When I was asked to review the third edition of Data Modeling Essentials, I jumped at the opportunity. I continuously recommend the second edition to attendees in my data modeling courses, and Graeme Simsion has been a frequent participant in our Design Challenges (please see www.stevehoberman.com/designchalleng.htm). In addition, I have attended wonderful presentations both by Simsion and Witt over the years. Therefore, I dived into this latest edition with very high expectations that were not only met, but also exceeded.
The goal of Data Modeling Essentials is to "... help information systems professionals ... acquire competency in data modeling." The reader might question whether the text is more introductory or more advanced, and the answer is "Yes." The book will offer value to novice, intermediate and advanced data modelers. Someone just starting his/her first data modeling project could begin at page one and by the end of the text have gained a rich understanding of conceptual, logical and physical designs, as well as pick up a number of key themes in modeling such as creativity, exceptions to most rules and that there is usually more than one right answer. Intermediate and advanced modelers will find the introductory chapters on modeling and the key themes useful and will also benefit from the sections on modeling approach and more advanced topics such as rules and advanced normalization.
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