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Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design

(The Addison-Wesley Signature Series)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Refactoring has proven its value in a wide range of developmentprojects, helping software professionals improve system designs, maintainability, extensibility, and performance. Now, for the first time, leading agile methodologist Scott Ambler and renowned consultantPramodkumar Sadalage introduce powerful refactoring techniquesspecifically designed for database systems. Amb ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published March 3rd 2006 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published 2006)
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Marcin Kuthan
Jan 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm very disappointed, I don't know why Addison Wesley decided to publish this book :-(

* only trivial examples, no real life cases
* totally outdated (even from 2006 perspective), the ideas might be valid in 80'
* a lot of repetition, the book could be half as long
* the parts with JDBC code - waste of paper
Marcin Jałbrzykowski
Jan 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am really disappointed with this book and I am wondering why it belongs to the famous Addison-Wesley Signature Series.

- Most of the described patterns are totally obvious
- Some "bad smells" (IMO) are very promoted, i.e. triggers are notoriously used throughout the book
- A lot of repetitions - which is a little bit boring and even annoying
- In spite of the fact, that the Author wants to database development to be more agile, presented techniques and patterns tend to be outdated with a Waterfall
Thierry de Pauw
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although the book dates back to 2006, it still is very relevant.
It is a patterns catalogue book. Which I like. The techniques described are applicable to any RDBMS flavour although the examples are based on Oracle.
If you want to achieve zero-down time deployments with applications storing state in an RDBMS, you should have this book on your bookshelf.

Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: computer-science
A nice book overall. Some refactorings were very interesting, but most of them seemed obvious or very simple to be included in this kind of book. I liked the "Motivation" parts, were the author explains the business reasons to introduce a refactor. And I liked even more the "Potential Trade-offs" parts, were the possible issues could arise when implementing a specific refactor.

A very well written book. I would suggest this book to the less experienced with databases, because most of these refact
Jordan Shelvock
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Databases seem to hold a unique status in software organizations. Often, they're heavy politics around them, and there's a lot of fear around making even small modifications. Ambler gives us some principles for applying refactoring to databases. This practice isn't controversial in any other area of software development, and he shows us that it doesn't need to be controversial with databases, either. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book on managing change in relational databases was ahead of its time in 2008. The "recipes" are well thought out although the authors make quite a few mistakes. The book should have been edited more closely. But still a good book to know about. ...more
Danial Kalbasi
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: engineering
I found some interesting points in the book, but overall quality for any experience SE is minimal. The main issue with this book, it's divided by refactoring concerns, but even in that domain, it's so weak and the examples are just plain basic. ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall really good. In doing a deep dive in my professional life to better work in software development as a data professional, this book would be a cornerstone. Would prefer that some of the topics had better explanation or examples of how it fits, but overall really good.
Joe Cole
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Creating a data model from scratch on a development environment is a relatively easy thing to manage. The catalog takes a number of established techniques and best practices and places them in a new framework which at least provides value to some for now
Étienne Thouin
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent book, reads like Martin Fowler's seminal Refactorings book.
Excellent premise about Database Object Deprecation and time-to-live periods.
Leandro López
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for reference. Probably more useful for beginners than experienced developers and DBAs. The formatting of the code examples could use lots of love.
I only skimmed this one--

Good overview of the methods one can use to evolve a database over time. Most of it seemed like common sense to me.

Most of the book (pages 69-350) is reference material and notes on specific database refactorings, so I think studying this book in-depth up-front is not needed. When you are going to attempt a tricky refactor or you are new to the field you can just refer to the relevant section.
Miroslav Kulha
Jan 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: doma
For now this is the worst book from addison Wesley signature series. Everything in this book is just written down common sense of how work with large and mostly old databases and how these databases refactor for including new information.
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Scott W. Ambler is a Canadian software engineer, consultant and author, currently Senior Consulting Partner at Scott Ambler + Associates.

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