Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Introduction to Database Systems: International Edition (World Student) Author: C J Date @ Rm70.00

Publisher: Addison Wesley

Best database book.
I first came across this book on my MSc course. Here I was using the third and fourth editions. They even use this book in China. I taught from the fourth edition in 1996. The seventh edition contains much of the material in earlier editions but has been refined and updated.

It is remarkable how such an authorative and comprehensive book can be so clear and accessible. Nevertheless it cannot be described as an easy read because of the size. It will take many months to read this book, but the effort should be worthwhile.
The surest way to grow is to have solid foundations!
If you are looking for a quick 'how to' approach to developing a database look elsewhere.
If however you are looking for a sound introduction to the fundamentals written clearly in a reasoned and logical style then this should be the No 1 choice.
Its like an old friend that you can rely on to steer you in the right direction, making sure you get things right from the start and are not wasting time making modifications or enhancements that should have been implemented by a better understanding from the outset!
'When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.'
Excellent content, shame about the style
If you are interested in database theory, then this is a great book. If I were rating this book purely on the information it contained, I should award it five stars. What struck me, as much as anything else, were two things in particular

a) The writing style is poor.

b) The book appears, in large part, to be a forum for sniping at the rest of the database industry.

With regards to my first criticism, I should begin by saying that the layout is very good, each chapter follows a format of introduction, body, summary, exercises, references & bibliography, and answers to selected exercises. It lets itself down, however, by presenting the reader with an overly verbose, repetitive, and convoluted writing style. I could have put up with style for the sake of the content (which is excellent), were it not for the incessant attacks on the rest of the DB industry. It surely was possible to point out the shortcomings of real world practices in a more neutral way. It is quite right and proper that the author should point out those common (and not so common) mistakes that are often made in the field (no pun intended), though not in the way this book does.

In summary, this book is well worth the money, and I'm sure that it will prove an invaluable reference for a long time to come. As for Mr. Date, he would serve his cause far better by moderating his critical style.

Very good
... If you are a computing Student and have great interest in Database. This is the ideal book to help you understand database system better. The book is very easy to understand and easy to follow. Try it and you are not going to be disappointed. I used the book for my database project and I have a better knowledge on the field.


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