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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Fundamentals of Database Systems, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best books in Database Concepts


The author has done great justice to the subject of database in the modern settings. I recommend this book as the first serious academic (yet practical) database book to read.It is not a book on a specific tool however. It is mainly a conceptual development book as it claims to be. As a faculty member in Computer Science, I have read many database books at all levels of difficulties. It is one of the best books I have read that I think has provided the clearest possible explanation on the Entity Relationship model.
Having said all these positive comments, I would like to suggest to the authors to put more in-depth, concrete, as well as practical examples in the topics on Relational Calculus and Relational Algebra in order to the students true appreciations why efforts on learning such abstracts tools are justified. Much stronger emphasis on Object-Oriented databases would be a very timely addtions to the next edition, which I sincerely look forward to purchasing a copy of, if and when it materializes.
I strongly recommend this book for a 3rd year level univeristy level database course for all faculties in computer science and computer information systems as a formal text. It is well worth every penny of your money spent.
Lawrence LeeVancouver BC, Canada.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ColdFusion MX Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Adam Phillip Churvis, Hal Helms, Charlie Arehart, David Churvis
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The one Coldfusion MX book you need!


Back in the day, the only CF books available were the WACKs by Ben Forta. They quickly became the 'must have' books for any serious CF developer, largely because Ben is...well, he's Ben...but also because there was very little competition. As CF has grown in popularity, other publishers have released CF books...but none have ever seriously challenged the WACKs...
...until now. The MX Bible will undoubtedly be regarded as the premiere CF reference. Unlike so many others, this is definitely NOT a simple regurgiation of the docs. The authors are all very well known, respected CF developers who are obviously teaching from their own (real world) experiences...not simply expanding on existing documentation. They explain what works and what doesn't...and why.
This is not really a book for beginners (IMO)...but anybody who's been using CF for at least 6 months or so will find this to be an invaluable, ALL INCLUSIVE (cf, homesite/studio, XML, XSLT, SQL, triggers, stored procs, fusebox, etc) resource that should never be far from the keyboard.
You won't find this much (quality) information anywhere else for close to this price. Do yourself a favor, and make a small investment that will yield huge returns.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD/MCSD Training Guide (70-310): Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual Basic .NET and the .NET Framework
Publisher: Que
Authors: Mike Gunderloy
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Read it if you want to fail. It's a total beginners book.


I've just completed chapter 1, and without going any futher, I was already kicking myself for purchasing this book, it costs a whopping RM142.50 in Malaysia where a McDonalds large value meal goes for RM9.00!!!
The chapter was on Consuming and Manipulating Datasets, and the only codes provided was on inserting, deleting and updating data either via SQL or stored procedures. Also some bits on how to drag and drop your schema and DataRelations.
Considering that I've already passed 70-305 ASP.NET, the coverage on datasets are seriously and ridiculously WEAK!. And with that, I can pretty much pass judgement across the whole book without reading any further. Here's a sample question (all other questions are of the same level of 'easiness'):
You are using a SQL Insert statement to insert records in a table named Products. The Products table has the following structure:
ProductID - identity, no default value, not null ProductName - varchar(50), no default, not null UnitPrice - money, default value 10.00, can be null Color - varchar(10) no default value, can be null.
Which column must u explicitly specify in the INSERT statement?
(Urgh... double, quadruple duuuhhhhhss... if you're practicing on questions like these, you'd fail the test even if you've read the book for the 10th time!)
I've had very bad experiences with QUE books, and this book rekindled memories that I had with the Special Edition series a long time ago. If you want a serious prep book, pick up a Sybex. It may cost more, but its more worth it in terms of depth.
Take it from someone who has taken and PASSED the ASP.NET tests. What needs to be in a chapter that deals with ADO.NET are Coding and fundamentals for:
1) How to Continue if there are errors in inserting/updating records with datasets.2) How to retrieve those errors3) How to merge one dataset with another and its many details like preserving schema.4) What's the difference between a DataRelation and a ForeignkeyContraints in coding and its implications.5) How to handle DataColumnMapping and DataTableMapping6) Why are there different connection types like SQLConnection and OLEDBConnection.
The 6 items above are the very LEAST that you should know in order to ace both the 70-305 and 70-310 paper when it comes to ADO.NET
Save your money. Get a better book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Agile Software Development with SCRUM
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Short introduction to a great system and how to get on it


A very practical guide, with easy to follow steps, great motivating arguments, and a logical presentation style make this book really work, especially given its short length. I also really enjoyed the examples given of team transitions. SCRUM itself is a very useful methodology for certain types of projects, and this book makes it clear what those projects are and how to adopt it for them.
On the bad side, the style change is pretty obvious and jarring when they switch authors, and some of the other-author chapters are interesting, but not necessarily as useful.
Missing from the book is a description of how to get buy-in and how to convince folks using a current process to switch (i.e. how to make and express a logical decision between two processes). It also neglects a bunch of the people issues, such as how to prioritize in career development, training, or even team-building / morale events. The book claims to be about the people and energizing them through shipping products, but I really think that's only one part of making your developers happy. A very important one, mind you, but not the only one.