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Database Design from the Ground Up


Many database users, from the novice user of Access to skilled database administrators are somewhat intimidated by the database design process and consider it something best left to “the professionals.” In this course, we’ll explore the basics of database design and you’ll learn that it’s not that complicated, after all!

Some of the lessons in this course are already available (as indicated by the hyperlinked lesson titles). Others are still “in the works” and will be added as they are released. I intend to release a new lesson every two weeks until the course is complete, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions.

If you’re interested in a more basic course in using databases, consider taking our Building an Access Database from the Ground Up course. That one’s already released in finished form.

Here’s the syllabus:

Part 1: Database Fundamentals
This lesson explores the basics of database design. You’ll learn the difference between a table, row and column and get the basics of database terminology.

Part 2: SQL Fundamentals
The Structured Query Language provides the foundation for all relational database systems. Join us as we explore the fundamental concepts behind this powerful language.

Part 3: Two-Tier or n-Tier?
Three-tier databases are taking the IT community by storm. Learn the basics behind this technology and find out if it's right for you.

Part 4: Database Normalization Basics
Database normalization can save storage space and ensure the consistency of your data. Learn the basics in this introductory article.

Part 5: Database Normalization: First Normal Form
Learn how to ensure that your database meets the fundamental requirements of first normal form (1NF).

Part 6: Database Normalization: Second Normal Form
Learn how to ensure that your database meets the data reduction requirements of second normal form (2NF).

Part 7: Database Normalization: Third Normal Form
Learn how to ensure that your database meets the dependency requirements of third normal form (3NF).

Part 8: Database Security Issues: Inference
Inference is a major security issue facing database designers and administrators. Learn all about it in this article.

Part 9: The Scenario
Now that you’ve learned the basics of database design, it’s time to work with a case study. In this week’s lesson, we lay out the scenario.

Part 10: Tying it All Together
Last week we took a look at a database design scenario. In this final lesson, we tie together the loose ends and learn how to use all of the material we’ve learned to design a database.
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