- Paperback: 611 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (March 13, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780201752847
- ISBN-13: 978-0201752847
- ASIN: 0201752840
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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Programmers and software architects don't really make a conscious decision to design an application (particularly one with online exposure) around the three-tier model-view-controller design pattern anymore. Three-tier, largely because of its adaptability and stability, is the norm. All of which means you need a database to underpin each of your applications. Designing your databases correctly can make the difference between slow-running, complicated code and software that's speedy, modular, and easy to work with. Database Design for Mere Mortals prepares someone with only a passing familiarity with databases for the important job of building the persistence layer (also called the data model) for software.
Michael Hernandez explains database design in tradesman's terms. That is, he shows his readers how to identify the business problems that have to be satisfied by a database, then proceeds to explain how to build a solid solution to them. Hernandez's approach combines procedural guidelines (first identify critical facts, then apply a certain logic to yield tables, then establish cross-references, and so on) with practical definitions that clear up much of the rich trove of jargon surrounding databases. He walks through numerous examples, and doesn't shy away from the complexities that always exist in real customers' requirements. If you're not familiar with database design, and want to be, this is the book you need. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to design databases that fit business requirements and make software construction easier. In addition to explaining relational database concepts, the author explains data integrity, null values, keys, table relationships (one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many), and data types. He emphasizes processes designers should follow in building a new database or improving an existing one.
From the Back Cover
“This book takes the somewhat daunting process of database design and breaks it into completely manageable and understandable components. Mike’s approach whilst simple is completely professional, and I can recommend this book to any novice database designer.”—Sandra Barker, Lecturer, University of South Australia, Australia
“Databases are a critical infrastructure technology for information systems and today’s business. Mike Hernandez has written a literate explanation of database technology—a topic that is intricate and often obscure. If you design databases yourself, this book will educate you about pitfalls and show you what to do. If you purchase products that use a database, the book explains the technology so that you can understand what the vendor is doing and assess their products better.”—Michael Blaha, consultant and trainer, author of A Manager’s Guide to Database Technology
“If you told me that Mike Hernandez could improve on the first edition of Database Design for Mere Mortals I wouldn’t have believed you, but he did! The second edition is packed with more real-world examples, detailed explanations, and even includes database-design tools on the CD-ROM! This is a must-read for anyone who is even remotely interested in relational database design, from the individual who is called upon occasionally to create a useful tool at work, to the seasoned professional who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Simply put, if you want to do it right, read this book!”—Matt Greer, Process Control Development, The Dow Chemical Company
“Mike’s approach to database design is totally common-sense based, yet he’s adhered to all the rules of good relational database design. I use Mike’s books in my starter database-design class, and I recommend his books to anyone who’s interested in learning how to design databases or how to write SQL queries.”—Michelle Poolet, President, MVDS, Inc.
“Slapping together sophisticated applications with poorly designed data will hurt you just as much now as when Mike wrote his first edition, perhaps even more. Whether you’re just getting started developing with data or are a seasoned pro; whether you've read Mike’s previous book or this is your first; whether you're happier letting someone else design your data or you love doing it yourself—this is the book for you. Mike’s ability to explain these concepts in a way that’s not only clear, but fun, continues to amaze me.”—From the Foreword by Ken Getz, MCW Technologies, coauthor ASP.NET Developer's JumpStart
“The first edition of Mike Hernandez’s book Database Design for Mere Mortals was one of the few books that survived the cut when I moved my office to smaller quarters. The second edition expands and improves on the original in so many ways. It is not only a good, clear read, but contains a remarkable quantity of clear, concise thinking on a very complex subject. It’s a must for anyone interested in the subject of database design.”—Malcolm C. Rubel, Performance Dynamics Associates
“Mike’s excellent guide to relational database design deserves a second edition. His book is an essential tool for fledgling Microsoft Access and other desktop database developers, as well as for client/server pros. I recommend it highly to all my readers.”—Roger Jennings, author of Special Edition Using Access 2002
“There are no silver bullets! Database technology has advanced dramatically, the newest crop of database servers perform operations faster than anyone could have imagined six years ago, but none of these technological advances will help fix a bad database design, or capture data that you forgot to include! Database Design for Mere Mortals™, Second Edition, helps you design your database right in the first place!”—Matt Nunn, Product Manager, SQL Server, Microsoft Corporation
