- There’s not much to add outside of what the headline explanations. For pros, I can definitely give the book ample credit on the extent to which it explains a variety of concepts and applications of database systems. For cons, the way it goes about conveying that information is often wordy beyond what is remotely necessarily, and oftentimes there are half-page long asides that really don’t matter much in terms of the overarching concept of that section. Another issue which is more prevalent in the earlier sections is that the same database schema is often referred to in examples when in the case of those who are fresh learners, multiple different examples would be beneficial, particularly to show the wide variety of applications to which databases could be applied.
My professor largely teaches from the book, so if you find yourself in a similar boat it shouldn’t be hard at all to get through the class, especially if you end up having an affinity for databases.
- I needed this for my class, and it was fine, but not great. The level of detail was pretty good and there were some well-developed examples, but as some other reviewers noted, the nature of the components building off one another meant that it might be hard to find the referenced schema in an earlier (or later) section of the book while you were looking at one section. And it didn’t necessary give you the page numbers so you could flip back and forth easily. If they just added the page numbers that would definitely bump my rating up.
- The title of this book suggests that it is merely the basics; don’t be fooled. This book goes far beyond the fundamentals. It is over 1,000 pages of “stuff”. It is used for graduate school classes in database design. I won’t bore the reader with complex theories and jargon. In short, don’t buy this book unless it is required for a school course. This book will only be of use if you are attending graduate school or in search of a PhD.
If you are looking to understand how to build tables, define the relationship between tables, how to load data into a database, how to query the database of information, and simply desire a good foundation is the true “fundamentals” of database design then I recommend “The Practical SQL Handbook” by Judith Bowman and it’s companion “Practical SQL the Sequel”. These books will provide a better and more thorough understanding of the application of database design in terms you can understand and it leaves out the theoretical, discrete math, set theory “stuff”.
- This is a great fundamentals text. The section overviews guide you through the book in a smooth fashion without any surprises. The exercises reinforce knowledge without overwhelming and the language is not terse.
This book does imply a basic familiarity with set theory, which frankly is an obvious prerequisite as this is not exactly a MySQL cookbook and focuses more on the theoretical concepts of database systems and less on their implementations / semantics. Don’t let that deter you. Set theory is not difficult to learn and reading this book will grant you all the knowledge you need to correctly design a database for nearly all commercial applications.
The figures do take away from the effectiveness of the book in some situations. Some figures from 3 chapters previous are referenced, which will have you flipping back thick chunks of paper. The figures are also of poor quality for a 2011 publication. Not a huge issue, but could be better.
- The book is very informative with detailed information on the history of databases and the theory of their design. However, it is written and structured very poorly. The book reads almost as if the author had a page quota that he struggled to meet, entire pages could be condensed into a few sentences without missing any information. The author uses the first few pages of each chapter to discuss what he is going to discuss in the following pages. If you are interested in the “fundamentals” of databases look elsewhere, but if you do not mind painfully drawn out examples and writing and want to learn the theory behind the “fundamentals” of databases then this book may be for you. If this book is required by your university you have my sympathy.
- This is the required textbook for the Databases class at my University. Personally, I find the material itself to be well-written and simple enough to understand. That being said, it is a 300 level course that also goes along with lecture from a professor, so perhaps if you are attempting to learn databases solo, you might want to look into some other options.
Really my only problem with this book, which others have pointed out, is that it always references figures from other pages. This means that you’re constantly flipping back and forth which does get annoying.
- I have studied through many computer textbooks at this point and this one is a snore. I can barely read a page without going to sleep. The problem is not the content. At the theoretical level this book is filled with good information. But unless you have decided to create a new database system (language and database software), there is no practical value to the detail in which this book presents database theory. The presentation needs help. Examples where a query statement is presented with the output generated would help. Case studies would be nice too. I found myself going online way to often to find examples of what the book was talking about. Wish my school went with a different textbook.
- This was a required textbook for my database architecture class, and this is by far the worst textbook I have ever been forced to use. Good luck trying to find examples to the questions at the end of each chapter in this textbook, and be prepared to do a lot of researching and YouTube video watching instead. If this textbook isn’t required material for a class, and you’re not already familiar with the material – then I suggest you look elsewhere. Unless you don’t mind spending hours on the Internet searching for decent examples, and/ or searching for YouTube videos.