On May 9, 2012, I will be presenting a pre-con session at the SQL Rally in Dallas, TX on relational database design. The fact is, database design is a topic that demands more than a simple one hour session to really do it right. So in my Relational Database Design Workshop, we will have seven times the amount of time in the typical session, giving us time to cover our topics in a bit more detail, look at a lot more designs/code, and even get some time to do some design as a group. Our topics will be:
- Theory - More or less the foundational principals and processes that will presumably help you understand the "why" behind the rest of the material.
- General Data Modeling - The basic concepts behind database design, data modeling, graphically and semantically. Terminology and concepts will be covered to make sure that when I say a word, you know what I am meaning. The field of computer science is littered with confusing terminology that needs to be made clear.
- Normalization - Basically the process of making your database work well with the relational engine form both a performance and data integrity point of view.
- Physical Modeling - The actual process of creating a working database by choosing proper data types, protecting the data integrity, etc. We will discuss the steps, as well as take a look at a model that is implemented.
- Implementation Patterns- For the most part, the primary pattern that we use in a relational database is normalization. Database, tables and columns are rather easily mapped to requirements, and using normalization, we usually will arrive at a solution.However, there are certain types of solutions that crop up in common implementations. Examples include uniqueness, hierarchies, files, user-specified schema, data driven design, and more.
- Other Miscellaneous Advice - Time permitting, I have a set of slides that cover some basic performance/security/implementation related material.
A lot of the material/examples/demos come from my 2012 book (SQL Server 2012 Relational Database Design and Implementation) that will be shipping just before the Rally, so I am making arrangements to get copies of the book for most if not all of the attendees. So the day will introduce the material to you in a rapid format, and then you can take the material home and read it again (and my email is always available for further questions on the material as well.)