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Meeting Information for September 2003

The September meeting of the LA Area DB2 User Group will be held on September 4, 2003 at the Sheraton Cerritos. The meeting room will open at 8:30am for coffee and refreshments with the first presentation beginning around 9:30.

This is a full-day seminar which includes a catered lunch. Due to overwhelming demand, preference will be given to LAADB2UG members.

Driving Directions: The Sheraton Cerritos is located at 12725 Center Court Drive, Cerritos CA 90703. Telephone is (562) 809-1500. It is one block south of the 91 Freeway in the Cerritos Towne Center. Click here for directions and a map.


PRESENTER: Fabian Pascal
Fabian Pascal has a national and international reputation as an independent technology analyst, consultant, author and lecturer specializing in data management. He was affiliated with Codd & Date and for 20 years held various analytical and management positions in the private and public sectors, has taught and lectured at the business and academic levels, and advised vendor and user organizations on data management technology, strategy and implementation. Clients include IBM, Census Bureau, CIA, Apple, Borland, Cognos, UCSF, and IRS. He is founder, editor and publisher of DATABASE DEBUNKINGS, a web site dedicated to dispelling persistent fallacies, flaws, myths and misconceptions prevalent in the IT industry (Chris Date is a senior contributor). Author of three books, he has published extensively in most trade publications, including DM Review, Database Programming and Design, DBMS, Byte, Infoworld and Computerworld. He is author of the contrarian columns Against the Grain, Setting Matters Straight, and for The Journal of Conceptual Modeling. His third book, PRACTICAL ISSUES IN DATABASE MANAGEMENT serves as text for his seminars.

PRESENTATION:  
The Dangerous Illusion: Normalization, Integrity and Performance
One of the most egregiously abused aspects of information modeling and database design is normalization. Despite the fact that they were repeatedly debunked, arguments against normalization and for denormalization continue to sway practitioners, be they experienced or novices. This costs dearly and reveals the poor understanding of sound design principles by even those who profess to be experts. It is both a major reason for and a consequence of SQL deficiencies and technology regressions such as ODBMS, OLAP, and XML that have come to haunt data management.

Even if current data management systems did perform better with denormalized databases, denormalization would still be unjustified, because performance gains, if any, can be had only at the expense of integrity. If the integrity consequences of denormalization are taken into account, they override performance gains, if any.

This workshop demonstrates why the notion of "denormalization for performance" is a fallacy, and exposes its costly implications, of which most practitioners are blissfully unaware. Participants will learn:

what normalization is really about
the performance illusion
the integrity cost
technology/product/practice assessment


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