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Thread: Getting started

  1. #1
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    Getting started

    Hi,
    My question is, what's the hardest database fundamental to learn for a beginner, and why?
    1) table setup
    2) queries
    3) other

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Depends on the beginner.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
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    for many beginners it seems to be relational table design
    after that its learning to harness the power of SQL to do what you want.

    after that you are into more esoteric country in terms of maintenance, query optimisation and so on
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  4. #4
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    3) other -- thinking in sets
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  5. #5
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    Not to be confused with thinking insects.
    Testimonial:
    pootle flump
    ur codings are working excelent.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pootle flump
    Not to be confused with thinking insects.
    No no, bug fixes are important too.

    Quote Originally Posted by CVD
    Hi,
    My question is, what's the hardest database fundamental to learn for a beginner, and why?
    1) table setup
    2) queries
    3) other
    4) the nerdy banter
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    Thanks. What are sets?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVD
    Thanks. What are sets?
    see? told ya!!
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  9. #9
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    Remember back in high school, that semester you studied Venn Diagrams?
    Remember thinking to yourself, "What possible use is this nonsense?"
    Welcome to our world.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937
    see? told ya!!
    Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVD
    Hi,
    My question is, what's the hardest database fundamental to learn for a beginner, and why?
    1) table setup
    2) queries
    3) other

    Thanks.
    Table setup is not a database fundamental. Design Theory is. Good question though.

    Perhaps one of the hardest things for the inexperienced is to adjust their thinking for different kinds of data models (I mean "model" in the most general senses, such as "semantic models", "the Relational Model", "hierarchical model"). Many people will have a good comprehension of some models and find it harder to adjust to others. To quote William Kent (in his book Data and Reality):

    "A model is more than a passive medium for recording our view of reality. It shapes that view, and limits our perceptions. If a mind is committed to a certain model, then it will perform amazing feats of distortion to see things structured that way, and will simply be blind to the things which don't fit that structure."

  12. #12
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    Most database beginners still think like programmers, one row at a time. Most modern databases work in a fundamentally different way, in that you specify WHAT you want done and what SET of rows you want that done to, then let the database engine figure out the best way to accomplish the job. Using sets instead of rows tends to lead to performance improvements from ten to a thousand times what the row based performance was.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the replies. I understand the mathematical concept of "sets", but is there possibly a simple example to illustrate the row thinking vs set thinking concept?
    Last edited by CVD; 07-16-09 at 21:42.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVD
    ... is there possibly a simple example to illustrate the row thinking vs set thinking concept?
    sure -- "return the last three rows of the table"

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails last-three-rows.bmp  
    Last edited by r937; 07-16-09 at 23:22.
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  15. #15
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    Ignorance alert::::::

    If the records have an "auto number" field, couldn't you determine the highest autonumber and return it and -1 and -2?
    Or is the problem "return the last three rows if there is no autonumber field". If so, is the answer to determine what field in the rows can be used to determine the last three?
    Last edited by CVD; 07-16-09 at 23:58.

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