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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and well laid out
This book is fantastic if you have no clue about database design. It gives you a clear and concise guide to design and includes well laid out examples. It hides itself from any technical jargons and it is a great book for you if you have never created databases but you are keen to get going. It is laid out in a way so that you are able to grasp the basic overview of the...
Published on 6 Dec 2000 by Urban Monk

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to teaching database design
While I agree that there may be a need for a simple book on database design without math (I'm not sure about the jargon), and while this book has received a lot of praise, I also found a number of imperfections here. To name a few: - There is no mention of Composite Foreign Keys and thus no design guidelines for dealing with CFKs. - The field specifications do not include...
Published on 11 Dec 1997


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and well laid out, 6 Dec 2000
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
This book is fantastic if you have no clue about database design. It gives you a clear and concise guide to design and includes well laid out examples. It hides itself from any technical jargons and it is a great book for you if you have never created databases but you are keen to get going. It is laid out in a way so that you are able to grasp the basic overview of the topic first and then it takes each idea and explores in greater detail. The useful thing about this book I guess is that it contains a summary at the end of each chapter that gives you a quick insight about what you should already know.
If you are confused and want a easy-to-read book to get started, choose this book and you'll be well on your way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start your education about databases., 26 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
I constructed and managed a database for a non-profit organization. Then I took two courses on Microsofts' Access (up through the advanced level). Finally, I read Michael Hernandez' book. Thanks to Mr. Hernandez' clear and thorough explanation of relational database design, I'm ready to start over again and do things the right way. It's more fun to get right into the program and start designing flashy database reports made so easy by "wizards", but I assure you that your probability of success and enjoyment will increase dramatically if you postpone instant gratification and learn the basics first. I've read the one star critics who prefer the "techy" books. While there are times when you wish that Mr. Hernandez were more succinct in explaining the steps to developing a good relational database, the benefits of his plain langauge system far outweigh the more tedious parts of the book. I suspect that the more advanced books will be more understa! ndable after reading "Database Design for Mere Mortals." Mr. Hernandez has done a good deed for us mortals who want to learn the basics about relational database design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly captures the essence of planning a Relational Database, 17 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
My first three years of college were spent studying Applied Mathematics, in particular matrix thoery. I decided to pursue a career in IS about a year after graduating and figured routing and switching were the path for me, it's a binary thing... :)
I quickly grew tired of spending my days on the phones with telcos trying to find out why my frames were down, so I decided to change paths.
I started developing small databases with Access and decided to pursue more robust applications powered by MS SQL Server. I didn't have a problem with Transact SQL or with the mathematics behind the relationships; however I did have a problem figuring out how to begin some sort of domain analysis.
I read the reviews of Mr. Hernandez's book this past weekend and went right down to Border's to purchase it (Sorry Amazon... I couldn't wait until Monday). It's the best investment I've made in books about relational databases!
Mr. Hernandez's approach will teach you how to plan your database so that you can implement it right the first time! If I had read this book 4 months ago, I could have saved myself many frustrating hours!
My partner and I are starting a new project around the first of the year with an incredibly aggressive timeline for deployment. I gave her the book this afternoon. We intend to apply many of the techniques discussed in the book to develop our plan for coding to go as smoothly as possible; and hopefully start making some money soon!
