- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 2, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201485559
- ISBN-13: 978-0201485554
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,679,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practical Issues in Database Management: A Reference for the Thinking Practitioner 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
"The aim of this book is to provide a correct and up-to-date understanding of--and appreciation for--the practical aspects of crucial, yet little-understood core database issues. It identifies and clarifies certain fundamental concepts, principles, and techniques that persistently trouble users and vendors. It assesses the treatment of those issues in SQL (both the standard and commercial implementations) and gives specific guidance and practical advice on how to deal with them (and how not to). It covers, carefully and thoroughly, several particularly tricky and misunderstood topics--complex data types, missing information, data hierarchies, quota queries, and so forth--in a succinct and concise form for the busy database practitioner."
--C. J. Date
Three decades ago relational technology put the database field on a sound, scientific foundation for the first time. But the database industry--vendors, users, experts, and the trade press--has essentially flouted its principles, focusing instead on a "cookbook," product-specific approach, devoid of conceptual understanding. The consequences have been costly: DBMS products, databases, development tools, and applications don't always perform up to expectation or potential, and they can encourage the wrong questions and provide the wrong answers.
Practical Issues in Database Management is an attempt to remedy this intractable and costly situation. Written for database designers, programmers, managers, and users, it addresses the core, commonly recurring issues and problems that practitioners--even the most experienced database professionals--seem to systematically misunderstand, namely:
- Unstructured data and complex data types
- Business rules and integrity enforcement
- Normalization and denormalization
- Entity subtypes and supertypes
- Data hierarchies and recursive queries
- Quota queries
- Missing information
About the Author
Fabian Pascal is an independent industry analyst, consultant, author, and lecturer specializing in database management. He is the author of two previous books, Understanding Relational Databases and SQL and Relational Basics, and has contributed extensively to many industry publications.
Top customer reviews
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My only complaint is that he regularly complains about the design of the SQL standard. For example "Due to numerous flaws in the design and implementation of SQL, the performance of SQL DBMS ... leads users to denormalize for performance". As a user I have say over my design, but little sway over the SQL standard or my particular software package. With regard to denormalizing, I think there is also a tendency to use flat tables in web page pages, so perhaps Pascal should go over developing tools to program relational tables easier with ASP pages. I would have also appreciated his thoughts on dimensional modeling used in data warehouses.
Some of the main points are as follows. Relational databases can support data types of arbitrary complexity ("objects") - but we need DBMS vendors to implement the means to provide such support. Use declarative integrity constraints when possible. Avoid tables that allow duplicate rows - ensure all tables have a primary key (may require a surrogate key). Avoid redundant data. Ensure your database is normalized - avoids numerous problems. Resist the temptation to denormalize. Recognise entity supertypes/subtypes and how to implement as tables. Minimize use of nulls whenever possible. Also discusses climbing trees and quota queries. Separate chapters discuss all these points in detail.
A constant theme throughout the book is how poorly SQL and commercial DBMSs support relational concepts, and the numerous problems this causes. Personally, I believe there is little that most application/database developers can do about this, other than suffer what gets "inflicted" upon us. Pascal urges us to pressurise DBMS vendors to provide better relational support.
This book is firmly of the view that "relational is right". If you agree, you will probably like this book. Most of the references are to C.J Date's writings. However, I suspect some people won't like this book - those who believe "relational is wrong" (e.g. some OODBMS proponents); and those who prefer a "cookbook approach" for their specific DBMS and don't really care about what the "right way" is. I suspect some people will think that Pascal should "live in the real world" rather than worrying about theory, yet this book argues that it is because of the failure to understand fundamental database concepts that leads to "real world" databases having the problems that they do.
Helps database professionals educate themselves in fundamental database concepts, and illustrates the correct way of doing things in relational databases. Well worth reading.
Most recent customer reviews
This book title should be "Understanding Relational Databases, once again"...Read more
This is the best data modeling book I have ever read.Read more