Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)

Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)
By Malcolm Chisholm

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Product Description


Reference data plays a key role in your business databases and must be free from defects of any kind. So why is it so hard to find information on this critical topic? Recognizing the dangers of taking reference data for granted, Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases gives you precisely what you've been seeking: A complete guide to the implementation and management of reference data of all kinds.
This book begins with a thorough definition of reference data, then proceeds with a detailed examination of all reference data issues, fully describing uses, common difficulties, and practical solutions. Whether you're a database manager, architect, administrator, programmer, or analyst, be sure to keep this easy-to-use reference close at hand.

* Solves special challenges associated with maintaining reference data.
* Addresses a wide range of reference data issues, including acronyms, redundancy, mapping, life cycles, multiple languages, and querying.
* Describes how reference data interacts with other system components, what problems can arise, and how to mitigate these problems.
* Offers examples of standard reference data types and matrices for evaluating management methods.
* Provides a number of standard reference data tables and more specialized material to help you deal with reference data, via a companion Web site


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1051087 in Books
  • Published on: 2000-09-11
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.09" h x 7.71" w x 9.60" l, 2.00 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 387 pages

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review
Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases explores technologies and techniques for managing data that's used to categorize or sort data, with emphasis on keeping it clean, consistent, and current. Reference data, in the lingo of author Malcolm Chisholm, is primarily any data that is used to categorize other data. The U.S. Postal Service abbreviations "PA" for Pennsylvania and "HI" for Hawaii are examples of reference data. Under Chisholm's definition, reference data is generally not data that exists on a remote system, or that another organization maintains. This book has an academic tone and steers clear of implementation issues that exist in particular database management systems (DBMS); it's a platform-independent engineer's handbook, full of structural diagrams, standard SQL queries, and pseudocode.

Using the clear and widely understood IDE1FIX means of graphically representing table relationships, the author shows how reference tables exist alongside other database contents. He presents some of the reference data problems that pop up in real life (in one succinct example, he writes about getting bonds rated "AAA" to come ahead of bonds rated "A," even though "A" comes first in ASCII sorts). His content will make you think about how to redesign your databases to use reference data more reliably, and offer you enough advice to enable you to realize your designs. --David Wall

Topics covered: Efficient database design as it relates to reference data, or data that's used to categorize other pieces of data. Sections deal with establishing table relationships, deciding on special values (such as those for "none" versus "not applicable"), and dealing with multiple languages. There's also information on referring to remotely maintained reference data, such as abbreviations lists maintained by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Review

"This is a great book! I have to admit I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of a book with such a narrow topic initially, but, frankly, it's the first professional book I've read page to page in one sitting in a long time. It should be of interest to DBAs, data architects and modelers, programmers who have to write database programs, and yes, even managers. This book is a winner."
—Karen Watterson, Editor, SQL Server Professional

"Malcolm Chisholm has produced a very readable book. It is well-written and with excellent examples. It will, I am sure, become the Reference Book on Reference Data."
—Clive Finkelstein, "Father" of Information Engineering,
Managing Director, Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd

From the Back Cover


"This is a great book! I have to admit I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of a book with such a narrow topic initially, but, frankly, it's the first professional book I've read page to page in one sitting in a long time. It should be of interest to DBAs, data architects and modelers, programmers who have to write database programs, and yes, even managers. This book is a winner."


- Karen Watterson, Editor
SQL Server Professional


"Malcolm Chisholm has produced a very readable book. It is well-written and with excellent examples. It will, I am sure, become the Reference Book on Reference Data."


- Clive Finkelstein, "Father" of Information Engineering,
Managing Director, Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd


Reference data plays a key role in your business databases and must be free from defects of any kind. So why is it so hard to find information on this critical topic? Recognizing the dangers of taking reference data for granted, Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases gives you precisely what you've been seeking: A complete guide to the implementation and management of reference data of all kinds.
This book begins with a thorough definition of reference data, then proceeds with a detailed examination of all reference data issues, fully describing uses, common difficulties, and practical solutions. Whether you're a database manager, architect, administrator, programmer, or analyst, be sure to keep this easy-to-use reference close at hand.


