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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Beginning Relational Data Modeling
Sharon Allen and Evan Tracy
Paul Thomas
Appeared in:

If you already have a technical grounding then you may find this a little light. It's a wordy introduction that goes a long way into the subject without requiring too much attention to the mathematical side. If that's just what you're after, then you could do much worse. The writing has a nice, easy style that will keep you interested. And just because the presentation has a light touch, doesn't mean there is a lack of substance.

There were some occasions when I felt more background was expected of me as certain subjects were introduced. But on the whole, it does a nice job of starting at near zero and building up. The subject matter is broad so you get a good grounding in the basics but you certainly aren't left with only a skin-deep knowledge by the end. The material is pretty much up to date too.

This book has a lot going for it in terms of style, but what impressed me most were the examples. They are real-world and taken to quite some level of detail. There are the usual suspects or sales and order tracking. But the main example - the one taken from concept to physical reality (and then some) - revolves around a card game. Not only does this keep you from zoning out, it helps you think of data-based systems where you wouldn't normally.

Buy it if you want something to read rather than a reference book or course text book.