It is difficult to find a clean book on Database Relational model.
Typical books on database are of two sorts:
- Very huge theoretical model books
- Very plain vanilla SQL manual for a specific vendor
C.J.Date books doesn't fall in ether of these categories: let's see why!
Database in Depth
C.J.Date is a veteran about this topic: he worked with
E.F.Codd from almost the beginning of the relational era.
E.F. Codd introduced the E-R theory in the late 1968.
So Date's point of view is valuable.
The Book is clean, and at the end of every chapter you find a summary
and a good number of exercises: this book was thought for self-studying
"Database in depth" is focused on IT professionals which already knows
the field, but doesn't have a strong theoretical background.
Date guides us long the E-R model, stressing a lot about the difference
between SQL and E-R model.
I haven't follow a course on Database at the University (too annoying me
:), so I was surprised by the big difference between the theoretical model
(ER) and the most known (or only one known?) SQL implementation.
After some definition, very carefully explained, the Chapter 3 takes us
two very interesting issues: "Why duplicate tuples are Prohibited" and
"Why Nulls are Prohibited".
In The Author's opinion, the SQL implementation lacks on these two
fronts, a regrettable thing, because these two principles can lead us to
a polite and terse implementation model.
I read these paragraph with a lot of surprise in my heart, because I
didn't even think these two "limitations" of SQL-implementation can
carry us so much problems.
Also, in these paragraphs Date express a very brave idea: always use
Select DISTINCT in all your queries, to avoid a small subset of the
weird things caused from repeated tuples.
These statements are well analyzed, and in my own opinion, they bring a
new light on the E-R model.
The only mistake I can move to Date is the excessive stress about
distinction of theory and model, to isolate the latter from reader
But this is not a big issue.
So this book can give us a new vision on the old E-R theory.
Date can teach us old and new theory concepts in a new way.
A true clean exposition makes this book a must for every IT Technical
Guru or Geek.
I cannot avoid to suggest you this book, even if DataBase aren't your
primary focus: because you can learn a lot from its pages!
Global Rating: 8 of 10, a strong buy!