Features

  • Solves special challenges associated with maintaining reference data.
  • Addresses a wide range of reference data issues, including acronyms, redundancy, mapping, life cycles, multiple languages, and querying.
  • Describes how reference data interacts with other system components, what problems can arise, and how to mitigate these problems.
  • Offers examples of standard reference data types and matrices for evaluating management methods.
  • Provides a number of standard reference data tables and more specialized material to help you deal with reference data, via a companion Web site


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
2Not useful in the real world
By Likes to listen to radio
The book is good if you are interested in theory only, bu the author seems to not know all that much about database management systems and real applications. On page 201 in the section on Fusing Codes and Descriptions, he claims that needing to know the Code Type is a disadvantage. Not so if each Code Type is a database view and the application programmer would see each code type, and only that code type, through a database view. That's how the real world would deal with this. In addition he deals with indexes on reference data tables from a retrieval perspecive. Since most of these types of tables would fit in less than thre database pages, most SQL optimizers would scan the table and NOT use an index access. He also mentions that performance can be improved by placing all reference data tables in physical proximity on disk. In the real world, reference data tables would be place into their own buffer pool and the physcial access after the first read becomes irrlevent. Not a good read if you need to implement a real world system.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Excellent Vendor
By rochdi
This Item was difficut to find , this retailer was very helpfull and packaged this item exceptionally to France
for a good price.
I recomand this retailer

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
5Unique and focused on an often overlooked subject
By Mike Tarrani
This unique book fills a much needed void in data architecture and system design. Reference data is too often done as an afterthought when data architecture starts taking form. Worse, it is too often misused, resulting in no clear boundaries between transaction data structures and real reference data.
Mr. Chisholm starts with definitions of what reference data is, and what it is not. He defines reference data as data that is used to categorize, classify, or otherwise qualify or constrain transaction data. In other words, reference data is typically used in look-up tables. This brings us to what reference data is not - it's not transaction structure data, although it is commonly miscast into this role. To see the difference using an example from my own experience, a two column table of reference data could be a digital phone manufacturer and the first three octets of an electronic serial number that is assigned to the manufacturer. This is static. Extending this example to another table of reference data that is keyed to the first could be the manufacturer and specific phone models. While models come and go, this is still static and qualifies as reference data. However, a designer might be tempted to include a table that lists a specific phone, keyed on the electronic serial number, but also keyed to a status, such as active, inactive or stolen. This is a transaction structure because it changes based on a number of conditions, such as if the equipment is active and assigned to a customer, or in stock. Therein lies the distinction and the theme of the book - reference data is static and other types of data are not.
The author covers basic database design concepts, types of reference data and their use, and managing reference data. As the book progresses it is apparent that there is a lot more to consider about reference data than including look-up tables in a database. This is amply shown in the chapter on the reference data life cycle where he discusses changing codes and descriptions. Other issues that the data architect needs to take into consideration, thoroughly covered in this book, are mapping reference data, and implementing reference data in an existing database. Too often look-up tables are added to the schema with no thought to how it is going to be integrated and maintained. The author gives some sage advice on this topic.
I particularly liked the discussion on what I call "reference data from hell" - dates, times & time zones, currency conversions and the such. Also germane because I recently did a consulting assignment in the Middle East is the treatment of foreign languages and translations. I was most gratified, however, to see a chapter that addressed testing reference data and the associated problems with production vs. test data. From personal experience I can attest that this is often overlooked and is a real problem if your data architecture uses a lot of reference data. My main experience is wireless telecom provider billing systems which use a *lot* of reference data. Mr. Chisholm's advice on testing is on the mark and should be heeded.
This book is valuable to any data architect or system designer, however, its real value is to those who are working with e-commerce systems and telecommunications billing systems, because both domains heavily use reference data and need the mature approach set forth in this book.

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