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Fundamentals of Database Systems

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This edition combines clear explanations of database theory and design with up-to-date coverage of models and real systems. It features excellent examples and access to Addison Wesley's database Web site that includes further teaching, tutorials and many useful student resources.

1139 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1989

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About the author

Ramez Elmasri

30 books6 followers
Dr. Elmasri is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Elmasri received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt, in 1972. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science at Stanford University in 1980.

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5 stars
301 (33%)
4 stars
285 (31%)
3 stars
209 (23%)
2 stars
76 (8%)
1 star
35 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Nawal Al-Qussyer.
167 reviews2,138 followers
May 24, 2011
اعشق هالكتاب..
درسته في لفل ٥
مع دكتورة منى بن عيسى
كان من احسن الكورسات وكانت المحاضرة من امتع المحاضرات وكنت ما اغيب فيها ولا احب اغيب
واسلم الشيتات كاملة واختباراتي كانت شي يجنن
وكنت اشرح للكل من كثر ماحبيت المادة
الكتاب ممتاز جدا جدا جدا
الاسلوب واااضح ومباشر ومافي اي تعقيد حتي اللي انجليزيته مش ولا بد بيقدر يمشي نفسه لو كان فاهم في مصطلحات الكمبويتر بشكل عام
الكتاب حجم ثقيل لكنه يستاهل.. برضو سعر كثير لكنه مرجع
كنا نرجع له كثير في الواجبات ونلاقي تفسيرات رائعة وشرح حلو
انصح كل المهتمين بمجال الداتا بيس انهم يبدون من هنا
Profile Image for D.
4 reviews
April 25, 2016
Read select sections. The writing is tedious. It is not very readable. Reader has to spend a lot of time cross-referencing illustrations with text. Spends a lot of time on formalism and examples but doesn't do a very good job contextualizing or motivating the content.

The textbook suffers from feature creep. There are 7 editions and they probably could have stopped after the first. Many of the paragraphs feel like "updates" and reading continuity suffers as a result. Feels like a money grab. If you assign this book for a class, go for an older and cheaper edition.

The writing is too wordy: "this is what we will write about"... "this is what we are writing about"... "this is what we just wrote about". "The definition of X, sometimes called Y or Z is blah blah"... "when we perform X (sometimes called Y or Z) blah blah"... "blah blah Z". It also repeats much of the content. I have to resist the urge to skim because the writing is so tiresome.
Profile Image for Andrew Obrigewitsch.
935 reviews123 followers
September 26, 2016
I'm reading this for my intro to database management class. This book shouldn't be anywhere near an intro course. Maybe somewhere after the second course, it would be fine. Instead of explaining the basic concepts first and building up. It hits one with super detailed descriptions down to the most minute detail, which for a beginner does nothing as most of the time you don't even know what the book is referring to, and get tired of looking up references to completely unnecessary technical ideas.

All teachers out there, find a simpler book to start with. This book would be great for someone that knows the basics and wants to take things to a super detailed level.
Profile Image for Alejandro Teruel.
1,117 reviews213 followers
October 27, 2021
I read the first edition of this book in the early 1990s and was blown away by its simple and clear explanations compared to other textbooks of the time (Date, Wiederhold). I very much appreciated its treatment of EER (chapters 3, 15, 16).

Since then I have dipped into more recent editions from time to time and always found it worthwhile.
March 9, 2016
A *very* dry theory on databases containing no practical information whatsoever. It helped me to ace relational algebra and database theory exam, but for anything else I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.
Profile Image for Eric Phetteplace.
354 reviews63 followers
December 4, 2010
Textbook for LIS490DB Introduction to Databases

