Journal of Business Cases and Applications
Relational algebra operators and mapping to resulting structured query language (SQL) queries are among the most important concepts and skills for students taking a course in database design and implementation, especially those majoring in IS/IT. The most typical relational algebra operators mapped to foundational SQL include unions and intersections, as well as other relational operators applied to these operators, including differences and various joins. Unfortunately, few textbooks or external resources provide ample opportunity for students to apply the full set of most common relational algebra operators mapped to resulting SQL over a single unified case. Most database textbooks exemplify each separate relational algebra construct to a single, sparse (although visually-stimulating) example, wherein the full set of operators is not near fully exemplified. This paper presents an overview of a case example that exemplifies and maps a more complete set of relational algebra operators in related SQL operations across a unified case. The case replicates the author’s real experience in building a database solution for an online retailer of sporting goods products. It is hoped that this case example will help database teachers more effectively teach relational algebra concepts, the subsequent mapping to SQL, and resulting queries, as well as provide students a greater understanding of relational algebra and mapping to SQL. Although the case example is exemplified in Microsoft Access 2010/2013, the case can be modified and presented using any relational database management system (RDBMS).
Dyer, John N., Camille Rogers.
"Mapping Relational Algebra Operators into SQL Queries: A Database Case Study."
Journal of Business Cases and Applications, 13: 1-29.