Pro SQL Server Relational Database Design And Implementation was written because when the author was first starting out the only book that went into any detail was the seminal book An Introduction to Database Systems by Chris Date. Anyone who has tried to work through that book knows that there is a lot of in-depth theory in it, but for the average programmer or DBA who just wants to do quality database work, it can be quite intimidating.
Other books are light on the theory and get right down to the implementation itself without reflecting the reasons behind why they are doing what they do. Pro SQL Server 2008: Relational Database Design And Implementation is meant to be a bridge between as a technique-oriented book that will give you theory while still showing you the best practices on implementation. The book is 680 pages divided into 11 chapters.
Chapter One, "Introduction to Database Concepts," begins with an overview of the essential terms and concepts. It breaks down design into four phases and looks at each. Then it looks at the relational data structures, how relationships work, the data access language, and dependencies.
Chapter Two, "The Language of Modeling," now gets in to what is the main tool of the database architect, the model. This provides the foundation that is used throughout the book to present database designs as well as graphically documenting the objects introduced in chapter one.
Chapter Three, "Conceptual Modeling," has the goal of getting the concepts for the final project into a document. It is to discuss the process of taking a customer’s set of requirements and to put the tables, columns, relationships, and business rules into a data model format where possible.
Chapter Four, "The Normalization Process," progresses to the next step in the database design process - that of normalization. The goal of normalization is to take the set of tables, columns, relationships, and business rules and format them in such a way that every value is stored in one place and every table represents a single entity. Here you must think of the data and how the structure will affect that data’s quality.