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“[Current DBMS] deficiencies are, it seems to me, directly due to the widespread lack of understanding (not least on the part of vendors), of fundamental database principles. Certainly it is undeniable that they flout those principles in numerous ways. And the practical consequences are all too obvious. First, users must understand where the deficiencies lie. Second, they have to understand just why they are deficiencies. Third, they have to understand how to work around them. Fourth, they have to devote time and effort in persuading the vendors to remedy them. The trouble is, of course, users too tend to be unaware of those same fundamental principles and, hence, find themselves unable to carry out their side of the "contract" (a "contract" that should not have been allowed, or agreed to in the first place, of course). What is more, this sad state of affairs is not likely to change given the apparent lack of interest on the part of the trade press--itself unaware these same principles--in trying to improve matters.” --C. J. Date

Data professionals and users are not familiar with the history and fundamentals of  database management. Consequently, technology and practice are actually regressing!

DATABASEDEBUNKINGS (DBDebunk.com) is an educational website, the purpose of which is:

  • To make data and relational fundamentals accessible to data practitioners and users; 
  • To dispel myths and misconceptions about and explain the practical implications of sound foundations—a scientific approach to concepts, principles and methods—that are misused, abused, or ignored in the industry;

The target audience is data professionals and users who:

·         Are critical, independent thinkers;

·         Appreciate knowledge and reason; and,

·         Prefer understanding to following the fad-driven, “cookbook approach” of the industry.

independent of the tools used.


How to Use this Site

Since its inception, Google has imposed a 200 character limit on labels per post and, as is its wont, does not bother relaxing it. Having looked for and failed to find a widget or programmatic solution, other than using the Blogger search facility, there is only one workaround the limitation: using abbreviations/acronyms as labels instead of full search terms. This may require the reader to first consult a reference that matches her/his search term to a label (i.e., abbreviation/acronym) in the reference—if there is one—and do the label search. If there is no label, or the search term is not in the reference the reader must resort to the Blogger search.

The reference I created for this purpose is the SEARCH page, which is essentially a dictionary of all the terms that I deem important for readers to know and search posts about about.


·         Say you are searching for posts that discuss logical-physical confusion – The corresponding label is LPC. If you happen to be familiar with the abbreviation, you can search by it. If you are not, look for the full search term on SEARCH page, where it is listed with LPC as label and you can now use it to do the label search.

·         Suppose you're looking for posts about disjunctive constraint, which does not have a label. On the SEARCH page it is listed without one, so you must do a Blogger search.

Email me with any problems, questions or suggestions.

Note very carefully:

·         Results of label searches are based on my judgment of the relevance/significance of the term in posts – they are "curated" by me, so to speak (e.g., I may tag a term with a label even if not explicitly mentioned in posts. 

·         Results of Blogger searches are at the whim of Google (e.g., all the posts with explicit references to the term, regardless of significance).

·         All 2017 and later posts and earlier posts rewritten in and after 2017 for consistency with the McGoveran interpretation of the RDM were re-labeled. Only the new labels that remained the same as the old are guaranteed to work with pre-2017 posts – you must use Blogger search for those.


What Data Professionals Say


"First of all I would like to point out that I'm a big fan of your seminars. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure to attend the two sessions you delivered at the PASS conference in Denver and they opened my eyes. I started reading your book and ended up reading several books from Date and Darwen and, although I'm sure I still have a lot to learn, they changed completely my way of thinking about databases (and of doing training, even if the context of a course focused on a SQL product). The more I read, thinking also about the articles on your web site, the more I realize how the whole IT field needs to be educated about relational technology." --Gianluca H., Managing Director, Microsoft SQL Server MVP

"I love your writing (books, articles, site postings). You're a beacon of rationality in an irrational (and increasingly confused) industry, and I rely on your site to help settle and focus my mind - for example, after days "refactoring" (I'm always tempted to spell that with a U instead of an A) XML "data stores" here at work. Thank you." --Eric K., Senior Software Developer


"I just wanted to thank all of you folks at DBDebunk for giving me a reason to continue doing my job!! And for providing me a safe haven where I can be reassured that I am not out of my mind for trying so hard to do this "modeling thing" well. I am faced with the "dumbed down" masses daily--and have almost abandoned all hope. ... Thanks for giving me the shovel I so desperately need to dig out from under all their "knowledge"!!" --Patricia E., (Beleaguered) Principal  Architect.

"I have found your work immensely useful in understanding database principles. I and a few colleagues have spent the better part of two years implementing our own data storage platform, observing those principles as best we have been able to, with very satisfying results." --Jesper L., Ph.D.C.Sc., Head of Research & Development

"My brief comments are based on my appreciation for your efforts to raise the educational level within the database profession. It's certainly not that "path of least resistance" you might have instead chosen. In particular, your books have helped me a great deal in my database design work. PRACTICAL ISSUES IN DATABASE MANAGEMENT was especially good, especially once I found the errata to fix some problems I had on initial reading." --Keith L., Computer Software Consultant

·         Roy Ashbrook: Nulls to Codd to Fabian Pascal!

·         Ian Gilfillan: Arrogance, slashing Slashdot (and MySQL) and the end of America


Fabian Pascal, Founder, Editor & Publisher, DBDebunk.com is an independent author, educator and consultant specializing in data fundamentals and the relational model. Author of three books and hundreds of articles for the trade press, he taught seminars at the business and academic levels and lectured extensively at industry events. Clients include IBM, Census Bureau, CIA, Apple, UCSF, Golden Gate University and IRS, among others. He has founded the site in 2000 and publishes the PRACTICAL DATABASE FOUNDATIONS and UNDERSTANDING THE REAL RDM series of papers, available on the PUBS page, all of which are dedicated to making fundamentals accessible to data practitioners without compromising theoretical rigor—a non-trivial task.

Contact: dbdebunker.at.gmail.com 

Last update 9/17/23


  1. Hi
    Where can I find
    Database Design, Relational Fidelity and SQL, Parts 1-4, www.dbdebunk.com

    1. The old dbdebunk site, archived @the Internet Archive.

      However, I recommend you stick to the current site -- most of the material has been revised--particularly the papers and my latest book.

  2. Thanks. I found what I wanted in the newer papers. I was chasing up a reference in THE DBDEBUNK GUIDE TO MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DATA FUNDAMENTALS .

  3. Hhhmmm. Can you pls tell me in what section of the book is that reference? If it's one to the old site I must correct it.

  4. Come on and be real: All know that there is an idiot at the helm. Americans, put yourselves together,


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