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SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Februar 2009

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Understanding SQL's underlying theory is the best way to guarantee that your SQL code is correct and your database schema is robust and maintainable. On the other hand, if you're not well versed in the theory, you can fall into several traps. In "SQL and Relational Theory", author Chris Date demonstrates how you can apply relational theory directly to your use of SQL.With numerous examples and clear explanations of the reasoning behind them, you'll learn how to deal with common SQL dilemmas, such as: should database access be through views instead of base tables? Nulls in your database are causing you to get wrong answers. Why? What can you do about it? Could you write an SQL query to find employees who have never been in the same department for more than six months at a time? SQL supports 'quantified comparisons', but they're better avoided. Why? How do you avoid them? Constraints are crucially important, but most SQL products don't support them properly. What can you do to resolve this situation?Database theory and practice have evolved since Edgar Codd originally defined the relational model back in 1969.

Independent of any SQL products, "SQL and Relational Theory" draws on decades of research to present the most up-to-date treatment of the material available anywhere. Anyone with a modest to advanced background in SQL will benefit from the many insights in this book.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

C.J. Date has a stature that is unique within the database industry. C.J. is a prolific writer, and is well-known for his best-selling textbook: An Introduction to Database Systems (Addison Wesley). C.J. is an exceptionally clear-thinking writer who can lay out principles and theory in a way easily understood by his audience.

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30 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Mathematics and Database Design 22. März 2009
Von John Jacobson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In this book the author argues that the only database model that will endure is the relational model, because it is "rock solid" and "right." Other models such as the "hierarchic model" or the "object oriented model" or the "semistructured model" are doomed to fail because there is no consensus on what they actually represent.

The relational model of databases is based on the pioneering work of E.F. Codd, a mathematician working for IBM who published his initial seminal paper in 1969. A language to support queries in relational databases was subsequently developed, which was ultimately named SQL, and variants of that language are used to extract data from relational databases.

This book gives an excellent review of SQL; it includes many examples of SQL code. The book is written as a technical treatise and would not be an easy read for someone who isn't familiar with the use of SQL. The original description of relational databases was mathematical in nature, and this book follows in that vein, using mathematical "proofs" to illustrate the best approach to the use of SQL in relational databases. There are many exercises given at the end of each chapter, and the answers to the exercises are given at the end of the book. There is a seven page index. Appendices A & B provide a somewhat simplified, easier to read discussion of the primary goals of the book than the book chapters do, for those wishing a simplified synopsis of the main points, I'd suggest reading those appendices first.

For those who would appreciate a theoretical discussion of database design and SQL development that will "bullet proof" their code, this is an excellent book. For those who'd like a more nuanced discussion of why there should only be one instance of any data set in their tables, this book provides the answers. But for the mathematically challenged, it may be tough going.
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
My mind was blown, my head has grown, my SQL has entered the zone 23. Juni 2009
Von M. Helmke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have spent the last three or four weeks struggling through this book. Never content to know only the "how" of something, I wanted to learn some of the "why" behind SQL databases. This book covers that in depth, with a steep learning curve for someone like me who has a bit of experience using SQL in various applications, but who has never formally studied it. That is not a bad thing.

First, a bit of background. The author, C. J. Date, is well known in the field for his classic textbook An Introduction to Database Systems, which has gone through at least eight editions. He began working on databases in 1970 at IBM and worked with the inventor of the relational theory of database design, E. F. Codd. There is no doubt that this is a man who knows what he is talking about.

What this book sets out to do, in about 400 pages, is describe and define the relational model in greater depth and compare how SQL is currently used in many database applications like Oracle and MySQL to the theoretical ideal. As he does this, Date points out several inconsistencies with the SQL adaptation of the relational model and makes suggestions for how to adjust common usage to more closely conform to the ideal while acknowledging that at times perfect syncronization will be impossible using SQL. He also gives numerous examples of how it could be done in Tutorial D, which is an interesting study in itself.

I submit that this book is ideal for theorists, for highly qualified and experienced database administrators who want to learn at the feet of a sometimes emphatic and slightly dogmatic master who has been instrumental in the creation and spread of the relational database idea, but whose theory has not been perfectly implemented. If you merely want to know how to work within current implementation constraints without the larger picture, skip this book. If you want some fascinating, and sometimes difficult to grasp background and theory that will likely make you a better database wizard, this book is likely to help you get there.

