Topic: The Relational Model
Who: Jeff Davis
Date: 6/19/08, 7pm
Where: FreeGeek, 1731 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR
Come to our next PostgreSQL Users Group meeting where Jeff Davis will
discuss the finer points of the Relational Model, otherwise known as
the model upon which all major SQL databases systems like Oracle,
MySQL and PostgreSQL are based.
He's fresh off giving a talk about this at PgCon, where it was very
Here's his abstract from that talk:
"This talk focuses on two common data management tasks, and how the
relational model can help. First, how to answer complex questions
about your data, and provide an answer that can be understood by
non-IT people unambiguously. Second, how to effectively extract
meaning from disorganized (or under-documented) data sets for
effective data migration or reporting.
The relational model, on which all SQL DBMSs are based, is founded on
both logic and sets. Relational operators like JOIN and UNION have a
direct logical meaning, and you can use those operators to answer
complex questions from your data unambiguously. Not only can you
provide unambiguous answers, but you can translate SQL queries into
the language of logic, which can be understood by people outside of
Equally important is the utility of logic working backwards to help
find meaning in disorganized (or perhaps undocumented) data sets.
Nearly every inherited data set is less than perfectly documented, and
often inconsistent. Changes to (or replacement of) the application
require this data to be migrated. By iteratively making assertions and
then testing them using the rules of logic and the convenience of
sets, you can find exceptions and contradictions that help you refine
the meaning of data, and possibly correct inconsistencies."
Jeff - feel free to chime in if you were planning to talk about
something else :)
After the meeting, refreshments at the Lucky Lab!
United States PostgreSQL Association - http://www.postgresql.us
PDXPUG - http://pugs.postgresql.org/pdx
Me - http://www.chesnok.com/daily
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