Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design

Book Review

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design
by Louis Davidson
Copyright 2001
Wrox Press

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design Find out more about this book,
or purchase it, from Amazon.com

Run, don’t walk (or click on the Amazon.com link above) to your nearest book store and get yourself a copy of Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design. Whether you are a novice or experienced; or a DBA, a SQL Server developer, or a SQL Server database architect, you can learn something new from this book by Louis Davidson.

I have reviewed a couple of other database design books on this website, and this is the first one that is 100% practical and focuses on the real world of SQL Server database design. This is the book I wish I had when I started out in the SQL Server world.

As is evident from its title, this book focuses on how to design databases for SQL Server 2000. Although the focus of the book is on OLTP database design, it also covers Operational Database Store (ODS), Data Mart, and Data Warehouse design. The first part of the book focuses on logical database design, while the second half focuses on the physical implementation of the design. And best of all, and it may be a first for a book on database design, database performance is actually an important focus of the book. I preach on my website that database performance is mostly won or lost during the design and implementation stage. And can you believe it, here is an author who believes the same thing, and provides you with much of the information you need to design lightening fast databases.

Here’s what Davidson covers in his book:

  • Introduction to Database Methodologies

  • Gathering Information for a Database Project

  • Fundamental Database Concepts

  • Entities, Attributes, Relationships, and Business Rules

  • Data Modeling

  • Normalization Techniques

  • Advanced Normalization Topics

  • Ending the Logical Design Phase

  • Planning the Physical Architecture

  • Planning and Implementing the Basic Physical Architecture

  • Ensuring Data Integrity

  • Advanced Data Access and Modification Techniques

  • Determining Hardware Requirements

  • Completing the Project

Don’t let the somewhat prosaic topics above put you to sleep. Each chapter is jammed packed with real-world, practical advice on how to design and implement high-performance databases.

Performance tuning topics are scattered appropriately throughout the book, but there is also an entire chapter dedicated to performance tuning (in the chapter called “Determining Hardware Requirements”). Although not comprehensive, it does cover most of what you need to know from the perspective of implementing a database in the real world.

After reading this book, will you be able to design lightening fast databases? Probably not right away. Database design is incredibly difficult to do right and requires years of experience. But this book will give you a great jump start in a way that is both readable and understandable.

Unless you are a SQL Server database design expert, I highly recommend that you add this book to your collection of favorite SQL Server database books. This is true whether you are new to SQL Server and are just learning the ropes (this book is a great start once you know the basics of SQL Server), or an experienced DBA or developer.




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