I often ask myself, "Why do I do this? Why am I writing another edition of this book? Is it worth it? Couldn't I help Mario save the princess faster if I just chucked the book and played Nintendo?" These questions were answered again for me by a fellow MVP at the Microsoft MVP Summit in 2008. He thanked me for writing this book and said that he'd tried to read the academic books on the subject and they were hard for him to follow.

"Oh yeah," I thought, "that was why I started out to do this thing in the first place." When I was first getting started designing databases, I learned from a few great mentors, but as I wanted to progress, I started looking for material on database design, and there wasn't much around. The best book I ...

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