Really poor textbook. Repeatedly framed things in set theory, which is unnecessary and probably only served to confuse non-mathematics majors, also failed to demonstrate good naming practices in database examples. I basically stopped reading the textbook and started using online materials and lecture slides instead. The Wikipedia articles on databases are far superior to this monstrosity. I did use the book as a reference guide a few times and will probably keep it around, but I'm almost certain there's better stuff out there available for free (it would be shocking if MySQL, for instance, didn't have a wiki and stellar forum support).
Profile Image for CD Athuraliya.
23 reviews7 followers
June 25, 2014
Everything you need to know about databases in simple terms.
Profile Image for Beth.
14 reviews
December 5, 2018
Just awful. Difficult to read and understand. Written as though you are either a mathematician or computer technician. As someone who is used to working in the front end of databases and trying to learn the back-house operations, this book was useless. I read some of the sections to a person who works in database systems, he didn’t understand what the book was saying either. The chapters were also out of order: if you the chapters numerically, you first build a database, then you diagram it based on your needs.... putting the cart before the horse there, don’t you think? I’m not kidding: diagramming your design for your database is chapter 7. They have a diagram of how the book is structure on preface page xii: it looks like a diamond with a bunch of zigzags in it.

It was more helpful for me to just learn from class instruction and use the book as a doorstop.
Profile Image for Ibrahim Radi.
32 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2022
A huge book to carry around. Goes in-depth the topics. I would have preferred to have more explanation and detailed examples on Data Modelling.
All teachers out there, find a simpler book to start with. This book would be great for someone that knows the basics and wants to take things to a super detailed level.
I've been reading First 7th Chapters of this book in a Data Base course at the university.
Profile Image for Lucy.
23 reviews14 followers
December 15, 2021
Some basics of Database Systems. Useful parts for me were:
- in Chapter 9 "Relational Mapping, DB design,
- in Chapter 5 about "Relational model concepts, constraints aaand
- in Chapter 3 "Data modeling using the Entity Relationship".
April 14, 2022
One of the most tedious and wordy books I’ve ever read. Explains the relational algebra part well. Book lacks enough practical examples. Complex concepts are explained in a overly complex way, which in my opinion never makes it easy to learn.
November 8, 2017
One of the best books that covers all the basics of Database Systems .. It contains in-depth knowledge and is definitely worth reading if you want to improve your knowledge in Databases
1 review
August 13, 2019
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ангел Томов.
27 reviews10 followers
February 24, 2021
A little bit old approaches, but the book gives very good fundamentals for those who haven't got a clue of how database systems are administered/created/supported and many more!
7 reviews
May 13, 2020
Read for CS6400 - Database Systems Concepts and Design for Georgia Institute of Technology.

Merged review:

Read for CS6400 - Database Systems Concepts and Design for Georgia Institute of Technology.
Profile Image for Adil Raja.
21 reviews
January 10, 2017
I recently had a chance to read the sixth edition of this book (I wonder where I can find an entry for that particular edition so that I could have written a review for that explicitly). This is a brilliant book. It takes the reader from ground up, without assuming any prior knowledge of the subject domain. The authors start off with general descriptions of database systems, their history, and evolution, and gradually introduce the relevant topics. Treatment of relational algebra, basic SQL, data analysis techniques, entity relationship diagrams and normalization are particularly interesting. Moreover, other topics such as indexing, block storage mechanisms, query optimization, query trees and distributed database systems are also presented in an extremely lucid vernacular.
19 reviews1 follower
April 18, 2012
Reviewed if only to reinforce one of the core and common texts that underpin what is fast becoming a fractured and divergent field. One day we will mourn the passing of the relational database, but for now, this is a staple read for any in the field.
Profile Image for Will Vasconcelos.
26 reviews16 followers
December 22, 2015
This book covers a lot of ground in database concepts and techniques. However, by the time I read this edition, the seventh edition was already up with some important updates on concepts such as object oriented databases, hadoop and more.
9 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2019
Quite extensive, giving a pretty complete picture of Database Systems that is useful also in a professional context. But it has a lot of glaring errors and way too much filler text. It also loves to repeats itself. A more concise and focused version would be nice.
Profile Image for Bushra GM.
32 reviews17 followers
March 10, 2010
This Book Is Just a great and so easy to Understand , It has a lot Of sad Memories to me , But I survive in The Database Course with it After God Willing , I will keep it Forever :)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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