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Re: Three table database - period (?)

From: Bob Badour <bbadour_at_golden.net>
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 22:16:02 -0500
Message-ID: <3W3f6.121$Ac6.12310650@radon.golden.net>

Jens wrote in message <3A76AF6D.70C2F781_at_axon.is>...
>Hi
>
>I have been wondering about the merits / pitfalls of the
>following table structure:
>
>Entity(ID)
>
>EntityAttribute(EntityID, AttributeID)
>
>Attribute(ID, Type, EntityID, Number, String, Date, Blob,
>...)

Jens,

This design has no merits. As for pitfalls:

The design makes it practically impossible to declare integrity constraints to the DBMS.
The design makes it practically impossible for the DBMS to enforce integrity.
The design makes it practically impossible to query the database. The design makes it practically impossible for the DBMS to optimize queries. The design makes it practically impossible to effectively handle concurrency.
The design makes it practically impossible to scale any application. The design makes it practically impossible to use any DBMS tool.

The list goes on...

Most of the entire database design process is ad hoc and arbitrary. Only one step in database design has any kind of objective and deterministic tool: normalization. The design you describe takes thirty years of research into effective database design by some of the best minds in the world and flushes it.

The design you describe does a very poor job of turning a relational database management system into a network record heap in secondary storage.

Any decent mechanic can turn a Rolls Royce into a device for charging MoPed batteries. The question is: Would any?

Any discussion of the "merits" of such a design is mental masturbation. It might stroke the ego for a while but it won't germinate into anything fruitful.

If you want to learn something about database design, I can refer you to some good books on the subject. You won't learn anything useful on usenet. Received on Sat Feb 03 2001 - 21:16:02 CST

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