Writing your SQL statements is the easy part. Mr. Hernandez's book will help you streamline your planning phase, so that you can get your applications out of development and into production more efficiently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to teaching database design, 11 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
While I agree that there may be a need for a simple book on database design without math (I'm not sure about the jargon), and while this book has received a lot of praise, I also found a number of imperfections here. To name a few: - There is no mention of Composite Foreign Keys and thus no design guidelines for dealing with CFKs. - The field specifications do not include the concept of domains, a very important concept in the Relational Data Model, and that although the book emphasizes that the design method is purely conceptual and independent of any system or implementation. - The handling of Foreign Keys is not consistent with the suggested design method. - There is no comparison of alternative design methods although alternative (and obsolete) data models (like hierarchical databases) are discussed. - The recommendation for further reading is incomplete and controversial. - As mentioned above, there is probably a need for a book that explains database design thoroughly and makes it as simple as possible, BUT NOT SIMPLER. I often felt the author is belaboring the obvious. - Nevertheless, the author chartered for us a difficult territory between art and science and tried to make it accessible and usable for many people. In his foreword Ken Getz raised the question why the world needs another book on database design? As if in reply, the author dedicated his book to anyone who has unsuccessfully attempted to design a relational database. If there are many people who have wrestled hard to get the design right in spite of the many publications available on the subject, it means that the current textbooks are not sufficient. Clearly, there was something missing. Times have changed since most papers on database design issues have been written. I just had hoped that this book would be a more complete and more in-depth study of the field. That leaves us still waiting for the definite guide and reference on the subject matter. But then, no lesser authority than the inventor of the Relational Model himself has promised us a book about database design. If only it will be as readable a book as this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is required reading for novice developers., 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
The title conveys well the usefulness of this book.
After wading through a dozen books on the theoretical aspects of relational database design, I was looking for a good introductory text on the actual practice of building tables. I found this book an excellent primer.
I have made this book required reading at our company for novice developers. It's a quick read and removes the fear of atttempting database development. It's an a - z approach, so coupled with one of the common ACCESS references, the book provides all that is needed for single-handed developement of a simple project.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, But Naming Conventions Missing, 1 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
Don't volunteer to design a database until you've read this book! It provides a firm foundation on the theory behind database design, for mere mortals such as myself. ONE WARNING: This book did not cover naming conventions in any detail. The author does provide some "content defining" guidelines, such as make the name relevant to the organization, etc., but information about consistent use of prefixes to identify tables/forms/macros, etc., aren't covered. Even an appendix would help! I'm using the L/R Naming Standard, I'm sure there's others.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a brilliant book. It's that simple., 29 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
This book is brilliant. It's clearly written, has loads of information and is the ideal primer for anyone starting to study relational databases. There is no waffle about Normal Forms and BCF, just simple common sense to put you on the right path.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Drinking From A Firehose, 16 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
I had bought this book several months ago, but put it down in favor of other "quick and dirty" books on setting up Relational Databases. As a consequence, I am having to rebuild from scratch because I never fully understood the theory behind it. Now I'm paying for it.
I am finding "Database Design For Mere Mortals" to be an excellent instruction book, taking me from beginning to end, step by step. I'm only on page 105, but already I've learned more about RDBMS theory than I'd gotten in the previous year of working with them. MJH is truly a guru.
I have only one misgiving about the book, however: it is a little dry. But perhaps that is *my* flaw: I expected database design to be fast, simple, glossy, and effortless. This book proves otherwise. Database design is serious and requires a lot of forethought. So the book is necessarily ponderous, showing you the right way to do things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to the concept of database design, 16 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
I have corresponded with the author of this book, and he responded promptly and courteously. I'm happy I bought this book. It does not replace C. J. Date or E. F. Codd, but it is one of the best places for someone to start if they want to know about relational databases but don't have a grasp of why the relational model is so important. Why choose this book over another? Because the author is a great writer and explains terms clearly, and because the layout of the book is attractive and clear. Once finished with it, readers can move on to the nitty gritty of the relational model itself--this book is to help avoid mistakes while designing databases for actual use. But it's for someone who wants more substance than is available in the Dummies-type books (as strong as they are in addressing the concerns of their audience). If you're not a computer science major but want to learn about RDBMSs now, get this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Soreheads -- A Great Book, 19 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (Paperback)
No, this is not the book for you if you have extensive experience in software design and have already absorbed the basic concepts of database design by osmosis.
This is a book for "mere mortals," just like it says. I'm a reasonably smart, reasonably well-educated person who had some computer experience, but didn't even really know what a relational database was. Through circumstances too odd to mention, I was given primary responsibility for designing a commercial web application.
I read this book cover to cover, and designed the database that became the core of the product. The product actually works, and seems to be selling. Later in the development cycle, I worked with a brilliant MIT-trained software engineer, and he found my basic db design just ducky.
I definitely owe Mr. Hernandez a beer. Figured writing this review was a reasonable substitute.
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