I hope that the example for this chapter is polished up a bit for future editions of the book.
The database contains several fields for each country such as population, capital, head of state, etc. but all this information does not show up in the example. I think the intention is to expand the example so that clicking on the country name in the table view leads to another table view that displays all the specific country information.
Also, it would be nice if the example allowed the user to make changes to the underlying data base. Instead of using just a SELECT query, it would be interesting to see an INSERT or UPDATE.
I am also left wondering how I would go about connecting an IPhone application to a real world industrial strength database - such as SQL Server or Oracle. Is it possible for the IPhone to have a direct connection? Would I use an API similar to the SQLite API? Would it make more sense to interact with these databases via a web service?