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Recommend a general RDB book?


Bob7
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I have some good FM books and training materials, but would like to buy one general RDB theory / design book (relationships, data normalization, ERDs, etc.). I've seen a few that look interesting, particularly:

"Relational Database Design Clearly Explained, Second Edition" by Jan L. Harrington

Any recommendations for an intermediate FM developer appreciated.

Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Based on recommendation from a FM teacher of mine, I bought: "Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design" by Michael J. Hernandez, and it is suiting my needs well.

Bob

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  • 10 months later...

I'd like to see updates to this topic, if anyone wants to chime in. After reading reviews at Amazon, I'd have to say that the recommendation might be too basic. Is there a text that might address 'theory' along with responsible basic examples? Where we've learned fields and records, others have learned columns (or attributes) and rows. The terminology is enough to make one cringe hoping to communicate between Filemaker developers and SQL developers. I'd love to see some recommendations for additional books. Specifics covered would be RDB theory and development, then some implimentation models using a RDBMS like Filemaker or SQL.

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  • 1 month later...

The Hernandez book is more like a cookbook, where you don't have to know WHY the bread rises, just mix the ingredients. There are several niggily issues I have with "DB Design for Mere Mortals", but none of them are worse than the junk that gets produced by those that don't know any better. Hernandez is fine for someone without any grounding in theory, but having learned some habits without knowing the fundamentals, it becomes harder to unlearn them later.

I would recommend reading the presentation from University of Texas as a starting point... wordmark-tower-white.gif

http://www.utexas.edu/its/windows/database/datamodeling/index.html

You can also get some good knowledge from Alf Petersen's site, Database Design Resource Center.

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Next, go to the TDAN.com website and read through some of the free articles there (free registration required) tdan2007.gif

Next, you should go to dbdebunk.com to clean out the attic of some of the ridiculous common myths and misunderstandings in the database design field. I would buy Fabian Pascal's papers, and a copy of his book.

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Then you should be ready to really dig in, Chris Date's book "Database in Depth" is a good foundation.

When reading material about database modeling, realize that by the time it gets to press, it may be seriously outdated. For example: many believe that a database model is an E-R diagram. This is only one representation, has has many drawbacks. In fact, the first work (Chen) on E-R models predates the introduction of the Relational Data Model. Read some of the free papers by Terry Halpin on Object Role Modeling (ORM) to learn how to capture more meaningful information in your database model with significantly less effort.

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Now you should be sufficiently confused, and ready to see some best practice examples. ;)-)

In fact you probably have enough foundation knowledge to actually understand diagrams and descriptions of database model implementations.

Two books in my library seldom get used more than: David Hay's "Data Model Patterns-Conventions of Thought"; and Len Silverston's "The Data Model Resouce Book". The Hay book is more accessible, but Len's book has a treasure trove of different ideas. I have created a recommended book list at Amazon which may be referenced via this link.

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