Forum OpenACS Development: Book recommendations for learning database design?
I hope to eventually be able to build a fairly complex DB-backed
website using FreeBSD, OpenACS, and Postgres...
My problem: I am what Greenspun would probably call "faintly
retarded" when it comes to SQL and database design (and Tcl and Unix,
for that matter.) I have very little background in computer science
or programming (I'm more of a UI-type guy, using Photoshop, Flash,
I purchased a book called "SQL: The Complete Reference" and have
browsed a few others, but I'm looking for something that will bring
it all together for me. Any suggestions?
Richard Barker, CASE Method Entity Relationship Modeling (Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1990), clothbound; ISBN 0-201-41696-4.
The best discussion of database design with RDBMS I've seen has been the first half of the O'Reilly book, Oracle Design, by Dave Ensor and Ian Stevenson. The later part of the book gets into pretty esoteric aspects of building applications with Oracle, but the first half explains really basic and useful things like the up and downsides or concatenated keys. Very clearly written.
C. J. Date, An Introduction to Database Systems (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1995), 839 pages; clothbound; ISBN 0-201-54329-X.
This book is a classic that you can sometimes get for $12 at used book stores, but it's fairly academic in its presentation, and it can be a lot of work to get the practical information you're after:
If you want to look farther afield check out the Applied Information Science Selected Bibliography.
Most comprehensive Oracle/SQL Tutorial under 64 pages, and it's FREE!
This is what we use for our introductory database design class. Let me know what you think.
- Bruce Momjian's, PostgreSQL:
Introduction and Concepts. $44.95.
Paperback - 462 pages 1st edition (December 15, 2000)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201703319
- PostgreSQL by Jeff Perkins. $39.99. Paperback - 450 pages 1st edition (December 15, 2000) Prima Publishing; ISBN: 0761524444
As others have pointed out, Momjian's book been available online for some time--now you can get the print version.
I've been using OpenACS and Postgres for months and the most valuable reference book for me is
Bruce Momjian's, PostgreSQL: Introduction and Concepts.
I've had a draft copy in PDF of his book that I keep on my desktop.
The Big Benefit is the ability of the PDF reader to search
for specific SQL words such as UNION or DISTINCT or....
AND be able to Quickly find the reference needed.
This is harder to do with the physical book and with the current HTML version on line.
Unfortunately, I don't see the PDF version on the postgreSQL site.
It would be nice if all reference books were PDF so I could use them this way.
Don, what do you have in your bookshelf on this topic? :)
Read Bruce's book after you read "The Practical SQL Handbook" by Judith S. Bowman. With them you'll learn the basics of SQL usage.