Applying relational theory to paper filing systems

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 08:51:42 -0500
Message-ID: <c6ocu9$gv0$>

I was just at the dentist office and saw again those rows of color-coded paper files. I wondered what "best practices" or even possibly "theory" might be used these days to design such a system.

I know I have used data normalization techniques when designing paper-based forms before -- particularly 2nd & 3rd NF. Obviously one would not want to apply all relational theory to paper files due to the inability to handily join tables that are paper-based. You would also not want to use 1NF, most likely.

Figuring out what from data modeling and database modeling techniques and what from relational theory would be applicable to paper-based filing systems might shed some light on what from relational theory is useful to non-RDBMS systems (and, therefore, to database systems in general).

Is anyone familiar with any paper-based filing "theory" that is out there? What would be useful from relational theory to teach to people who are setting up paper-based "databases".

Thanks. --dawn Received on Wed Apr 28 2004 - 15:51:42 CEST

Original text of this message