> Aside from Scott's (all hail) Agile database books, what others would
> people recommend?
Without a question, "Transaction Processing Concepts and Techniques"
by Jim Gray and Andreas Reuter. It was the book that spilt the beans
on how relational DBs work internally, and how they achieve
behaviour in the face of faults. That covers all the nuts-and-bolts
standing you'll need for dealing with any real database.
Next, get "Information Modeling and Relational Databases" by Terry
Halpin, It covers three forms of entity-relational modeling, data
using UML, and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of both by
comparison with Object Role Modeling, a conceptual modeling technique
that's more powerful than either. This one book will teach you all
ever need to know about how to *think* about data. Every DBA should
Both books are well-written and easy to read with plenty of concrete
realistic examples, but beware - to properly absorb the material you'll
want to spend up to 2 months slowly absorbing the contents of each.
The only thing you might need that neither covers is *how* a query
processor chooses a query plan. You'll know all the options they can
choose from, and you'll know how to evaluate the cost of each, but
you won't know how the engine evaluates the cost of each. I don't
think that matters, as long as you understand both the domain and
range of the optimiser's operations.