The book takes a holistic approach, introducing the reader to the concepts of the relational databases in general, and SQL in particular, by gradually building an understanding of the subject through the iterative process of refactoring the ideas, where each concept introduced at the beginning will be revisited in greater detail later on, illuminating the interconnectedness of the underlying principles.
Chapter 1 introduces the story behind SQL and the relational theory behind it. It is a whirlwind tour in which the basic concepts are introduced; all further chapters build upon it. The distinction between data and information is illuminated, and foundations are laid for further exploration. The chapter gives an overview of the relational database management systems (RDBMSs) used in this book.
We revisit these concepts again in Chapter 2 and add some more. The amorphous data becomes structured as it is being analyzed and conformed to the relational model. The “fridge magnets” paradigm becomes the “chest drawer” one, and then morphs into a bona fide relational database table.
The relational model is further explored in Chapter 3, as we step through the basics of the database design and normalization process. The SQL tools for working with normalized data are introduced. Dynamic SQL makes it appearance in this chapter.
To highlight both the power and limitations of SQL as a set-based language, some of the most popular procedural extensions (such as Oracle's ...