Here are some highlights, sample questions and topics discussed in the book:

* What are the differences between the relational model and the various product implementations available today and in the past?
* Should a relational database allow duplicate entries?
* Why are null values a bad idea?
* What do relational expressions mean?
* Why must database constraint checking be immediate, at least in theory, and why is it often deferred in practice?

Seriously, that is just the beginning. There are excellent examples of SQL code throughout the book, great discussions of the mathematics behind the genesis of relational theory, and more. Beware, though, you may have to work to understand it, but it will be worthwhile for those who do.
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The "Code Complete" of SQL Books 16. März 2009
Von Scott Gowell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
C. J. Date has just released what I would say is the "Code Complete" manual for SQL. Not for the layman, this work explains [in intricate detail] the whys and wherefores of SQL, and how to over its many idiosyncrasies. From Keys and Constraints, to using joins, to all the types of normalization, this is a great reference for everyone.

If you read this book, please follow the author's instructions and don't skip over sections because of some familiarity. The detail in which he delves into even "simple" functionality in SQL are useful to see the big picture.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Thick & dry but worth the read 13. September 2010
Von Trisha Davis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
To start, this book is about theory and is not for anyone looking for a specific vendor implementation. Just trying to get through the first few chapter is tough because it's (just as the rest of the book) very dry and full of theory. There isn't much practicality in this book that you can apply to the real world but it does give you a way to think about what is going on behind the SQL scenes - or does it? Since each vendor has their own interpretations and implementations, I'm not so sure how this book can help structure better SQL statements in practice.

Since this book is nothing more than a history lesson with insightful explanations and examples, I would only recommend it for the academics. The book itself is not all bad however; I enjoyed chapter 4, "No duplicates, no nulls". The truth tables presented really give an idea of what potential bugs you might run into while dealing with comparisons.

To sum it up, this might as well be a textbook.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Leverage your current SQL skills to make the *theory* attainable and digestible 25. Oktober 2011
Von Kelly Jones - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The author himself (as stated in the Preface) intends for this book to REPLACE his earlier "Database in Depth" book. You need not buy both. Just buy THIS one.

I would give this book extra stars if I could!

This book has everything I could ask for:

>> the author has *deep* expertise on the topic,

>> the book *will* give you new insights on the topic,

>> the book is mostly self-contained
(meaning you aren't expected to have a particular training or math background -- all necessary fundamentals are covered in the book when they are needed).

You might think my three-bullet list (above) seems small and underwhelming. If so, then stop for a moment and try to remember the last time you read a technical book that really achieved perfection on all three points. (Then go write a raving review of THAT book, because it surely deserves it.)

I am usually happy with a book as long as it teaches me even ONE new idea that I think I'll carry with me throughout my career. This book has provided me with handfuls of insight that will certainly influence (and ease) my work for years to come. Furthermore, most of these insights are applicable far beyond the DBMS realm.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with a strong interest in SQL. Additionally, I wish I could *force* all DBMS *implementers* to read this book! That isn't to say that this book highlights ideas that aren't yet implemented -- that isn't true at all. I want implementers to read the book because they might enjoy their work more after reading this book, and I think they might be inspired to think more creatively about how to implement (and/or reimplement) parts of their DBMS, since this book highlights several ways that implementations are actually given much more freedom in implementing the relational model than perhaps has been taken advantage of.

I love this book. For 30 dollars it is a bargain. Buy it!


I had to force myself to remain patient and good-natured as I read the first chapter, and certain parts of the first three chapters. Why? Answer: because the author is sometimes excessively wordy, and it seemed to me that we were "beating around the bush" for several paragraphs before just STATING SOME POINT OUTRIGHT. Sadly, (apologies for the cruelty), the word "windbag" crossed my mind more than once. HOWEVER! HOWEVER! It would have been too hasty of me to throw down the book in disgust at such an early point in my reading. And I am very, very glad that I did not. As you can tell by the maximum star rating that I chose -- and by everything I said above -- I love this book and am thrilled to have read (and re-read) it. Just beware that the author's verbose style might take some getting used to.

Keep the following in mind, as well: all the "extra wordiness" that initially annoyed me was later converted into a great asset in subsequent chapters that covered deeper and deeper material.

Criticism Conclusion:
It turns out that wordiness is in the eye of the beholder, and once I (the beholder) found myself in UNFAMILIAR topics, the wordiness was suddenly a thing of grace that eased me into the topic.
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