own relational data language, Tutorial D, instead of SQL. He does have good reasons for disliking SQL as a pedagogical tool (or much of anything else), which he explains in depth throughout the text, but people who work best with directly applicable code they can pick up and apply to their own problems will find this book frustrating.
Overall, though, this is a quick, dense read and will do an amazing amount to clarify your thinking about how database systems work and what they ought to be.