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Beginning Database Design Solutions [Paperback]

Rod Stephens

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Book Description

Nov. 10 2008 Wrox Programmer to Programmer
This book is intended for IT professionals and students who want to learn how to design, analyze, and understand databases. The material will benefit those who want a better high-level understanding of databases such as proposal managers, architects, project managers, and even customers. The material will also benefit those who will actually design, build, and work with databases such as database designers, database administrators, and programmers. In many projects, these roles overlap so the same person may be responsible for working on the proposal, managing part of the project, and designing and creating the database.

This book is aimed at IT professionals and students of all experience levels. It does not assume that you have any previous experience with databases or programs that use them. It doesn’t even assume that you have experience with computers. All you really need is a willingness and desire to learn.

This book explains database design. It tells how to plan a database’s structure so the database will be robust, resistant to errors, and flexible enough to accommodate a reasonable amount of future change. It explains how to discover database requirements, build data models to study data needs, and refine those models to improve the database’s effectiveness.

The book solidifies these concepts by working through a detailed example that designs a realistic database. Later chapters explain how to actually build databases using two common database products: Access 2007 and MySQL.

The book finishes by describing some of the topics you need to understand to keep a database running effectively such as database maintenance and security.

This book explains database design. It tells how to determine what should go in a database and how the database should be structured to give the best results.

To remain database neutral, the book does not assume you are using a particular database so you don’t need any particular software or hardware. To work through the Exercises, all you really need is a pencil and some paper. You are welcome to type solutions into your computer if you like but you may actually find working with pencil and paper easier than using a graphical design tool to draw pictures, at least until you are comfortable with database design and are ready to pick a computerized design tool.


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From the Back Cover

Beginning Database Design Solutions

Databases play a critical role in the business operations of most organizations; they're the central repository for critical information on products, customers, suppliers, sales, and a host of other essential information. It's no wonder that the majority of all business computing involves database applications.

With so much at stake, you'd expect most IT professionals would have a firm understanding of good database design. But in fact most learn through a painful process of trial and error, with predictably poor results.

This book provides readers with proven methods and tools for designing efficient, reliable, and secure databases. Author Rod Stephens explains how a database should be organized to ensure data integrity without sacrificing performance. He shares procedures for designing robust, flexible, and secure databases that provide a solid foundation for all of your database applications. The methods and techniques in this book can be applied to any database environment, including Oracle®, Microsoft Access®, SQL Server®, and MySQL®. You'll learn the basics of good database design and ultimately discover how to design a real-world database.?

What you will learn from this book

  • How to identify database requirements that meet users' needs

  • Ways to build data models using a variety of modeling techniques, including entity-relational models, user-interface models, and semantic object models

  • Tips for understanding the different types of databases, including relational databases, flat files, spreadsheets, XML and object databases

  • How to refine and tune the design to improve database performance

  • Techniques for understanding the relationship between good application design and database design

  • Methods for designing flexible and robust databases that can adapt to business change and growth

  • Ways to design for ease of maintenance and support

  • How to avoid common database design mistakes

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone interested in learning to design, build, analyze, and understand databases. No previous experience with databases or programs is required.

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The database design book for everyone Jan. 16 2009
By Leonard Ansin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Database Design Solutions, By Rod Stephens is a book that offers "expert practical experience" to assist the reader in creating a flexible and robust database even if this is your first database. A database properly designed from the start will prove rewarding and beneficial to the users. A poorly designed database, will lead to continuing headaches and frustration for the developer and most likely lost customers.

The book is clear, well written and appeals to the readers. It covers a lot of ground in different chapters. It guides you in developing business rules, explains what normalization is and gives an overview of different types of databases such as Access, SQL and My Sql. It will direct you how to start SQL statements and query constructions.

My feeling is of all the chapters in the book, the best are Chapter 4, Understanding User Needs, Chapter 7, Normalization, Chapter 9, Common Design Patterns and Chapter 10, Common Design Pitfalls. These were the most informative that appealed to me.

No matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced Database developer, this book is a must for you. It will give you the basics to start the development correctly and if you are experienced, it gives you the support to be sure your doing existing databases correctly.

This book is a must read for anyone doing database development.

