A First Course in Database Systems (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Written by well-known computer scientists, this accessible and succinct introduction to database systems focuses on database design and use. It provides in-depth coverage of databases from the point of view of the database designer, user, and application programmer.The authors provide an overview of important programming systems (e.g., SQL, JDBC, PSM, CLI, PHP, XQuery, etc.) and the intellectual framework to put them into context. For software engineers, database engineers, and programmers.
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My biggest gripe, however, is the missing answers to practice problems. One of the ways that I best learn is by first attempting the problem, arriving at a solution, then checking my solution against the correct one. Would then work on more problems that are akin to the original problem. As the book becomes invariably more difficult this becomes a bigger problem.
Starting from Chapter 6 till chapter 10, it focuses on SQL. This portion seems to be an SQL reference manual rather than a college level course book. The SQL grammar and usage are explained very well. But the academic and practical discussions on the advantages, benefits of Views, Stored Procedures etc are missing. These topics I believe are very fundamental to the DB users. I end up reading other two books "Fundamentals of Database Systems" and "Introduction to database systems" to complement this book. Additionally, when discussing Index, the author does not explain the potential underlying structures for better usage of index. I understand that the author's complete book might contain details on indexing. However, simply from a DB user perspective, it will still be helpful to learn the basics of index internals as a first course on DB.
All in all, this book is a good introductory book though lacks some basic concepts and fundamental coverage. Based on the content and book price comparing with other DB books, I rank this book 3.5 star.
Content: I think for a first course, it could be a little clearer. The book implies too much knowledge of certain things, and the solutions are not even online for the third edition. It seems too varied in its goals.
I know this is a Database book, but it would be nice to include more review of relational algebra. Of course, if you're in graduated school, relational algebra is expected knowledge.
I recommend that you find it in a library first and read some sections and see if it works for you.
If I had the choice, I would not choose it at all.
I am using it for the English speaking group of computer science at our University, and so far (we have covered almost half of the book), everything is going rather well. Thank you Mr.Ullman.