Stairway to Data
IT projects can hit problems that turn out to be due to an insufficient understanding of the basic data and data-types, rather than the database design. It is a sorely neglected topic that might seem to be trivial, but certainly isn't. The DBA, with a broad perspective on corporate data can do a great deal to help application developers to avoid the common mistakes that so often happen, and Joe Celko's Stairway gives the busy IT professional a crash course to understanding the nature of the data being processed.
- A great deal of the confusion that occurs when a database application is developed comes from a poor understanding of the basics of data. Here, Joe Celko gives a broad coverage of the difficulties you're likely to meet when handling data in databases.
- A confusion about the nature of numbers can lead to a number of problems in database applications. Joe Celko gives a simple guide to the subject
- Character-handling in SQL is not particularly straightforward, and confusion about collation and character encoding is a common cause of problems with searching, joining, and sorting.
- Joe Celko tackles the most difficult of all the types of data handled by SQL, temporal data, and explains how to avoid the commonest traps for the unwary programmer
- Joe Celko discusses Nominal, Categorical, Absolute, Ordinal and Rank scales. These are the weakest scales we can use, starting with the weakest.
- Joe Celko introduces more powerful scales such as Interval, Log interval and ratio scales; before moving on to conversions, punctuation and units. Finally he gives guidelines as to how best to use scales in a database.
- Joe discusses how to deal with the kinds of encoding schemes, how to use them and how to design them. He discusses Enumeration, Measurement, Abbreviation and Algorithmic categories
- Joe discusses Hierarchical, Vector and Concatenation encoding before rounding up with general guidelines for designing encoding schemes.