By Leonard Ansin (Waltham, MA USA)
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Appreciative Feb. 18 2009
By DM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am the director (and sole employee) of a newly formed non-profit. I came to this book with little prior programming experience, and found it to be all I was looking for as far as designing a database to meet our foundation's needs. A real strength of the book is that the author walks you through a wealth of examples, and provides many more to think through on your own--all with answers in the back of the book. So it's almost guaranteed there will be something which matches or parallels what you are trying to do. I read the book straight through, and found the order in which the material was presented to be logical and very well thought out. I also appreciated the dry humor sprinkled throughout this book--I would often find myself perking up and smiling to myself through a subject which a lesser author could turn into tedium.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book I Wish I'd Had Jan. 5 2009
By Lawrence Landis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Several years ago, I was "volunteered" to design a database - without any previous database experience. I succeeded, and learned a great deal from all the mistakes I made. But I'd probably have had a lot more fun and certainly taken less time if I'd had Beginning Database Design Solutions as an aid and reference. Unlike many database books (indeed, far too many software books in general), it concentrates on designing first, instead of writing code before you know what the user really wants/needs. Chapters also cover creating a database in Microsoft Access and in MySQL, so you can see theory put into practice.

If you're new to databases, this is an excellent place to start. The conversational tone and many illustrations make for an enjoyable read to which you'll refer often. A particulary nice addition is a very handy glossary.

Since it includes exercises, it can be used for classroom instruction; however, solutions are included in an appendix, making it suitable for individual study as well.

Highly recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I built database for my project after reading this book Nov. 14 2009
By Raziq - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As i was participating in all India software development competition conducted by IBM for Students, i needed to built database for my project (Stock and Portfolio Management Solution) and luckily i found this book.

I completed reading this book in 10 days and took exactly 3 days to successfully design a workable database for my project.

I previously had Database Design subject in my 5th semester of CS Engineering ,but my real understanding about databases came after reading Mr.Rod Stephens book which is simple at its best.

Now with full confident i can mention in my resume that I'm capable of building and designing databases.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book on the subject and one of the best ever books writtent March 23 2012
By masterlayouts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow! I am amazed that such a great book got a bad review! Then I found out way: it comes from a profound misunderstanding. Pay attention to the title: this book it's about "database design" not about SQL. I am speechless in front of such ignorance. You cannot buy a book about the principle of internal medicine and think that you will become a doctor reading it. I assure you that your money is well spent on this book! All the examples are real world examples, what the reviewer want to say is that the book does not have the SQL code that creates the examples! He was not looking for principles, but for recipes and you have to agree with me that it's one thing to give you a fish and totally another thing to teach you to catch fishes.

This book it is about principles not about copy/paste sequence of code to create databases. If you learn these principles you will be in the position to create any real world database you want. This book gave me so much back and I learned so many things that I thought I knew...

This is one of the best technical books ever written and I fail to see other books about its subject. Where other books look like the documentation and are in fact very little more than that, this book is about principles, about the mind that it's thinking the database. Also for a technical book it reads like a novel. Very pleasant reading, but don't be fooled, you will learn before you know it things that you thought you knew and now you master.
In fact besides the ignorant person that gave a bad review simply from ignorance (and I assume the meaning from Plato's Dialogues as lack of knowledge... or not?) everybody else, people with different levels of expertise gave it 5 stars. No 4, no 3, but 5 - all.

No real world examples? My gush... how would you call examples like: music store/rental, documents, customer order, hotel reservation, employee shifts, travel trips, projects, object rentals, students-classes, sports, teams (and I missed quite a few...) There are plenty of real world examples!

I rarely speak with such enthusiasm about a book, but this one fully disserves it. You know those quizzes when you are asked what books to take on a desert island if such and such? This is one of them and two things are amazing about my choice: first, that I include in my selection heavy-weight literature and philosophy like Dostoyevsky, Camus, Kafka, Plato, Heidegger; second, that I only needed half of it, as per my ignorant reviewer I knew, probably like him, some SQL.

There is no way you can call yourself a database designer without knowing the theory between the pages of this book and you will hardly find a better teacher than the author of this book.

Read the other reviews and you'll understand what I am saying. Read the book and you will agree with me. If you believe that I exaggerate even a tiny bit, you are wrong.

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