Re: Newbie question about db normalization theory: redundant keys OK?

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 13:02:55 -0400
Message-ID: <4762b743$0$5292$>

raylopez99 wrote:

> On Dec 13, 2:10 pm, mAsterdam <> wrote:

>>raylopez99 schreef:
>>>With a few hours of theory under my belt, I'd like to ask if there's
>>>ever a time that you don't want a completely normalized dB, that is, a
>>>normalized database being a dB that has no redundant information (my
>>>understanding of what a normalized database is).
>>This question is very well put.
>>First, about your understanding.
>>The goal of normalizing is not to get rid of redundancies but to get
>>rid of update anomalies. If, when in the real world your database is
>>modeling one thing changes and you have to change several pieces of
>>data in your database to keep it up to date, this means you have an
>>update anomaly.
>>Several (mostly increasingly strict) normal forms exist to check if
>>your set of relations suffers from some anomaly with recepies of
>>changes to it to make it comply. Just google for normal form if you
>>didn't already.

> Thanks; I did Google it,and learned a bit about 1NF, 2NF, 3NF here:
> While I didn't really understand the differences between the three
> types of NF (for one thing, it seems that they were dealing with a
> situation where the primary key was a 'compound key' that depended on
> several fields, and since I like to use GUIDs as the primary key
> almost exclusively, I don't really suffer from this problem*), it also
> seems that even with a fully normalized database (in 1,2 or 3NF), you
> will always have an UPDATE problem. The 'solution' is to minimize
> your hierarchy of UPDATES by employing a "star" configuration" or
> "cluster", as suggested or implied by David Cressey. This is where
> there is never more than two tables linked by the same key, which
> makes programming easlier (that is, you don't have to program the
> UPDATE anomalies recursively, but simply program the almost trivial
> parent-child UPDATE case). But, as a practical matter, sometimes it's
> hard to not have the same key propigate to a third table, so even as I
> type this I realize this advice is not practical.
> Anyway, thanks to everybody who replied, it seems that there's a lot
> to learn in dBs.
> RL
> * as a further practical consideration, one dB I use, personally more
> than anything else, is Access, which doesn't have compound keys to
> begin with

Why does this thread seem to have an air of deja vu all over again? