Database Design for Mere Mortals: 25th Anniversary Edition 4th Edition by Michael J. Hernandez, ISBN-13: 978-0136788041


Database Design for Mere Mortals: 25th Anniversary Edition 4th Edition by Michael J. Hernandez, ISBN-13: 978-0136788041

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

  • Publisher: ‎ Addison-Wesley Professional; 4th edition (December 17, 2020)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 640 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0136788041
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0136788041

Database Design for Mere Mortals has earned worldwide respect as the simplest way to learn relational database design. Now, this hands-on, software independent tutorial is even clearer and easier to use.

Step by step, this new 25th Anniversary Edition shows you how to design modern databases that are soundly structured, reliable, and flexible, even in the latest online applications. Michael Hernandez guides you through everything from planning to defining tables, fields, keys, table relationships, business rules, and views. You will learn practical ways to improve data integrity, how to avoid common mistakes, and when to break the rules. Updated review questions and figures help you learn these techniques more easily and effectively.

  • Understand database types, models, and design terminology
  • Perform interviews to efficiently capture requirements―even if everyone works remotely
  • Set clear design objectives and transform them into effective designs
  • Analyze a current database so you can identify ways to improve it
  • Establish table structures and relationships, assign primary keys, set field specifications, and set up views
  • Ensure the correct level of data integrity for each database
  • Identify and establish business rules
  • Preview and prepare for the future of relational databases

Whatever relational database systems you use, Hernandez will help you design databases that are robust and trustworthy. Never designed a database before? Settling for inadequate generic designs? Running existing databases that need improvement? Start here.

How This Book is Different

Many database design books on the market include chapters on implementing the database within a specific database product, and some books even seem to meld the design and implementation phases together and a reader can have difficulty obtaining any useful or relevant information from the implementation chapters if he or she doesn’t work with the particular database software or programming language that the book incorporates.

This book deals with only the logical design phase of the overall development process, and the book’s main purpose is to explain the process of relational database design without using the advanced, orthodox methodologies.

Table of Contents:

