Relational Theory for Computer Professionals
What Relational Databases Are Really All About
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2013
Pages: 284

All of today’s mainstream database products support the SQL language, and relational theory is what SQL is supposed to be based on. But are those products truly relational? Sadly, the answer is no. This book shows you what a real relational product would be like, and how and why it would be so much better than what’s currently available.

With this unique book, you will:

  • Learn how to see database systems as programming systems
  • Get a careful, precise, and detailed definition of the relational model
  • Explore a detailed analysis of SQL from a relational point of view

There are literally hundreds of books on relational theory or the SQL language or both. But this one is different. First, nobody is more qualified than Chris Date to write such a book. He and Ted Codd, inventor of the relational model, were colleagues for many years, and Chris’s involvement with the technology goes back to the time of Codd’s first papers in 1969 and 1970. Second, most books try to use SQL as a vehicle for teaching relational theory, but this book deliberately takes the opposite approach. Its primary aim is to teach relational theory as such. Then it uses that theory as a vehicle for teaching SQL, showing in particular how that theory can help with the practical problem of using SQL correctly and productively.

Any computer professional who wants to understand what relational systems are all about can benefit from this book. No prior knowledge of databases is assumed.

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oreillyRelational Theory for Computer Professionals
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

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100%

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Pros

  • Concise (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)

    Reviewed by 3 customers

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    5.0

    Comprehensive and gentle introduction to

    By mko

    from Poland

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Relational Theory for Computer Professionals:

      I remember reading another book from C.J Date some time ago: SQL and Relational Theory. At that time I was simply put off by the content as I thought it was no use from the pratical point of view. This time, I would write different review, and this is due to reading Relational Theory for Computer Professionals. For the details, read on.

      This time, C.J. Date takes slightly different apporach to the topic. At first you get consice and well written explanation of relational model then, you get the overview of the SQL in the contex of what you have read before. In the context of relational model. When it comes to relational model, as for all other books and video trainings, C.J. Date uses Tutorial D while explaining it's odds and ends. And here comes funny and unexpected change in my approach to the langue. When I was reading SQL and Relational Theory I was completelly against the concept of the language specially crafted just for the purpose of relational model explanation. When I was reading View Updating & Relational Theory I started to appreciate it. Now, after reading Relational Theory for Computer Profesionals, I am almost grateful to C.J. Date for defining it and using throughout his books. Thanks to Tutorial's D structure it is really easy to follow relational model's concepts.

      As for the book and the content, the case is simple: well written, well explained, concise. The structure of the book is really clear. First part contains details of relational model, then C.J. Date presents SQL and with each feature of the language you get desription of how should it be done using Tutorial D and how can you achieve the same thing using SQL. There are lots of examples and exercises throughout the book. What is even more important is that for each exercise you get full and well explained answer.

      There is one thing about this book. It is "very academic". It means that you go through lots of formulas, definitions, very formal language and you have to pay lots of attention to the content while reading. If you preffer more pragmatic approach, this book may be boring. On the other hand, if you value concise approach with really good background – go for it. I would definitelly suggest it to all the people who are familiar with SQL, but don't have relational model related knowledge, yet.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good intro to relational databases

      By teak

      from Jyväskylä, Finland

      About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Relational Theory for Computer Professionals:

        I choosed this book for review just after reviewing lecture video by same author with same title. This was an error of judgement. While reading this book I heard the voice of the author in my head. The material in lecture was about identical with the material in the book. This book assumes some computer programming background but I think that it is well suited for students.

        I always think that when title, description and the book itself matches it is worth praising, and this book is worth praising in this area. It is all about relational theory for computer professionals and you learn why SQL is not really a relational database product and how you could use SQL-based products as relational databases.

        The text itself is well written and filled with clear examples providing concrete examples of abstract ideas. The book is good in explaining most of the more diffucult material, but you might need to read some portions of the text again in order to really understand.

        The style is rather concise and dry, but there is a little bit of humor inserted in few places. You can check for yourself if you like the style from the preview. The examples are clearly visible from the text which is a bonus. If you are not familar with set theory, the appendix C is for you with introduction to that part of mathematics. The index in the end is also rather comprehensive.

        I liked the book, but it didn't blew my mind 4/5, and I do recomend the book for anybody wanting really to understand the basics of relational databases.

        ps. I received this book free of charge for review purposes through O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Deeply in Relational Theory for Computer

        By Surachart

        from Bangkok. Thailand

        About Me DBA, Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Difficult to understand

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Relational Theory for Computer Professionals:

        A good book for some people who are interested in Relational Database, and who want to know what exactly Relational Database is all about. Anyway, readers should have a basic about relational database. If You don't have... you should read other books from C.J. Date before. Why I said like that, I think this book not easy to read if you don't have basic and no idea about relational database.

        n a book, after you finished for reading each chapter you can see exercise to help you to improve your understanding, that's very cool anyway. This book is useful to use in college, but I think that should be advance course because it need basic about relational database and sql.

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