In Closing

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I'm not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed aheadahead of myself as well as you.


I've always believed that you shouldn't have to be a rocket scientist in order to design a database properly. It should be a relatively straightforward task that can be performed by anyone possessing a good amount of common sense. As long as you follow a good database-design method, you should be able to design a sound and reliable database structure.

You now possess the knowledge and skills necessary to design a relational database. You know how to define the necessary structures, establish table relationships, and implement various levels of data integrity. If you encounter improperly or poorly designed structures, you now know how to improve them.

Learning about database design is an ever-continuing process. You can learn enough to design the types of databases you require, you can turn it into a profession, or you can even make it a lifelong study. Whatever your approach, you'll encounter one inescapable fact: The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know it all. But don't be discouraged; this is true of any major subject you endeavor to learn, such as music, art, philosophyor rocket science!

I sincerely hope you've enjoyed reading this book as much as I've enjoyed writing it. I know that most technical books of this nature can be a little dry, so I tried to inject a little humor every now and then, particularly in the interview and meeting dialogues. Those of you who thought the conversations were relatively realistic are quite perceptivethey were very loosely based on a number of interviews and conversations I've had with my clients over the years.

As a parting piece of advice, let me leave you with two words: Always learn. Never be afraid or intimidated or reluctant to learn something new. Learning opens the door to fresh ideas, different concepts, and new perceptions. It encourages participation and communication between individuals and broadens everyone's horizons.

Learning is a journey that begins with but one step. You've taken the first step by reading this book. Now you will continue your journey by learning about other facets of database management.

My book ends here, but your journey is just beginning. . . .


Part II: The Design Process