Relational databases hold data, right? They indeed do, but to think of a database as nothing more than a container for data is to miss out on the profound power that underlies relational technology. A far more powerful way of thinking lies in relational technology's foundation in the mathematical disciplines of logic and set theory.
Databases contain truths or propositions describing some area of interest such as a business. Those truths are organized into sets. Operations from logic and set theory can be applied to existing sets of truths to derive new sets of truths. Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals introduces you to this way of thinking, to the logic and set theory that underlies relational database technology. All this may sound abstract now, but there are profound benefits from the deeper understanding you'll gain from this book. You'll learn to
- Become a better database designer. You'll make fewer mistakes, and your designs will be more flexible in response to changing data needs.
- Use the expressive power of mathematics to precisely specify designs and business rules.
- Communicate effectively about design using the universal language of mathematics.
- Develop and write complex SQL statements with confidence.
- Avoid pitfalls and problems from common relational bugaboos such as null values and duplicate rows.
The math that you learn in this book will put you above the level of understanding of most database professionals today. You'll better understand the technology and be able to apply it more effectively. You'll avoid data anomalies like redundancy and inconsistency. Understanding what's in this book will take your mastery of relational technology to heights you may not have thought possible.
This book is reviewed and endorsed by C. J. Date and features a foreword by the same.
About the Author
Lex de Haan studied applied mathematics at the University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands. His experience with Oracle goes back to the mid-1980s, version 4. He worked for Oracle Corporation from 1990 to 2004 in various education-related roles, ending up in Server Technologies (product development) as senior curriculum manager for the advanced DBA curriculum. In that role, he was involved in the development of Oracle9i and Oracle Database 10g. In March 2004, he decided to go independent and founded Natural Join B.V. (http://www.naturaljoin.nl). From 1999 until his passing in 2006, he was involved in the ISO SQL language standardization process, as a member of the Dutch national body. He was also one of the founding members of the OakTable network (http://www.oaktable.net). Toon Koppelaars studied computer science at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He is a long-time Oracle technology user, having used the Oracle database and tools software since 1987, version 4. During his career he has been involved in both application development (terminal/host in the early days, GUI client/server later on, and J2EE nowadays), as well as database administration. Within the data modeling area, the formal specification and robust implementation of data integrity rules (a.k.a. business rules) is one of his special interest areas. He is currently employed as an IT architect at Centraal Boekhuis B.V., a well-known Oracle shop in the Netherlands. As such, he is responsible for technical application architectures with special focus on areas such as scalability, performance, and maintainability of application code. He is also a frequent presenter at Oracle-related conferences. Recently he has won both the Editor's Choice Award and the Best Speaker Award of the ODTUG-Now! conference.