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on 8 February 2005
This book is well written and aimed at those with little or no prior knowledge of databases (e.g. undergraduates). It goes from conceptual design right down to low level topics. I think the main strength of this book lies in its excellent examples. There are several case studies which are used very well to show practical examples of concepts described. Would recommend it to anyone looking for a text book on databases.
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on 26 June 2003
This book was the recommended title for my second year university SQL module. I used it a s a complete newbie to SQL and found it incredibly helpful both at a basic descriptional level as well as at advanced level as I progressed. Focus is well split between essential coceptual/logical design, normalisation etc as well as actual code syntax. Absolutely essential reference for anyone using or considering using SQL (includes DBMS specific instructions too for MS Access and Oracle for example as well).
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on 25 April 2011
Connolly & Begg's "Database Systems..." is quite simply the definitive text for anyone undertaking the academic study of database design and maintenance. If you're designing, using and maintaining databases on a day-to-day basis and need a reference, this is probably not the bok for you. However, if you're a student of database design, it is indispensable. Among other things, it's the standard undergraduate text.

The important thing to remember is that it's a serious academic text, not a dip-in-and-out reference. It's the very best at what it does, but won't be suitable for everyone.
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on 13 September 1999
Generally an excellent text-book. It doesn't quite carry the clout or precision of C. J Dates book on database systems, but it is far more practical. Not only are the explanations simpler, but there are more practical examples. Also because it is a newer book it is a little more up-to date. The fact that it includes examples in ACCESS as well is an added bonus for teachers and students who have no choice but to use ACCESS.
Certainly the best text for students at the HNC/HND level.
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on 3 November 1998
Comprehensive - that is the first word that comes to my mind after reading the book Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management. If you are in search of a book that will help you in mastering the subject of Database Management Systems this is it. The coverage is exhaustive and in-depth. While reading the table of contents and preface, I thought that the authors were very ambitious in the scope and are promising too much. But after reading the book, I am glad to say that I was mistaken - the authors have very successfully delivered whatever they have promised and more.
The book is ideal for a student of database management systems. It is also a valuable book for the practicing professional. In fact the people, who are in the database profession, who uses databases or develop applications involving database management systems, will find this book invaluable and will be able to appreciate it much more than a beginner. It is a connoisseur's delight.
The authors assume nothing. Each and every concept is built from scratch. The level of detail is so impressive that one can think this book as a collection of books of various database-related topics. For example, the section on SQL is so comprehensive that, it can stand on its own as a separate book. Such detailed coverage is found for all the topics in the book and is one of its best features. The case studies, worked examples and the presentation style, the concepts in boxes, excellent illustration, review questions, etc. will go a long way in improving the usefulness of the book.
Another feature that makes this book stand out form other books on database management, is its coverage of the latest technologies. The chapters of Distributed Database Management, Object-Oriented and Object-Relational Database Management Systems, Web based database applications, Data Warehousing, OLAP and Data Mining, etc. will prove invaluable to the students as well as the practitioners, novices as well as experts.
When dealing with theoretical concepts like data modeling, normalization, it is the usual practice of most authors either to go too mathematical or to gloss over the subject. This book is by far the best in this respect as it takes an optimum approach. The explanations are not too mathematical, but the topics are explained in sufficient detail, so that the reader will have a very good understanding of the concepts like normalization, functional dependency, etc.
Four most useful features of this book are the logical organization chart (suggesting the various paths that one can follow), the references, the suggested readings and the index. When reading or studying a book of this size - 1093 pages - these features are quite invaluable.
The usefulness of the book could have been improved if an electronic version was provided. It would have made references easy. Also the Deductive database model is not covered. An appendix on the database related sites on the Internet would have been nice. Also a description of the major database systems and vendors could have been included.
So in the final analysis, this is a must read and must have book for every database professional. For students it is a valuable course material. For professionals it is a very good self-study guide. For practitioners it an excellent refresher and a good way to keep track of the latest developments in the database field. An excellent buy!
Copyright 1998, Pegasus Book Club
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on 21 February 2012
I am currently doing my Honours year in Web Development at UWS Paisley (Scotland).
Last year I borrowed the 4th edition of this book from the University Library to help with a Database Development module I had within my degree course. I found the book such an invaluable reference and learning book last year, that I decided to buy my own copy of the book this year (5th Edition).
I am now doing a Database Applications module this year and the book is a superb help.
I am very fortunate to have had one of the Author's - Mrs Carolyn Begg as my lecturer in Databases for the past 2 years.
Carolyn is an absolute authority on the subject, if she doesn't know about it in the field of databases then it's probably not worth knowing!
She is also one of the most pleasant, unassuming, witty and interested lecturers I personally have ever had the good fortune to have teach me. (I am now 48 years of age!)
I love this book and I am sure it will serve me long term, many years after leaving University.
I may even get her to sign my copy purely for posterity!
Go buy it now if you have a need to learn about databases.
StevieB
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on 19 July 2001
I first came accross this text when undertaking my degree and I must confess I was a little put off by the size. However upon beginning the text I found it very concise where many texts quickly pass over a topic expecting you to grasp key concepts first time. I felt normalisation was handled wonderfully with a different( and insightful) approach. My only criticism is that the ER modelling only covered the conventional flow chart style of rect.'s for entities and diamonds for relationships, with such in-depth coverage elsewhere I expected the popular (and productive) crow foot notation, this however is still a minor complaint. To summise: a book for those that wish a complete and detailed understanding of database systems. I congratulate the author's.
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on 24 September 1998
I really enjoyed giving a course based on this book. It is thorough and covers the full range of topics about databases, from design to issues about implementation and tuning. This book is not only good as course material, but also because it is excellent as a reference book, with many guidelines and lists on how to perform things, again from design to implementation.
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on 24 July 2000
Database Systems is an excellent reference text. The breadth and depth of this book are stunning, as is the writing which is commendably clear.
I have only one complaint about this book. It is with the Entity Relationship Diagrams, which don't use the (superior, in my opinion) "crow's foot" notation but the "diamond notation." This is certainly not an aid to reabability and as I have never come across this notation outside of academia I cannot understand why the authors chose to adopt it. A minor quibble, however.
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on 10 March 2004
For the most part, I found this book excellent. The text explanations are clear, thorough and easy to follow, and I would thoroughly recommend it on this basis.

The exercises for the chapters, however, are very poorly written. One or two questions in each of the exercises we have encountered so far in my class have been essentially meaningless, so if you are a teacher looking to set this text for a course, beware! Make sure that you read through and correct any ambiguous questions before you set them for your students.

To give an example, one question asks the student to write a SQL query to calculate "the average number of bookings for each hotel in August." Not the average number of bookings per night for each hotel in August, or the average number of bookings in August across all hotels, but essentially a figure which is not actually an average. Rather annoying.

But if you won't be following the exercises slavishly, this book is otherwise worth every penny.
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