This book is a timely and helpful overview of the strategic importance of logical and physical data modeling. It also provides some useful insights into new modeling-related features in SQL Server 2008.
While some aspects of the book are likely to be somewhat controversial (e.g., the use of plural entity and table names [I prefer singular; the authors use plural], and the use of SQL views for logical/physical data independence [I agree with the authors on the role and power of views, but some people prefer other abstraction mechanisms]), I believe the book should be required reading for anyone responsible for data modeling and database design aspects of working with SQL Server.
For a more in-depth and vendor/product-independent resource on conceptual and logical data modeling, see Mastering Data Modeling: A User-Driven Approach by John Carlis and Joe Maguire. I may be a bit biased on the Carlis/Maguire book, as John Carlis was one of my graduate school professors in the mid-1980s, and Joe Maguire is a Burton Group colleague, but the modeling techniques described in their book have been very productive for me in a wide range of modeling endeavors over the last 20+ years.
You can also download a free sample Burton Group research document on data modeling (written by Joe Maguire), titled "Data Modeling -- a Necessary and Rewarding Aspect of Data Management", from this page. The document abstract:
Data modeling has evolved from an arcane technique for database designers into an entire family of interrelated techniques that serves many constituencies, including techno-phobic business stakeholders and users. The new maturity of modeling tools and techniques arrives in the nick of time, because new technical and regulatory realities demand that enterprises maintain scrupulous awareness of their data and how it is used. Data modeling is no longer for databases only, no longer for technologists only, and no longer optional.
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