Windows IT Library UPDATE--August 20, 2003

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Windows Scripting Solutions


1. Book Review
- Database Design and Development: An Essential Guide for IT Professionals

2. Announcements
- New Exchange Event from Windows & .NET Magazine Connections
- Try Windows & .NET Magazine!

3. New from Windows IT Library
- Windows Forms
- Visual Studio .NET Tools

4. New Books in Print
- Programming .NET Security
- .NET Framework Essentials, 3rd Edition

5. New eBooks
- Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials
- The Insider's Guide to IT Certification

6. Windows IT Library Top Five
- Microsoft Windows NT Server Administrator's Bible: Option Pack Edition
- A+ Certification: How to Pass Your Exams
- Microsoft Windows NT Secrets: Option Pack Edition
- The Microsoft Outlook E-mail and Fax Guide
- Undocumented Windows NT

7. Event - New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

8. Contact Us See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. Book Review ====

Database Design and Development: An Essential Guide for IT Professionals
Author: Paulraj Ponniah
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Published: April 2003
ISBN: 0-471-21877-4
Hardcover, 768 pages
Price: $84.95

The foundation of any successful system is the database that supports it. That database must be correctly designed, implemented, and maintained over the system's business life. However, in anything more involved than a small system or a single application, the associated database environment can easily appear overwhelmingly complex to anyone other than a dedicated database administrator. The book "Database Design and Development: An Essential Guide for IT Professionals" can help you quickly get up to speed on all the aspects of database systems.

Written by Paulraj Ponniah, an IT expert who specializes in the design and implementation of database and data warehouse systems and who conducts database and data warehouse courses, this book meets the needs of a variety of IT professionals, including developers, managers, IT directors, network specialists, and Web designers. The book's contents are accessible to people with varying levels of experience and expertise with database systems. For example, Part I: "Basic Database Concepts," covers the essentials by tracking the evolution of data storage and management techniques from the earliest data systems, which consisted of manual records such as punched cards and paper tapes, through the development of simple sequential files and the emergence and universal acceptance of centralized and distributed databases.

Part I also provides a quick history of the different types of computer applications that were developed to take advantage of data storage systems. These applications include data processing applications, MIS, decision support systems (DSS), data warehousing systems, and data mining systems. By the time you've read Part I's two chapters, you'll have a thorough understanding of why there was (and is) a need for database systems. You'll also have been exposed to the four primary forces that drove the development of databases: the concept of information being accepted as a valuable corporate asset; the rapid and explosive growth of computer technology--in particular, data storage and retrieval systems; an urgent and growing need for more timely access to accurate information; and the inability of early data systems to meet the sophisticated information retrieval requests that were being placed on them.

If you're not interested in reading a history of database evolution but you're keen to find out what's needed to develop an effective database environment for your company, you might turn first to Part II: "Database Development Process." This section introduces and explains the six major stages in the database development life cycle: planning for the database system; conducting a feasibility study; defining requirements; design, implementation, and deployment; maintenance; and growth.

Part III: "Conceptual Data Modeling" begins with a chapter that explores the basics of data modeling. The two subsequent chapters focus on the object-based data model and the entity-relationship model, respectively. The significance of a data model is that you can use it to accurately represent information requirements. A correctly constructed model eliminates irrelevant data. For example, a typical billing system for a hospital's emergency room has no need to capture data elements that describe the rooms' wall colors, size, or location within the hospital.

Part IV: "The Relational Data Model" covers topics such as data integrity constraints, data manipulation languages, relational-model design, component mapping, and the transformation of relationships (i.e., one-to-one relationships, one-to-many relationships, and many-to-many relationships). No discussion of the relational data model would be complete without an explanation of the data normalization method, an area that many IT professionals don't understand. Practical examples clearly illustrate the use and application of the different normal forms--First, Second, Third, Boyce-Codd, Fourth, Fifth, and Domain-Key.

Part V: "Design and Implementation" and Part VI: "Database Administration and Maintenance" focus on the role that the DBA plays within a company. A DBA's ability to carry out his or her duties has a significant effect on the protection of data, the enforcement of uniform standards for defining and naming data elements, the preservation of data integrity, the assurance of data availability, the productive use of hardware and software resources, and the database system's efficiency. The DBA is responsible for fine-tuning systems so that response times don't drop below acceptable levels.

Part VII: "Advanced Database Topics" investigates two advanced topics associated with database systems: distributed database systems, and database systems and the Web. The book concludes with an overview of leading database-technology trends, including parallel databases, active databases, intelligent databases, deductive databases, multimedia databases, mobile databases, and geographic databases.

