Database Design Books


A few days ago a friend of mine asked for some books I could recommend about developing databases. This is my personal list based on personal likes – to be extra clear, this is not an endorsement from my employer.



  1. An Introduction to Database Systems, by C.J. Date. A great book that covers all sorts of topics on how to think about databases – essential stuff, in my opinion.

  2. Inside SQL Server (2000 or 2005, both great). Great in-depth discussion of how a real DBMS works.

  3. Books Online. OK, so this isn’t a “real” book, in the sense that it doesn’t require killing trees. While going through all topics will certainly take some time, there is a lot of good information to be found, especially to discover options and considerations to bear in mind as you go. That is, you won’t necessarily need to know the information that’s there, but it’s great to have somewhere in the back of your mind the knowledge that the information exists.

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Comments (8)

  1. A few days ago a friend of mine asked for some books I could recommend about developing databases. This

  2. Garibaldi says:

    This isn’t a list… disappointed…

  3. Garibaldi, was there anything specific that you were looking for?

  4. Greg, I read that book a few years ago and I found it interesting. It wasn’t immediately useful to me at that time, as it was a bit too heavy on building documentation around understanding the problem domain and I would have preferred some more technical content as well.

    Still, it stood in my shelf for a long time, to get a quick reread when thinking about metadata for data-driven systems. Certainly more approachable than Date’s work, although of course that’s in a separate category.

  5. Not too long ago, I happened to write a post mentioning how good SQL Books Online is. Well, turns out

  6. Not too long ago, I happened to write a post mentioning how good SQL Books Online is. Well, turns out

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