I went back and reviewed all of those early essays, looking for ones that seemed worth reviving (or, rather, revising and reviving) at this time. Of course, some of them definitely weren’t! However, out of a total of around 130 original papers, I did find some 20 or so that seemed to me worth preserving and hadn’t already been incorporated in, or superseded by, more recent books of mine. So I tracked down the original versions of those 20 or so papers and set to work. When I was done, though, I found I had somewhere in excess of 600 pages on my hands—too much, in my view, for just one book, and so I split them across two separate volumes.
Highlights of the present volume include a discussion of the difficulties involved in providing a relational interface to a nonrelational system; a tutorial on the quantifiers and what happens to them under three-valued logic; an examination of the effect of user defined types on optimization; some thoughts on normalization and database design tools; and caveats regarding certain important database operators, especially outer join and negation.
Chris Date has a stature that is unique in the database industry. He is best known for his textbook An Introduction to Database Systems (Addison-Wesley), which has sold some 900,000 copies at the time of writing. He enjoys a reputation that is second to none for his ability to explain complex technical issues in a clear and understandable fashion. He was inducted into the Computing Industry Hall of Fame in 2004.