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on 20 August 2001
you can tell from the off that the writers of this "journey into databases" are passionate about their subject. Indeed going to bed to dream about databases is the extreme regarding anything you care deeply enough to write a book on the subject. The book in itself is very easy to read and puts the basic ideas and concepts into language which anyone who is interested can understand. The writing style is jovial and the use of copious examples on cd rom is a boon for burgeoning database planners and designers. the book was a pleasure to read and is a great reference book for trainers like myself. Well done Mark and Bill (not Gates!! read the book to understand)
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on 8 March 2004
From the outside relational databases appear to be a rather abstract and difficult subject. This book shows just how simple and useful databases can be. It assumes no existing knowledge and uses real world examples to demonstrate how to manage data efficiently. Finally, the book explains the really powerful part of relational databases - normalization, joins and finally SQL. IMO, a really good book. Good companion books are "Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 minutes" and "Programming the Network with Perl" by Paul Barry.
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on 9 July 2006
I bought this book years ago and recently rediscovered it after moving house. The information in this book still holds true although needs an update. So I contacted one of the authors Mark Whitehorn and he told me that they are just finishing an updated version. If you can't wait get it anyway as it is still a very good and informative book. It taught me everything you need to know to get going in RMDBS management.
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on 22 March 2000
Whitehorn & Marklyn have produced what is probably the ideal kick-start to anyone wishing to work with relational databases. It presents all basic information in an easy to understand format, and presumes no previous knowledge. If your aim is to work with RDBMS's, but you don't know anything about them you could do a lot worse than to start here.
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on 27 April 1999
I didn't know anything about databases and I started to play with MS Access , soon enough I came to the conclution that first I had to learn the Relational Database model. This book helped me to understand this subject and gave me lots of information about the REAL WORLD problems and how to handel them. I recommand this book to everyone who wants to understand Relational Database.
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on 21 June 2007
You will probably not see another database book like this. The style of writing is chatty and informal and the emphasis is practical with many examples using Microsoft Access. The authors cover the most important concepts to do with relational database in a fun and exploratory way. I feel this would be a good text-book for a first course in database in a college where the main DBMS is Microsoft Access. My only gripe is that there is very little use of SQL until you reach the end of the book, the authors preferring to use graphical queries (QBE).
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on 30 September 2013
If you would like to learn how relational databases work I recommend this book. The style is to keep things clear and simple and not to confuse and clutter with jargon. Given the subject this is quite an achievement and leaves you the reader in no doubt that you do actually understand what you are reading.

There is also enough content to let you talk confidently in database circles, most folk will nod knowingly when you mention normalization but they will change the subject rapidly when you mention Codd's rules. :-)

So a brilliant book if you are starting out but probably something for you if you have been working with databases for a while. Don't be put off by the "Examples in Access" this book now has pride of place on my desk alongside Black Belt Oracle 12 for Ninjas and Higher Principles of Data Integration! Any snide comments about Access are quickly dealt with by "Ah but it is about relational engines not Access" and they scurry off.
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on 7 July 2000
I had been searching for some time for a book that would help me get a true understanding of the relational model. By the time I had read this book, I felt that my knowledge had been greatly enhanced. It expains all the different aspects clearly and systematically
buy It !
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on 5 July 2010
Truly one of the best books ever written about databases.

It is a best seller (for an IT book that is, Harry Potter doesn't need to lose any sleep) and it is easy to see why.

Clear and simple explanations with real-world examples that the reader can easily relate to, and it is actually funny in places (quite an achievement for a database book).

Although the examples are given in Microsoft Access for simplicity, don't let that put you off if Access isn't your thing. Everything discussed is applicable to any decent RDBMS - SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Sybase etc.

If you want to know about relational databases then buy this book.
If you think that you already know about relational databases then still buy this book.
If you're not interested in relational databases at all then still buy this book.
If you're stuck for a present for your 92 year old Grandma then buy her this book.

I quite like this book in case that's not coming across.
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on 17 August 2011
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is good and offers some good, clear explanations.

But it tries to hold your hand a bit too much, over-simplifying things, using minimal table data. I think the sample tables should be bigger, and the graphics for them smaller. (Perhaps I'm just put off by the aesthetics of the book - the clunky font and table prints.)

It also contains a number of chapters that run to a couple/few pages. They should either add more to these chapters or incorporate them within a larger chapter or topic.

However, it is still very useful and contains information and descriptions that aren't found in other, more Access/Product centric books. That is, most Access books show you how to use the product but don't provide enough details about the theory behind database design and construction.

I intend to re-read it, so it must be pretty good :)
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