SQL: Read a Database like an Expert
What you'll learn
- Learn about an unfamiliar database quickly
- Construct a physical data model
- Recognise the role of each table
- Recognise clusters or groups of tables
- Recognise how business processes interact with the tables
- You should recognise a basic SQL SELECT statement
- You will need a suitable Windows system if you are going to install SQL Server and do the exercises yourself.
What would you do if you were presented with an unfamiliar database and no documentation?
When you have completed this course you will be able to answer this question. You will have a plan, a method and several techniques you can use. This course is for:
- Aspiring System or Database Designers
You will learn how to find your way around a database quickly and efficiently. You can become the “go to” person in your specialisation simply by being able to “read a database like a book”. You become the person with the map, or the book of instructions!
- If you are an analyst this course will enable you to write better queries more quickly, and you will learn how the database influences what the system can do.
- If you are moving into database design, learning to “read” will allow you to use existing databases as a resource which you can understand, criticise and copy.
- As a developer this course shows you how to use the database as documentation for the system it supports.
I wrote this course as an extended tutorial. I started with one of Microsoft’s example databases and documented the method I use as I went through it. Although I used SQL Server and the associated tools, the method is applicable to most SQL databases. We will go through the same journey together and you will learn what I discovered along the way. You can choose to repeat what I do yourself to gain experience with the technique, or you can choose simply to observe.
Come along! Sign up! There are some surprises and a lot of fun to be had!
Who this course is for:
- This course is for people who know a little SQL and want to explore more complex databases.
- This course is probably not for you if you are looking to write advanced SQL queries.
I'm Tom Gillies and I have been a Business and Technical Analyst in the Information Technology industry for the past thirty years.
My courses are based on my real-world experiences. I am teaching as I wish I had been taught. My objective is to give you enough knowledge to make you reasonably self-sufficient, and enough experience to give you reasonable confidence, while understanding your limitations. I think you will find working at your own pace liberating and you can contact me during the course if you wish to.
I started my working life as an engineer. I have a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Aston University in Birmingham, England. As a result of my work as an engineering designer, I became interested in computing and eventually I joined IBM as a Systems Engineer, working in pre-sales for customers in the aerospace industry.
Within IBM, I moved to a consultancy group and worked directly for customers as a Business or Technical Analyst for twenty-five years. I served a wide variety of customers from large “blue chip" corporations and government departments to start-ups. I have designed, developed and maintained computer systems, large and small, on a wide variety of platforms.
In my experience of the Information Technology industry, I have found that some skills have been of lasting value. SQL is one such technical skill. Problem solving, some analysis techniques and the so-called "soft skills" are others. All of these improve your ability to communicate with both the business and technical staff make you a more valuable member of a team.
I live in the Republic of Ireland and, when I'm not working for Customers, or writing and supporting courses, I am improving my skill in the Russian language.