Inside Relational Databases with Examples in Access

  • Mark Whitehorn
  • Bill Marklyn

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Pages 1-9
  3. A simple, single-table database

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Pages 17-35
    3. Pages 36-44
    4. Pages 45-53
    5. Pages 54-55
    6. Pages 56-58
  4. A multi-table database

  5. Database Design & Architecture

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Pages 149-164
    3. Pages 168-177
  6. Related database topics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Pages 201-214
    3. Pages 215-232
    4. Pages 233-243
    5. Pages 244-245
    6. SQL
      Pages 258-306
    7. Pages 307-308
    8. Pages 309-312
    9. Pages 313-315
  7. Speeding up your database

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 317-317
    2. Pages 319-323
    3. Pages 324-337
    4. Pages 338-343
    5. Pages 344-352
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 353-371

About this book


Inside Relational Databases was first published in 1997 and, rather to our surprise, rapidly reached the status of a classic work in the database field. Translated into three other languages and sold all over the world, it has helped thousands of people to understand the relational model that underpins all modern databases.

Inside Relational Databases has never been about how to use a particular database engine (Access, SQL Server, MySQL, whatever). Instead, it’s about the underlying way in which relational databases work. However it is very convenient if the book illustrates the relational model using the reader’s favorite product – such as Access. So, for the new edition we produced several different versions of the same book, each version based on a different database engine. The version in your hand is based around Access (hence the title). There are other versions based around SQL Server and MySQL.

You shouldn’t buy this book if you are looking for a book about how to use Access. You should buy this book if you have created databases but they don’t seem to work very well. Perhaps you:

•can’t retrieve the information that you want.

•have to type in the same information over and over again.

•type in data and it appears to go missing.

•ask questions and get answers that you know are wrong.

•can use Access but you don’t know exactly what to do with it.

•know that a relational database lets you create multiple tables in the database but you are uncertain why this is to your advantage.

Or perhaps you hear words in connection with databases like:


•functional dependency

•inner join


•redundant data

•data dictionary


•ER modeling




You haven’t got the faintest idea what they mean and there is no one you can ask.

We have also taken the opportunity of the new edition to restructure the book significantly. I (Mark) continue to teach database design and practice, both to undergraduates and in the commercial world. Without doubt the most popular topic in the commercial world is how to make databases run faster (no great surprise there) so we have added an entire section of brand new material (more than 10% of the entire book) on that topic. The section on designing databases has been reorganized and expanded and we also re-read the entire book (several times) and brought it all up to date.


Access SQL architecture concurrency database database design databases optimization relational database

Authors and affiliations

  • Mark Whitehorn
    • 1
  • Bill Marklyn
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Computing DivisionUniversity of DundeeUK
  2. 2.SeattleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Mark Whitehorn 2007
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-84628-394-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-84628-687-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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