The main aim of this work is to provide one readable text of essential core material for further education, higher education and commercial courses on database systems. The current volume is designed to form a consolidated, introductory text on modern database technology and the development of database systems.
It is undoubtedly true that database systems hold a prominent place in most contemporary approaches to the development of information systems. It is this practical emphasis on the use of database systems for information systems work that distinguishes the current volume from other texts on the subject. This work therefore forms a companion volume to Information Systems: An Introduction to Informatics in Organisations (Beynon-Davies, 2002) and to e-Business (Beynon-Davies, 2003), also published by Palgrave Macmillan. The current version has been revised to reflect the successful style and organisation of the Information Systems text.
The text is built from the author’s experiences of consultancy in this area, as well as in running a number of academic and commercial courses on database technology and database development for several years.
Two types of changes have been made to the third edition: presentational and content. In terms of presentation, the structure of the chapters has been reorganised and the parts resequenced to make for a better educational experience. In terms of content, the third edition has been expanded considerably. This expansion has enabled particular topics to be covered in more depth:
• The part on database system fundamentals has been extended with a number of chapters, particularly with a chapter defining the concept of data and a chapter considering the important place of database systems in the informatics infrastructure for electronic business
• A new part has been added which extends the discussion on the SQL database sublanguage
• Chapters on the ORACLE DBMS and the Microsoft Access DBMS have been updated
• New chapters have been included on the database development process and requirements elicitation
• The part on trends has been reorganised around four chapters: distributed processing, distributed data, parallelism and complex data. This latter chapter now includes coverage of semi-structured data and XML
• The chapter on database systems and the Web has been updated