Re: Objects and Relations

From: Marshall <>
Date: 14 Feb 2007 07:45:14 -0800
Message-ID: <>

On Feb 14, 7:14 am, "Roy Hann" <specia..._at_processed.almost.meat> wrote:
> >> As an addendum, once implemented a surrogate key becomes a natural
> >> key. I find this fascinating - it seems somehow analagous to "Nature
> >> abhoring a vacuum".
> > I think it has more to do with the human drive to communicate.
> I struggle with that. If, for some reason, I choose to say (just) that, "I
> have a tin of cat food, and its name shall be 1345235", what have I
> communicated? No one in the real world could ever point it out and say,
> "Hey! There goes 1345235." And nor could I.

Let's think of customers and customer ids; it's a very similar case.

I have written a number of internal-only apps for phone reps, sales reps, etc. Sometimes you have standout customers, whether by volume or whatever. These can get to be known by their customer number. It's what you need to pull up their account information. It would be easy to think that no one ever says "Hey, 1468559 is on the phone" but I have heard exactly that happen.

What does this communicate? It communicates customer identity.

Note also how drivers license numbers, social security numbers, etc. seem to take on a life of their own. 22 years after leaving Berkeley, I can still tell you my undergrad id.

Marshall Received on Wed Feb 14 2007 - 16:45:14 CET

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