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Practical Issues in Database Management: A Reference for the Thinking Practitioner

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Excerpt

It's official--client server is dead and the future is in the Net. Says who? Why Larry Ellison, that's who.

"Client Servers were a tremendous mistake. And we are sorry that we sold it to you," the Oracle CEO said to a captive London audience last week.

Instead of applications running on the desktop and data sitting on the server, everything will be Internet based. The only things running on the desktop will be a browser and a word processor.

What people want, he said, is simple, inexpensive hardware that functions as a window on to the Net. The PC was ludicrously complex with stacks of manuals, helplines and IT support needed to make it function. Client server was supposed to alleviate this problem, but it was a step in the wrong direction.

"We are paying through the nose to be ignorant," commented Ellison.

--THE REGISTER (THEREGISTER.CO.UK)

The computer industry--and its database sector in particular--resembles the fashion industry: It is driven by fads. And more often than not, vendors profit from the accelerated obsolescence on which fads are predicated. It's the users, however, not the vendors, who pay through the nose. The vendors, helped by the trade media, can profitably exploit ignorance and obscure serious product deficiencies and the questionable practices they induce by simply luring users to the next fad--the Internet being just the latest one.

The Internet is as much a panacea for database management as the PC, SQL, client/server, object orientation, "universal" and multidimensional DBMS, data warehousing, and mining were before it. Java virtual machines, application servers, and browser-based development tools are in the application, not database, domain, and problems caused by an unsound database foundation cannot and should not be resolved at the application level. Moreover, ad hoc DBMS support for Web pages, Microsoft Word documents, spreadsheets, and the like-- also referred to as "complex data types" and "unstructured data"--adds serious complications and problems of its own (see Appendix 1D for an Internet example). Sound database technology should be a foundation for the Internet, not the other way around. But sadly, the database field is in disarray, if not in outright regression.

Many, if not most, difficulties in database management are due to the persistent failure by both DBMS vendors and database users to educate themselves and rely on a sound, scientific foundation in their respective practices. The ad hoc, cookbook approach to database management that results is due in large part to the general business culture, and particularly to the way in which practitioners are introduced to the field. A large majority are self-taught and become DBAs, application developers, database consultants, and even DBMS designers via work with some specific DBMS software. Unexposed to database concepts, principles, and methods, practitioners are unaware of the field's fundamentals, or assume they know them already. But fundamentals are not product- or vendor-specific--and intentionally so: Their generality is precisely what makes them useful. Fundamentals are deemed "theory" and, therefore, not practical. Under industry pressures, even academic programs are becoming increasingly vocational in character, focusing on product training, rather than on database educa-tion. For example:

From: RA

Product Details

ISBN:
9780201485554
Author:
Pascal, Fabian
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley Professional
Location:
Boston :
Subject:
Database Management - General
Subject:
Database management
Subject:
Data Modeling & Design
Subject:
Database design
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1999-209486
Publication Date:
May 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 7.3 x 0.6 in 517 gr

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Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Database » Design
Computers and Internet » Software Engineering » Software Management

Practical Issues in Database Management: A Reference for the Thinking Practitioner Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Addison-Wesley Professional - English 9780201485554 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A comprehensive text for anyone wanting to learn how to effectively interact with database technology. The book identifies and clarifies certain fundamental concepts, principles and techniques that users (and vendors) seem to have persistently recurring trouble with.
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"Synopsis" by , The aim of this book is to provide a correct and up-to-date understanding of-and appreciation for-the practical aspects of crucial, yet little-understood core database issues. It identifies and clarifies certain fundamental concepts, principles, and techniques that persistently trouble users and vendors. It assesses the treatment of those issues in SQL (both the standard and commercial implementations) and gives specific guidance and practical advice on how to deal with them (and how not to). It covers, carefully and thoroughly, several particularly tricky and misunderstood topics-complex data types, missing information, data hierarchies, quota queries, and so forth-in a succinct and concise form for the busy database practitioner.
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