Foreword xix

Preface xxi

Introduction xxix

What’s New in the Fourth Edition xxxi

Who Should Read This Book xxxii

The Purpose of This Book xxxiii

How to Read This Book xxxvi

How This Book Is Organized xxxvii

A Word about the Examples and Techniques in This Book xl


Chapter 1: The Relational Database 3

Topics Covered in This Chapter 3

What Is a Database? 3

The Relational Database 5

Retrieving Data 7

Advantages of a Relational Database 9

Relational Database Management Systems 10

What’s Next? 11

Summary 13

Review Questions 14

Chapter 2: Design Objectives 17

Topics Covered in This Chapter 17

Why Should You Be Concerned with Database Design? 17

The Importance of Theory 19

The Advantage of Learning a Good Design Methodology 21

Objectives of Good Design 22

Benefits of Good Design 23

Database-Design Methods 24

Traditional Design Methods 24

The Design Method Presented in This Book 26

Normalization 27

Summary 30

Review Questions 31

Chapter 3: Terminology 33

Topics Covered in This Chapter 33

Why This Terminology Is Important 33

Value-Related Terms 35

Data 35

Information 35

Null 37

The Value of Null 38

The Problem with Null 39

Structure-Related Terms 41

Table 41

Field 44

Record 45

View 46

Keys 48

Index 50

Relationship-Related Terms 50

Relationships 50

Types of Relationships 52

Types of Participation 57

Degree of Participation 57

Integrity-Related Terms 59

Field Specification 59

Data Integrity 59

Summary 61

Review Questions 62


Chapter 4: Conceptual Overview 67

Topics Covered in This Chapter 67

The Importance of Completing the Design Process 68

Defining a Mission Statement and Mission Objectives 69

Analyzing the Current Database 70

Creating the Data Structures 72

Determining and Establishing Table Relationships 73

Determining and Defining Business Rules 74

Determining and Defining Views 75

Reviewing Data Integrity 75

Summary 77

Review Questions 78

Chapter 5: Starting the Process 81

Topics Covered in This Chapter 81

Conducting Interviews 82

Participant Guidelines 84

Interviewer Guidelines (These Are for You) 86

Defining the Mission Statement 91

The Well-Written Mission Statement 91

Composing a Mission Statement 93

Defining the Mission Objectives 96

Well-Written Mission Objectives 97

Composing Mission Objectives 99

Summary 103

Review Questions 104

Chapter 6: Analyzing the Current Database 107

Topics Covered in This Chapter 107

Getting to Know the Current Database 107

Paper-Based Databases 111

Legacy Databases 111

Conducting the Analysis 113

Looking at How Data Is Collected 113

Looking at How Information Is Presented 116

Conducting Interviews 120

Basic Interview Techniques 121

Before You Begin the Interview Process 128

Interviewing Users 128

Reviewing Data Type and Usage 129

Reviewing the Samples 131

Reviewing Information Requirements 135

Interviewing Management 143

Reviewing Current Information Requirements 144

Reviewing Additional Information Requirements 145

Reviewing Future Information Requirements 146

Reviewing Overall Information Requirements 147

Compiling a Complete List of Fields 148

The Preliminary Field List 148

The Calculated Field List 156

Reviewing Both Lists with Users and Management 156

Summary 162

Review Questions 164

Chapter 7: Establishing Table Structures 165

Topics Covered in This Chapter 165

Defining the Preliminary Table List 166

Identifying Implied Subjects 166

Using the List of Subjects 168

Using the Mission Objectives 172

Defining the Final Table List 174

Refining the Table Names 176

Indicating the Table Types 182

Composing the Table Descriptions 182

Associating Fields with Each Table 189

Refining the Fields 191

Improving the Field Names 191

Using an Ideal Field to Resolve Anomalies 196

Resolving Multipart Fields 199

Resolving Multivalued Fields 201

Refining the Table Structures 208

A Word about Redundant Data and Duplicate Fields 208

Using an Ideal Table to Refine Table Structures 209

Establishing Subset Tables 216

Summary 229

Review Questions 231

Chapter 8: Keys 233

Topics Covered in This Chapter 233

Why Keys Are Important 234

Establishing Keys for Each Table 234

Candidate Keys 235

Primary Keys 243

Alternate Keys 249

Non-keys 250

Table-Level Integrity 251

Reviewing the Initial Table Structures 251

Summary 259

Review Questions 260

Chapter 9: Field Specifications 263

Topics Covered in This Chapter 263

Why Field Specifications Are Important 264

Field-Level Integrity 266

Anatomy of a Field Specification 267

General Elements 267

Physical Elements 275

Logical Elements 278

Using Unique, Generic, and Replica Field Specifications 283

Defining Field Specifications for Each Field in the Database 287

Summary 291

Review Questions 292

Chapter 10: Table Relationships 293

Topics Covered in This Chapter 293

Why Relationships Are Important 294

Types of Relationships 295

One-to-One Relationships 296

One-to-Many Relationships 298

Many-to-Many Relationships 301

Self-Referencing Relationships 308

Identifying Existing Relationships 312

Establishing Each Relationship 323

One-to-One and One-to-Many Relationships 323

The Many-to-Many Relationship 331

Self-Referencing Relationships 337

Reviewing the Structure of Each Table 342

Refining All Foreign Keys 343

Elements of a Foreign Key 343

Establishing Relationship Characteristics 349

Defining a Deletion Rule for Each Relationship 349

Identifying the Type of Participation for Each Table 354

Identifying the Degree of Participation for Each Table 357

Verifying Table Relationships with Users and Management 360

A Final Note 360

Relationship-Level Integrity 361

Summary 366

Review Questions 368

Chapter 11: Business Rules 369

Topics Covered in This Chapter 369

What Are Business Rules? 370

Types of Business Rules 373

Categories of Business Rules 375

Field-Specific Business Rules 375

Relationship-Specific Business Rules 376

Defining and Establishing Business Rules 378

Working with Users and Management 378

Defining and Establishing Field-Specific Business Rules 379

Defining and Establishing Relationship-Specific Business Rules 386

Validation Tables 394

What Are Validation Tables? 394

Using Validation Tables to Support Business Rules 395

Reviewing the Business Rule Specifications Sheets 400

Summary 408

Review Questions 409

Chapter 12: Views 411

Topics Covered in This Chapter 411

What Are Views? 411

Anatomy of a View 413

Data View 413

Aggregate View 418

Validation View 422

Determining and Defining Views 424

Working with Users and Management 425

Defining Views 426

Reviewing the Documentation for Each View 434

Summary 441

Review Questions 442

Chapter 13: Reviewing Data Integrity 445

Topics Covered in This Chapter 445

Why You Should Review Data Integrity 446

Reviewing and Refining Data Integrity 446

Table-Level Integrity 447

Field-Level Integrity 447

Relationship-Level Integrity 448

Business Rules 448

Views 448

Assembling the Database Documentation 449

Done at Last! 451

Summary 452


Chapter 14: Bad Design—What Not to Do 455

Topics Covered in This Chapter 455

“Flat-File� Design 456

Spreadsheet Design 457

Dealing with the Spreadsheet View Mindset 459

Database Design Based on the Database Software 461

A Final Thought 463

Summary 463

Chapter 15: Bending or Breaking the Rules 465

Topics Covered in This Chapter 465

When May You Bend or Break the Rules? 465

Designing an Analytical Database 465

Improving Processing Performance 466

Documenting Your Actions 469

Summary 471

Chapter 16: In Closing 473


Appendix A: Answers to Review Questions 477

Appendix B: Diagram of the Database Design Process 501

Appendix C: Design Guidelines 519

Appendix D: Documentation Forms 529

Appendix E: Database-Design Diagram Symbols 533

Appendix F: Sample Designs 535

Appendix G: On Normalization 541

Appendix H: Recommended Reading 551

Glossary 553

References 567

Index 569

Michael J. Hernandez is a man with many talents and has done quite a bit in his life, and he continues to do many things to keep him busy. You could say he’s a modern-day Renaissance Man.

For instance, he has been an independent database consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry, and has been a contributing author to a wide variety of magazine articles, white papers, books, and periodicals. Mike has also been a top-rated and noted technical instructor for two national training organizations, the government, the military, the private sector, and companies throughout the United States, and he has been a top-rated speaker and presenter at numerous national and international conferences. He also worked full-time at Microsoft for seven years as a program manager, product manager, and marketing manager in the Visual Studio Group.

Mike is mainly pursuing his artistic side at this point in his life. He is currently a professional actor (with more than seven years of experience as of this writing), performing in commercials for the likes of U.S. Bank, Allstate Insurance, and Subaru; in TV for shows such as Veep, American Crime, and Unbelievable; and feature films such as Ernesto’s Manifesto, The Honor List, and Almost Home.

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