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Beginning Database Design Solutions (Wiley - Wrox)
Author(s): Rod Stephens
Published: 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-38549-4, Pages: 552
Publisher (more . . .):  Wiley




 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: July, 2013
  Reviewer: Rose Ramirez
       Beginning Database Design Solutions is a well written and easy to understand wealth of information on what database design and development entails! I especially liked how it was put together as each chapter added to the next steps to the whole process. This book paints a really good picture of what it takes to design and develop a database the correct way. It is definitely a "How To" book for anyone no matter their skill level.

     As a database developer, I found this to be a great book for individuals who are beginners and want to learn from beginning to end how to plan, design, build and maintain databases. It is also good for anyone who needs to understand a particular part of the process, like, Normalization. It is also for anyone who is familiar with or has done database implementations, it is a good refresher, especially for me, in areas of planning and common pitfalls. Also, the data modeling was a good refresher on whether the methods I follow are the same as those that the book suggests. A good double-check that nothing has been forgotten.

     The first section is an introduction to databases and database design. The author gives a good understanding of areas to consider when designing databases. It provides good evidence showing that there is more to consider than just setting up tables and doing data entry. It covers other areas to consider, like security, portability, functionality to name a few. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on data types as it dove more into the different ways data can be stored. The author also considered spreadsheets as well as databases as data storage locations, the differences between storage types and how to decide which type to use -- not everything needs to be in a database.

     The second section is the "meat" of this book and provides the suggested steps necessary to develop and implement a real database system. This section really gives the reader an understanding of the steps to follow. It is very easy to understand and grasp what is necessary. I thought the first chapter in this section was very thorough and gives the reader the foundation for what needs to occur. Knowing the customer and the customer's needs is a big part of developing good usable database systems. The authorís chapter on Normalization offers detailed diagrams and a case study which helps to truly understand what this is all about -- for some people, it is not an easy concept to grasp. The remaining chapters provide more of what is needed. By the end of this section you will have a good idea of what it will take, what to do to develop a database and how to build a simple system.

     The real experience examples are a great touch to understanding what can occur. I liked that there were exercises and that the solutions were included in this book. The exercises and the solutions were easy to follow and work through which helps to reiterate what was learned. It's a plus in my book purchases to have additional ideas for learning and understanding the information. Being able to work with the exercises and seeing the example solutions helps to build the skills necessary to develop an actual database system.

     Again, I found this book to be thorough. It evolves full circle by providing information on all the parts necessary for designing, developing and maintaining databases. It provides chapters in understanding and setting up database software (Microsoft Access, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server) that are very good and usable for trying out the software. This book, with its high quality content, could be used as a database training course textbook.

     I recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about databases or getting into database development, as well as for use as a reference guide.
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