Relational Theory for Computer Professionals by C. J. Date

bkt_relational_theory

Summary: Comprehensive and gentle introduction to relational model

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.

O’Reilly (print): Relational Theory for Computer Professionals (Theory in Practice)
O’Reilly (e-book): Relational Theory for Computer Professionals (Theory in Practice)
Amazon (print): Relational Theory for Computer Professionals (Theory in Practice)
Amazon (e-book): Relational Theory for Computer Professionals (Theory in Practice)
Safari Books Online: Relational Theory for Computer Professionals

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