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SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code
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SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Understanding SQL's underlying theory is the best way to guarantee that your SQL code is correct and your database schema is robust and maintainable. On the other hand, if you're not well versed in the theory, you can fall into several traps. In SQL and Relational Theory, author C.J. Date demonstrates how you can apply relational theory directly to your use of SQL. With nu ...more
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: development
There is a scene in The Simpsons where Homer, on a health kick, declares, "I only eat food in bar form. When you concentrate food, you unleash its awesome power, I’m told." He then goes on to compress five pounds of spaghetti into a bar shape, and after quickly eating the condensed mega-meal asks for an ambulance. One might have a similar reaction after reading SQL and Relational Theory: How to Write Accurate SQL Code: there is so much covered in so little space coupled with the suggested exerci ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C.J. Date is angry.

He's been working with the relational algebra for a long time—longer than SQL's been around—and he wishes people would use it. He wrote Databases, Types, and the Relational Model: The Third Manifesto with Hugh Darwen to try to rectify things, but productization seems elusive.

In the meantime, thankfully, Date has squinted hard at SQL and managed to find ways to approach it actually relationally (no, SQL as normally practiced can't be said to be relational—another example of ter
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer
Date's book is almost two books in one. First is a book on relational theory. As such, it is meant for deep reading. The second is SQL, the Good Parts. And as such it can get pendantic. But for someone who already knows something about working with data, it can be a good discussion on what you can and cannot get away with.

The first part of the book is an introduction to relational theory, mixed with the author's discussion of what is wrong with the SQL specification and the various implementatio
May 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
A painful read and that's not because of the topic matter.

The author desperately needed an editor to come in and horrible sentence structure and ditch a good 25% of the text in this book. The author's writing style left me screaming "GET TO THE @^$#ING POINT".

It's hard to get anything out a book when every other sentence has parenthesis and references to asides. A decent editor would have avoided this and greatly improved the book. I'm sure the author knows his stuff and I'm sure the book has gr
Peter House
"SQL and Relational Theory", a book written by one of E.F. Codd's contemporaries, C.J. Date, is intended to give database practitioners an introduction to relational theory and its relationship with the SQL standard and syntax. The book accomplishes this goal but not in a clean way. The author has a lot to say about the SQL standard, much of which isn't unfair, but he does it in a way that is disruptive to the flow of the book.

Much of the conversation around SQL in this book tends be normative i
I never thought I would read such an emotional book about relational database theory.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: compsci
It was quite a trudge through this book.

(As a disclaimer on this review, I should mention I only have a basic familiarity of SQL and this book assumes a more thorough knowledge of it from the outset. I doubt I'm qualified to have a strong an opinion on the book.)

One of the more compelling aspects of this book was that is seemed to target an approach of "theory in use." Since that's an expression that as far as I know I just made up, I'll define it quickly. Many technical books either fall loose
Karl Evard

This book takes a deep look in to how databases should be and not how they are and how you can make use of them. As a book on DB mathematics it would get 5 stars but as a book to teach "how to write accurate SQL code" It falls far short of it's goal.
1) Most people who are looking to "write accurate SQL code" are not at the mathematical level that this book requires. They are your average Joe Programmer and while they could benefit greatly from the math behind
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a rigorous discussion of relational theory and how SQL fails to adhere to its practice, entirely. Therefore the author introduces a relationally-complete language, Tutorial D, alongside SQL, to show its advantages. I found this tutorial language to be more logically sound, but as it has no practical implementation, it's academic at best. That is, there are no database products that I use that could employ this language. I am stuck with SQL, so I agree with Celko's conclusion.

Celko's rev
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Reader have to be very attentive to grasp some useful information about relational theory and how use it to write SQL. Endless purist`s lament about imperfection of the real world. Author criticizes the problems of existing RDBMS and SQL only from position of 100% relational theory compliance and never considers other factors which influenced these implementations. With all due respect to author`s contribution into relational theory his views on physical DB implementation are rather mythical and ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer-science
An okay book sadly made silly by the sheer amount of indiscriminate pedantry. The author seeks to make the case that being a pedant when thinking about relational theory is important, particularly when compared to SQL's lazy implementation or contradiction of said theory. TRUE ENOUGH. But some things are more important to be a pedant about than others. I did not, for example, need a page's explanation to grasp that a paper representation of a relation isn't the same thing as the relation itself. ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always wondered why SQL works the way it does. This book has the answers.
Leandro Milhomem
Perfeito! Explicação muito bem detalhada sobre os tópicos, apresenta de forma clara seu raciocínio e objetivos.
Corrado Piola
Relational theory in depth. Clearly explains how SQL isn't as relational as you may think...
Jun 18, 2011 marked it as to-read
Reading this on my phone as an epub, so it's a bit slow going. I have the older edition of this in print, but it's changed enough that I'm trying to stick to the newer material.
Richard Baker
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasantly precise.
Jagatheesan Jack
Aug 10, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A "relationally" written book.
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Alvaro Pinheiro
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Dec 20, 2017
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Christopher J. Date (born 1941) is an independent author, lecturer, researcher, and consultant, specializing in relational database theory.
—from wikipedia
More about C.J. Date...