Your First Guide to Database Design

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Take control of your data! Learn new skills for your career!

Increasingly, our lives leave behind a trail of electronic data from credit card and bank transactions to health information to social networking. Today’s world is completely dependent on this flow of information and employers are increasingly looking for people with the right technical skills to help manage it. Understanding how databases work is a major step in effectively working with the data that’s important to you and your work. To learn more, check out …

Your First Guide to Database Design

A clear guide to data organization and database design
for both beginners and technology professionals.

Your First Guide to Database Design coverYour First Guide to Database Design is a clear, easy-to-use guide to database concepts for both beginners and I.T. professionals who need to know how to organize and store any amount of information on any subject. Whether you’re using a desktop database like Microsoft Access or more advanced tools such as SQL Server or MySQL, this book will show you how to create a model for the data, design the database itself and issue the right commands to read and write to your new database. Your First Guide to Database Design uses multiple examples including the Job Search Plus database to present the  principles behind database design in a way that everyone can understand.

Following up on Microsoft Access for Beginners, this book moves beyond Access and explains how data is organized regardless of the database software being used. Your First Guide to Database Design demonstrates the entire design process starting with the raw data, organizing it into tables within a relational database and then using Structured Query Language (SQL) to manipulate the data for reports and analysis. The book includes an introduction to SQL to help you understand how to best access and work with your data. Screenshots from actual Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL databases are presented along with instructions on how to get started with free editions of either of these capable database management systems

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Your First Guide to Database Design is the book you’re looking for if …

  • You work with large amounts of information on a regular basis and would like to know how to organize and understand it better. This can be true even if you never work directly with I.T.. Maybe you’re an accounting professional trying to make sense of expense data or an administrative assistant who’s been asked to put together a database for payroll or employee information. Regardless of your job, an understanding of database concepts will enable you to produce better results and reduce your work in the long-term.
  • You communicate on a regular basis with I.T. professionals and need to do it more effectively. Even if you never design a database yourself, knowing the principles involved goes a long way toward understanding the abilities and limitations of the software you work with. This will save you a lot of misunderstandings when asking for new reports or system enhancements.
  • You want to enhance your career and need a better understanding of software. A promising career can start simply by being the person in the office who can produce results nobody else can. Database design is a valuable skill that will continue to be relevant for many years to come. While reading this book won’t add it to your resume immediately, knowing the basics can put you in the position to volunteer for that project that will get you noticed later.
  • You’re a hobbyist with a copy of Microsoft Access or another database program and you want to organize your media collection or exercise program.
  • Finally, you are an I.T. professional, maybe even a programmer or software developer, who is still a little fuzzy on the details of database design. Maybe you’re just coming back to it after years of doing other work and need a refresher course. Having a reference by your side can be very helpful when working on your latest project.

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Preview the Table of Contents …

Chapter Subject
Chapter I: Databases: In Theory and Everyday Life An introduction to how databases are used in everyday life and the various types of electronic databases.
Chapter II: Database Design – The First Steps Basic data modeling – defining the data requirements for a program and organizing data into a logical system of tables.
Chapter III: Database Normalization Continuing with the modeling process started in Chapter II, this chapter shows how to apply some basic rules to eliminate redundant information and help ensure accuracy.
Chapter IV: Creating the Tables A demonstration of how to turn a completed data model into a system of related tables within Microsoft SQL Server.
Chapter V: Reading and Writing the Data An introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL) and a demonstration of how its various commands can be used to read and write to your new database.
Chapter VI: Moving Forward A look at the basics of creating a user-friendly program interface for your new database so that others can more easily enter information and run reports.
Chapter VII : Design
Overview – Human Resources and Training Database
A review of the database design concepts based on SpheraTech’s HR and Training database.
Chapter VIII: Design Overview – Recipe Database A further review of the concepts using the example of a recipe database used in a small catering business.


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Documentation and Support


Free Preview (Adobe PDF format – Download)

Read the first chapter for FREE on your computer. This free preview includes the Table of Contents, Introduction and entire first chapter with links to where you can purchase the rest of the book.

Job Search Plus (Download)

Job Search Plus is the primary example database used in Your First Guide to Database Design and if you would like to see it in action, click here to download your own copy.


Database Diagrams

jspmodel The main example database used throughout the book, the Job Search Plus database was designed to assist job seekers in documenting and pursuing job leads. Multiple editions of the application are available for download. This diagram serves as a reference and shows the tables, relationships and indexes in the database itself.

HR Training Database Diagram

HR Training Database Diagram

From the Chapter VIII Design Overview, this is the HR and Training database which enables SpheraTech Manufacturing* to maintain employee information and records of required and completed training for each employee.


Fictional company and individual names are used for examples. Not intended to resemble any real-life business.

Your First Guide to Database Design cover

Your First Guide to Database Design

Andrew Comeau / Comeau Software Solutions

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Read a free preview of the first chapter.