Today’s blog post is a quick review of Fabian Pascal’s latest book The DBDEBUNK Guide to Misconceptions and Data Fundamentals. Those of you who know Pascal will know what to expect — a no-holds barred treatise on the fundamentals of data and database management focusing on the relational model and its benefits. But also you will get a true understanding of what relational means. You see, what is commonly called a relational DBMS more accurately should be referred to as a SQL DBMS. If that doesn’t make sense to you then you are exactly the type of reader who should buy and read this book.
The book is self-published, so it is only available at Mr. Pascal’s website, dbdebunk.com. But the material is well-written and laid out in an easy-to-consume fashion. This comes as no surprise given Pascal’s extensive history and background writing about relational theory and databases (multiple decades of books, articles, blogs, etc. to his credit).
What makes this book special? Well, the material is culled from the the DATABASE DEBUNKINGS website. There are 50 chapters each exposing a common misconception or misunderstanding about data and relational fundamentals. Pascal shows the misconception and then clearly explains the problems and implications that arise because of it. Furthermore, he goes on to provide an explanation of the correct way. This approach, once you get comfortable with it, offers a sound format for exposed fallacies and correcting people’s misunderstanding of the issues.
As the foreword notes, there is an Index of Misconceptions rather than a a Table of Contents. You can use that index to seek out sections of the book that focus on specific misconceptions, such as on keys or unstructured data.
Also nice is the list of further reading provided in each section. If you read (and understand) not only this book, but also all of the referenced materials you will probably know more about data and database systems than most people working as data analysts and DBAs.
If your job requires you to manage, access or manipulate data, you would do well to read Pascal’s Guide. Even if you think you are an expert on relational theory and data fundamentals I am sure that the information in this powerful tome will offer up useful information. And for most people, who think they know more than they actually do, this book will deliver a wealth of knowledge that will serve you well as you progress with your IT career.