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Agile Database Techniques: Effective Strategies for the Agile Software Developer [Paperback]

Scott Ambler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2003 Wiley Application Development
  • Describes Agile Modeling Driven Design (AMDD) and Test-Driven Design (TDD) approaches, database refactoring, database encapsulation strategies, and tools that support evolutionary techniques
  • Agile software developers often use object and relational database (RDB) technology together and as a result must overcome the impedance mismatch
  • The author covers techniques for mapping objects to RDBs and for implementing concurrency control, referential integrity, shared business logic, security access control, reports, and XML
  • An agile foundation describes fundamental skills that all agile software developers require, particularly Agile DBAs
  • Includes object modeling, UML data modeling, data normalization, class normalization, and how to deal with legacy databases
  • Scott W. Ambler is author of Agile Modeling (0471202827), a contributing editor with Software Development (www.sdmagazine.com), and a featured speaker at software conferences worldwide


Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

"I wish I had a book like this eight years ago. You’ll want to be sure to have enough copies for both your development and database folks."
Jon Kern, Founding Member of the Agile Alliance

"You will find workable, real-world advice here."
Doug Barry, Author, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures and The Object Database Handbook

An agile database administrator (DBA) has the difficult task of focusing on data-oriented issues, including traditional database administration as well as any application development involving data. Agile DBAs also collaborate with enterprise professionals to ensure that the efforts of the project team reflect enterprise realities. Scott Ambler has written this invaluable book from the point of view of an agile DBA, enabling you to learn the techniques that agile DBAs use to work effectively on evolutionary (iterative and incremental) software projects.

With every chapter you’ll be introduced to essential facets of data-oriented activities such as:

  • The basics of object orientation, relational databases, data modeling, and how to deal with legacy data issues
  • Database refactoring, an evolutionary technique that enables you to improve your database design in small steps
  • Mapping objects to relational databases, performance tuning, database encapsulation, and supporting tools
  • Implementation techniques and strategies such as concurrency control, security access control, finding objects in relational databases, referential integrity, and the effective use of XML
  • Strategies and advice for individuals who want to become agile software developers and organizations that want to adopt agile techniques

About the Author

SCOTT AMBLER is president and a senior consultant of Ronin International (www.ronin-intl.com), a software services consulting firm that specializes in software process mentoring and object/component-based software architecture and development. He is a contributing editor for Software Development magazine and a columnist for Computing Canada. His personal Web site is www.ambysoft.com.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Since the early 1990s, I've been working with both object and relational database (RDB) technologies to build business applications, and since the mid-1990s I've done a fair bit of writing on the subject. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reconciles Relational and OO DB July 7 2004
By Mike Tarrani TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I fully agree with the other reviewers who have given detailed and glowing descriptions of this book and why it is an important work that addresses the real challenges of developing to a relational model in OO environments. Agile techniques are also interwoven into this book, but it is in overcoming the relational-OO challenges that I found this book to be most valuable.
The first part of the book, "Foundational Skills and Knowledge", covers the challenges and how to meet them with eight excellent chapters that truly give the foundational knowledge. The next part, "Evolutionary Database Development", is comprised of seven chapters that introduce Agile techniques as they relate to DB development. Among the two strongest chapters in this part of the book are the ones covering DB refactoring and mapping objects to relational databases. This material, to me, clarified a lot of issues I had before reading this book. Part 3 is more focused on development techniques, with excellent information about concurrency control, access controls and related topics. The final part of the book is specific to general Agile implementation. You need not embrace Agile methods to learn an enormous amount from this book.
If you want to know more about this book's contents you will find a great deal of information on the author's Agile Data web site (paste the ASIN, B0000A3527, into the search box at the top of this page, select All Products and click GO). I also recommend Clifton Nock's "Data Access Patterns: Database Interactions in Object-Oriented Applications" (ISBN 0131401572), which augments this book in many respects.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of dog-eared pages... Feb. 2 2004
Format:Paperback
"Agile Database Techniques" is aptly subtitled "Effective Strategies for the Agile Software Developer". Take special note of the word "strategies", because what you will not find within is pages of code and implementation details. This is not a bad thing as there is so much ground to cover that getting caught up in the low-level details of how to implement a particular strategy in language (add yours here) would have limited the scope of the book. Instead, what you will find is a detailed set of skills and development methodologies required by the developer who finds him or herself immersed in the details of modeling, implementing, and/or refactoring the database schema for their current application.
Should you buy this book? Well, try answering the following questions:
- Could you easily create a physical data model of your schema?
- Can you explain the difference between first and third normal form?
- What about first and third object normalization forms?
- Can you list the challenges in mapping an object model to a data model?
Did you answer honestly? Because these are just some of the items covered in Part One of the book and unless you said yes to all of the above, you will walk away with plenty of ideas for improving your development after a single reading. This is the core reason I would recommend this book. It is full of ideas that you might never have thought to include in your development practices, and probably some that you had thought about but were not sure what the best approach might be.
My complaint with "Agile Database Techniques" is that it could use another iteration.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good material, but too fragmented for my taste Jan. 23 2004
Format:Paperback
Agile Database Techniques is a brilliant book. Already after reading the first chapter I felt like I had been run over by a truck, wondering why I haven't paid more attention to these issues before. Yet, it also has its flaws which I will go into further down.
Ambler starts laying out the groundwork for the second part of the book by introducing his Agile Data method, UML and data modeling. He also gives a very useful jump-start tutorial on data and class normalization and discusses the infamous object-relational impedance mismatch. Worth noting is that in each chapter (throughout the book) Ambler makes sure that the reader understands how the subjects relate to the role of an agile DBA and what should he be looking out for. The subjects in part one were introduced so well that I more than once thought, "I've never seen such a well-balanced and informative tutorial."
The second part of the book focuses a bit on how evolutionary software development is the reality and how techniques such as Agile Model-Driven Development and TDD can assist in surviving in this climate. The chapter on database refactoring is intriguing and the more comprehensive list of database refactorings, found in the appendices, is something I'll definitely Xerox and keep with me in my traveling tool bag. The second part also covers database encapsulation strategies and approaches to mapping objects to relational databases which, again, is a delightfully comprehensive tutorial, as well as touching on the topic of performance tuning.
The third part is a seemingly random collection of subjects such as finding objects in a relational database, referential integrity, concurrency, security, reports and XML with databases.
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