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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Glendale, California U.S.A.
    Posts
    6

    ERD, Schema & Understanding Relational Databases

    I am currently working with FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced studying for eventually becoming certified. I have sent for & have received the self study training materials of book, DVD with tutorials and electronic documentation on DVD. Currently I am going through O'Reilly's® Missing Manual of FileMaker Pro 11. It has been 18 years since I have worked with databases. I have progressed through the book having learned the fundamentals of FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced, created a simple database in working through Part II Chapters 3 & 4 Building my first database, ported the database onto my iPod Touch viewing it through FileMaker Go 1.2.3 and also have created another database for my own use. Now I am starting to go through the meat & potatoes of the book where they will teach the fundamentals of learning how to think like a database developer learning how to create the schema, use ERDs and understanding Relational Databases. I will be using OmniGraffle Professional as the tool to layout my ERDs along with FileMaker Pro. My question is this 18 years ago there was very little if not nothing related to RDBMS and I learned the little that I know with dBase III+/IV. I am looking for the best way that I can learn ERDs and Relational Model. I see that there is a lot of theoretical learning here where I will spend countless hours of reading before getting to the practical aspect of using my ERD for laying out the schema. OmniGraffle Professional is great for this kind of thing but since the ERD tools are Stencils/Plug-ins/Add-ons there isn't any tutorial that will help me get through learning them. The same can be said for Microsoft Visio as well. In searching at Barnes & Noble and Amazon there are a lot of college based books that discuss this in detail that I have found i.e. Database Design Using Entity-Relationship Diagrams (Foundations of Database Design), Database Design for Mere Mortals®: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design. What are your opinions on the subject? I am using FileMaker Pro because it is the only solution that does not require a myriad of knowledge knowing SQL or any other query based language to get a solution created, only RDBMS that natively runs on iOS mobile devices and is cross platform iOS, Macintosh, Windows. Any ideas helpful. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    there's some good stuff on t'net
    not the same as ERD's but you probably need to get to grips with normalisation, such as:-
    Fundamentals of Relational Database Design -- r937.com
    The Relational Data Model, Normalisation and effective Database Design
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Glendale, California U.S.A.
    Posts
    6

    ERD, Schema & Understanding Relational Databases

    Thank you for the response and the good article links. I have a question regarding the article Fundamentals of Relational Database Design by the author Paul Litwin where in the Overview "Database design theory is a topic that many people avoid learning for lack of time. Many others attempt to learn it, but give up because of the dry, academic treatment it is usually given by most authors and teachers. But if creating databases is part of your job, then you're treading on thin ice if you don't have a good solid understanding of relational database design theory." The question is conceivably how long could or would it take to learn good solid understanding of relational database design theory before I can start creating Schema and use ERD tools i.e. OmniGraffle Professional or Visio and then get into really designing more complicated databases?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    20,002
    Quote Originally Posted by drmacintosh View Post
    The question is conceivably how long could or would it take to learn good solid understanding of relational database design theory ...
    that depends on how many hours per day you can devote to studying the theory

    i would think a few weeks should suffice...

    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

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