Database System Concepts

Database System Concepts, 5/e, is intended for a first course in databases at the junior or senior undergraduate, or first-year graduate, level. In addition to basic material for a first course, the text contains advanced material that can be used for course supplements, or as introductory material for an advanced course. The authors assume only a familiarity with basic data structures, computer organization, and a high-level programming language such as Java, C, or Pascal. Concepts are presented as intuitive descriptions, and many are based on the running example of a bank enterprise. Important theoretical results are covered, but formal proofs are omitted. In place of proofs, figures and examples are used to suggest why a result is true.

The fundamental concepts and algorithms covered in the book are often based on those used in existing commercial or experimental database systems. The aim is to present these concepts and algorithms in a general setting that is not tied to one particular database system. Details of particular commercial database systems are discussed in the case studies which constitute Part 8 of the book.

The fifth edition of Database System Concepts retains the overall style of prior editions while evolving the content and organization to reflect the changes that are occurring in the way databases are designed, managed, and used.

Key Handles: • Early coverage of SQL in two chapters • Think of SQL as doing or creating Queries • Silberschatz uses a bank analogy throughout his text with Running Examples • Case studies are incorporated that represent a different database, this is in the last Part of the text • Focuses on cutting edge material, such as xml, web based database systems.

Users Comments;

  • I do not agree with those people who have been reviewing badly this book on the false accusation that it does not comply with actual SQL syntax.
    First of all, the book focuses first on explaining SQL language as a Standard, as it is formalized in several revisions through the years.
    Second, probably to cover some deficiency of the earlier editions, the author spent some time explaining how different commercial versions of SQL differ slightly in their implementation. New sections were added in this 6th edition to highlight the way mySQL, Oracle SQL and other dialects implement certain constructs through slight language changes.
    Last but not least – as the title reads – this is a book on Database “CONCEPTS” which means that its describes (and very well indeed) the concepts behind the definition of a DBMS and it does it from both a theoretical and practical standpoint.
    The perfect fruition of this book comes from its study side by side with practical assignments on some implementation of SQL. Since the book focuses on SQL Standard, rather than sticking with one specific implementation, the savvy student should acquaint oneself with the Reference Guide of the SQL implementation of his/her (or the teacher’s) choice, and get to study on an actual database system.
    What I think is missing is an appendix to collect into a single place some BNF charts of the most common implementations, or a table to quickly lookup the differences among these dialects of SQL, so that the students can get an initial reference to jump start into using some DBMS in practice.
    One last important thing: this book exists in two versions. The hardcover is considerably more expensive than the paperback, but the quality of the paper, the ink and the fonts used make a big difference in the fruition of the book. Their ISBNs differ. Beware that there are many resellers that ship the paperback after receiving an order for a hardcover. These resellers try to get away with the excuse that the text is the same between versions. Indeed, if economy is more important to you than the quality of the print, then the paperback is a good way to save money, because there is a big difference in value between the two ISBNs.
    But if you pay the price for hardcover and get a paperback they you have been the victim of a “bait-n-switch” fraud. I was one of those victims, so I reported the reseller to Amazon, which forced that reseller to pay a refund.
  • As a comprehensive text on concepts related to database system is certainly performs as a survey of the topic. At 1268 pages (1349 if you include appendices and glossary) the authors touch on all the important topics including SQL, database design, specialty databases, architectures, transaction and more. It’s frankly amazing how much time and how many words they wasted explaining concepts that could have been more clearly, rapidly, and efficiently covered in less text.
    For example, chapter eight covers relational database design. It’s a relatively straight-forward topic about functional dependencies and the authors choose to combine definition and example with use mathematics equations, abstract variables instead of easy to follow English. A topic which should be a fast read becomes a tedious endeavor. The omission of clear explainations for every mathematic formula plagues much of computer science writing and this text makes little effort to inoculate it’s readers from its ravaging effects. Perhaps in the next edition, the authors will choose to include the name, pronunciation, and meaning for each symbol used. Small efforts like this allow readers to flow through a chapter’s concepts without becoming tripped up at each formula. Then after understanding the ideas, the reader can go back and study the formula in greater detail.
    Combine the above with the generally obtuse sentence structures this text sucks the life out of the subject matter which is a shame because the University dataset it uses in appendix A has so much potential. Take for example, “It turns out that, this algorithm may take an amount of time quadratic in the size of F.” A simple rewording of this sentence and others would speed up the amount of time you spend reading each chapter.
    The only good parts of this text are the truly “advanced” topics but it’s a shame this text chooses to pad its contents with an obfuscated rehashing of the more elementary database concepts. The hardback version is a good quality and the paper and ink are smooth and clear. I also like the way it highlights key terms in blue.

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