“When my brother started his professional career as a developer, I gave him Mike’s book to help him understand database concepts and make real-world application of database technology. When I need a refresher on the finer points of database design, this is the book I pick up. I do not think that there is a better testimony to the value of a book than that it gets used. For this reason I have wholeheartedly recommended to my peers and students that they utilize this book in their day-to-day development tasks.”—Chris Kunicki, Senior Consultant, OfficeZealot.com
“Mike has always had an incredible knack for taking the most complex topics, breaking them down, and explaining them so that anyone can ‘get it.’ He has honed and polished his first very, very good edition and made it even better. If you're just starting out building database applications, this book is a must-read cover to cover. Expert designers will find Mike’s approach fresh and enlightening and a source of great material for training others.”—John Viescas, President, Viescas Consulting, Inc., author of Running Microsoft Access 2000 and coauthor of SQL Queries for Mere Mortals
“Whether you need to learn about relational database design in general, design a relational database, understand relational database terminology, or learn best practices for implementing a relational database, Database Design for Mere Mortals™, Second Edition, is an indispensable book that you’ll refer to often. With his many years of real-world experience designing relational databases, Michael shows you how to analyze and improve existing databases, implement keys, define table relationships and business rules, and create data views, resulting in data integrity, uniform access to data, and reduced data-entry errors.”—Paul Cornell, Site Editor, MSDN Office Developer Center
Sound database design can save hours of development time and ensure functionality and reliability. Database Design for Mere Mortals™, Second Edition, is a straightforward, platform-independent tutorial on the basic principles of relational database design. It provides a commonsense design methodology for developing databases that work.
Database design expert Michael J. Hernandez has expanded his best-selling first edition, maintaining its hands-on approach and accessibility while updating its coverage and including even more examples and illustrations.
This edition features a CD-ROM that includes diagrams of sample databases, as well as design guidelines, documentation forms, and examples of the database design process.
This book will give you the knowledge and tools you need to create efficient and effective relational databases.
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My only real criticisms are:
1. That he did not go enough into effectively indexing, applying primary/foreign keys, and applying constraints.
2. There was not enough discussion of the various "normalized" forms, when they should be used, and so forth. This is covered in a "flyover" manner that makes sense, but perhaps a more "in-depth" discussion of normalized forms is beyond the scope of the book.
I felt like I knew most of the information, but I didn't feel this book was a waste of money, as many of his "common sense" approaches I will utilize in my own DB designs in the future.
This book does not get into normalization or any details, which I liked.
This is a book for "mere mortals," just like it says. I'm a reasonably smart, reasonably well-educated person who had some computer experience, but didn't even really know what a relational database was. Through circumstances too odd to mention, I was given primary responsibility for designing a commercial web application.
I read this book cover to cover, and designed the database that became the core of the product. The product actually works, and seems to be selling. Later in the development cycle, I worked with a brilliant MIT-trained software engineer, and he found my basic db design just ducky.
I definitely owe Mr. Hernandez a beer. Figured writing this review was a reasonable substitute.
If you do decide to follow his advice, then be prepared for a very lengthy trip when designing your DBs. I tried on my first DB and found that the company I was designing the DB for started to get slightly irritated. This is because in this book Michael suggests you have a full blown manager and or user meeting with virtually every single change you make (also meetings for requirements, ideas, characteristic identification, user input meetings, manager meetings... oh look, a change happened, now we have to go through all of the same meetings again... and again... and... >yawn<... every other page in this book suggests another meeting). I must have had 25-30 meetings total, which just isn't necessary. Also, there is all sorts of spec sheets you should fill out for every single aspect of the database. I would probably just use a modeling tool (such as Visio) instead of going through this daunting task (I would have had to fill out over 300 spec sheets just for the fields!... it was a big DB)
Although his way of designing is probably the way you should really go, I found that designing a sound database doesn't require quite so much work. You can do most of the design process if you have a good modeling tool, which is what I ended up doing and my DB turned out quite well (you still should conduct meetings, but not for every single aspect of the database... your clients will begin to think you have no idea what you're doing). However, this book pounds the relational design in your head so much, that you can't help but get over the tough learning curve of how a relational database really should be designed.