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Re: maximum number of columns per table

From: Daniel Morgan <damorgan_at_x.washington.edu>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 22:33:44 -0700
Message-ID: <1090474449.785192@yasure>


Galen Boyer wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Jul 2004, damorgan_at_x.washington.edu wrote:
>

>>Joel Garry wrote:
>>   It can be argued that
>>
>>>a spreadsheet is quite relational - rows and columns, and
>>>that's it.
>>
>>Not by anyone that ever spent more than one hour in a class on
>>"What is a relational database" unless they were asleep.

>
>
> I have used the spreadsheet example quite a bit to explain to
> business folks about relational technology. I ask them, "Don't
> you usually have more than one sheet and then tie those sheets
> together with an address?" After they get what I'm talking
> about, I say, "See, you were thinking relationally and you didn't
> even know it."
>
> The point about spreadsheets is that business folks use them in a
> relational way because relational technology ends up being alot
> about common sense. Why maintain the same information in more
> than one place? Saying a spreadsheet is quite relational, isn't
> valid, even a little bit, but I understand where Joel is coming
> from. And, hell, saying a database is relational isn't at all
> valid either. The use of a spreadsheet or the design of a
> database can be quite relational though.

I've seen it used too many times ... too many times. But that analogy also quite adequately describes a fact table or a mainframe database built in COBOL and that is precisely the problem.

Joe Celko can rant for hours on why a table is not columns and rows. I won't but he is correct. And there are few that know the subject better than Joe.

Daniel Morgan Received on Thu Jul 22 2004 - 00:33:44 CDT

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