on 8 October 2001
This book gives an excellent introduction to the practical and theoretical aspects of data modelling.
It is written in a style which is suitable for beginners - but also is excellent revision and reference for "old pros".
I keep this book always to hand, and also have recommended it as a text book for a school which is teaching basic data modelling to 12th Grade students.
The whole text is well supported with practical examples. It also doesn't shrink from difficult areas, or discussing contentious issues.
on 31 January 2005
Even if you already own the second edition, you should buy the third (or get your employers to buy it for you). (Putting this first for those people who don't want to read the whole review).
I already owned the second edition - it is the most frequently borrowed book from the set that I keep on my desk. So why did I buy the new edition as soon as I could? Because it is new, and covers new stuff - like sixth normal form (which turned out to be very familiar), and the Object Class Hierarchy, which is the answer to a Corporate/Enterprise Data/Information Architect/Administrator's prayer (job title generator - for each pair, pick one - the titles may vary, but the job seems to stay the same!) After years of developing web pages, spreadsheets and documents, and trying to get people to use them, this structure finally brings it all together.
It is tempting to dip into a book like this to look things up, or to explain something to someone else (it is very handy if someone wants to know what, exactly, you mean by 'fifth normal form' - just hand them the book open at the relevent section). But if you don't read the whole thing, then you risk missing all sorts of useful stuff that gets mentioned in passing (sometimes a passing remark, sometimes getting as much as a whole paragraph). For example, there is a very useful question to elicit important information from senior management, in chapter 10. (Go and read the book to find it!)
I think that the chapter on Enterprise Data Management needs expanding. Preferably into a companion volume ('Enterprise Data Management Essentials' - any chance, gentlemen?) But that is just about my only caveat.
The second edition is still the most frequently borrowed book on my desk - but only because I don't let this one out of my sight, and I have been making people buy their own copies.
If you buy the book and disagree with me - feel free to come and tell me why at any DAMA conference!
on 12 July 2005
I am a proud owner the second edition, have leafed through the third edition (before being asked politely if I could be helped the the shop-assistant) and have had the pleasure of seeing both authors present on this topic (and others) at a variety of conferences.
If you want a book on data (that's dahhh-ta) modelling that hasn't crawled completely up its own (or a modelling tool vendor's) rear-end, this is a good purchase. Complex issues are presented clearly and REAL-WORLD issues are actually considered, as opposed to being dismissed simply as not being the way to do things.
I've applied the approaches to model design that are in the 2nd edition 'in the wild' and have found them to be extremely successful. As soon as I can prise the funding from my boss's miserly hand I will be getting my copy of the 3rd edition