The author provides review questions and exercises at the end of each chapter. The questions and exercises reinforce the material presented in the chapter and help the reader identify and quickly resolve misunderstandings. For example, at the end of the chapter on the database development life cycle, you'll be expected to know the answers to questions such as "What is the distinction between logical and physical design?" "Why are these two levels of design necessary?" and "What are some of the tasks for populating the new database with initial data?"

The book's first five appendices cover legacy system models (both hierarchical and network types), Codd's relational rules, diagramming conventions and symbols, deployment of CASE tools, and some of the major commercial database management systems. The final appendix is a handy summary of the major phases and activities of the database development life cycle. The book includes a glossary to help you understand the unique terms and phrases associated with databases.

I believe that "Database Design and Development" more than lives up to its subtitle of being an essential guide for IT professionals. By studying this book, then referring to it when necessary, you'll be able to handle the complexities associated with modern database systems. For more information about this book, including a complete table of contents, visit

Tony Stevenson [email protected] Windows IT Library Guest Reviewer

For more book reviews, visit the Windows IT Library Web site.

==== 2. Announcements ====

New Exchange Event from Windows & .NET Magazine Connections
Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will co-locate with the new Exchange Connections. Stay competitive in your job by investing your time to keep pace with technology. Learn the latest tech tips and tricks from gurus like Mark Minasi, Mark Russinovich, Tony Redmond, and Sue Mosher. Register now and get both conferences for the price of one--plus lock in your $300 early bird discount. Go online or call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 for details.

Try Windows & .NET Magazine!
Every issue of Windows & .NET Magazine includes intelligent, impartial, and independent coverage of security, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, and more. Our expert authors deliver how-to content you simply can't find anywhere else. Try a sample issue today, and find out what more than 100,000 readers know that you don't!

==== 3. New from Windows IT Library ====

Windows Forms
This chapter explores the Windows Forms applications, what's new about them, and how to use them. Learn about Visual Basic .NET's support for resizing forms, splitting windows, and anchoring and docking controls. Find out about multiple-document interface (MDI) applications, system tray icons, and updated controls.

Visual Studio .NET Tools
This chapter explores the new and improved tools in Visual Studio .NET. Learn to build an application that will create an event log to save informational, error, and warning messages. Find out about debugging tools that let you manage breakpoints and quickly and easily access code that resides in different components. Also learn to use packaging and deployment tools and project types.

==== 4. New Books in Print ====

Programming .NET Security
This book acts as both a comprehensive tutorial and as a reference to security issues for Microsoft .NET application development. The book includes numerous practical examples in both C# and Visual Basic .NET. You'll learn to apply sound security principles to your application designs and to understand the concepts of identity, authentication, and authorization and how they apply to .NET security.

.NET Framework Essentials, 3rd Edition
Updated for version 1.1 of the Windows .NET Framework, this book touches all the bases--from the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and key class libraries to the specialized packages for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, XML Web Services, and ADO.NET. The authors survey the major .NET languages, including Visual Basic .NET, C#, J#, Managed C++, and Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL), and present a clear, practical look at the underlying technologies.

==== 5. New eBooks ====

Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials
Whether you're an expert with Windows 2000 and Active Directory (AD), a Windows NT administrator who has read all the trade journals and has a Win2K test lab, or are new to AD, this book is for you. Based on actual product code, the book touches on key topics that many Windows texts fail to mention. This free eBook is delivered as each chapter is written. You can download the first three chapters at the following URL:

The Insider's Guide to IT Certification
This book is a comprehensive how-to manual that will help you conserve your time and money while you become certified. This book helps you choose the right certification to study for, the right materials and methods to study with, and the proper ways to prepare for the exams.

==== 6. Windows IT Library Top Five ====

Microsoft Windows NT Server Administrator's Bible: Option Pack Edition
This book provides specific coverage of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack add-ons to help you plan, install, configure, manage, optimize, and connect NT Server 4.0 to the Internet.

A+ Certification: How to Pass Your Exams
This book walks you through all the skills tested in the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) A+ Core Hardware exam and A+ OS Technologies exam.

Microsoft Windows NT Secrets: Option Pack Edition
Packed with the kind of notes, tips, and workarounds that come only from years of working day in and day out with a product, this book will help you optimize the performance, reliability, and security of your network.

The Microsoft Outlook E-Mail and Fax Guide
Written for Microsoft Outlook end users and the administrators who support them, this volume explains all the real-world tasks that you're likely to encounter when working with Outlook and includes many timesaving techniques that take you beyond the basics.

Undocumented Windows NT
This book documents what goes on under the covers in Windows NT. Three experts share what they've dug up on NT through years of hands-on research and programming experience. The authors dissect the Win32 interface, deconstruct the underlying APIs, and decipher the Memory Management architecture to help you understand operations, fix flaws, and enhance performance.

==== 7. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

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==== 8. Contact Us ====

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