This book provides basic concepts and framework of information modeling. It is also an introduction to the specification and implementation of organizational information systems. It aims to combine and integrate these traditionally compartmentalized activities. This unity is achieved through the use of a relational specification language Z in conjunction with the relational database language SQL. Both these languages have their roots in predicate logic and set theory. Features of the book include:
An introduction to sets, functions and relations which provide the essential foundations for understanding information systems.
A thorough coverage of SQL.
An introduction to database design through two contrasting graphical notations — conceptual schema and entity-relationship diagrams.
An introduction to the essential components of the Z notation and to the conventions regarding its use.
A discussion of the relationship that must be established between an information system as implemented and its original specification.
End-of-chapter exercises, many of which are answered thus allowing students to pace themselves through the book.
The book suggests that we should take a knowledge-based approach to the development of information systems, with the knowledge first being represented using Z and then re-stated as application programs that use SQL to process a database. Thus the book will be of interest to computing professionals who work in the areas of systems analysis, database design and application programming. It will also provide an integrated introduction to these topics for students of information systems and computer science.