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Re: Applying relational theory to paper filing systems

From: x <x-false_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 18:27:38 +0300
Message-ID: <408fccba@post.usenet.com>

"Dawn M. Wolthuis" <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com> wrote in message news:c6ocu9$gv0$1_at_news.netins.net...
> 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 nothing about "those rows of color-coded paper files at the dentist office"
This particular case of paper-based forms is special or just an example of well
designed forms ?

> 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).

You mentioned

- paper based forms
- paper based files
- paper based filing
- paper based databases

I think that there are different kinds of paper based forms:

- for data input
- for data storage
- for data processing
- for data output

Which one do you have in mind ?
Do you consider parallel/concurent/distributed processing (of paper forms) ?

I think that "electronic data processing" is not that different from "paper based processing"

> 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.

I don't think this is obvious.
Many sorting routines that are used today in DBMSs have been invented prior to electronic computers and were used to "handily join tables that are paper-based"

> Is anyone familiar with any paper-based filing "theory" that is out there?

Maybe an archivist or a secretary ?

> What would be useful from relational theory to teach to people who are
> setting up paper-based "databases".

I would not be surprised if you will find many paper based arhives better organised than most computerised databases.

Maybe we need them to teach us ? :-)

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Received on Wed Apr 28 2004 - 10:27:38 CDT

Original text of this message

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