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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Data&Databases: Concepts in Practice
Author:
Joe Celko
ISBN:
1 55860 432 4
Publisher:
Morgan Kaufmann
Pages:
382pp
Price:
£24-95
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
database
Appeared in:
12-2
The book is balanced and easily readable. It is divided into small chapters, which can be read on their own. The book gives background reading for people already having basic Relational Database and SQL knowledge.

To quote the author from his preface; 'The book is more oriented toward the philosophy and foundations of data and databases than toward programming tips and techniques'. This is, however, not what the publisher suggests on the back cover of the book (and what Amazon quotes on its web site). This is a pity, because with a more accurate back fewer readers will be disappointed after buying this book.

The book describes underlying database issues like types of data, scales and measurement. It describes how you can easily make mistakes about the meaning of data.

The book continues with encoding schemes, set theory, keys, missing data, use of NULLs, (de)normalization, check digits, meta-data, transactions and database access structures. There is some background reading on the relational model, to what level databases really are relational. The book is accessible for a large audience because the mathematical theories are kept to a minimum. Most chapters hand you a topic on which you should reflect whether it applies to your own work. Readers looking for a more thorough grounding would have to go to several other books.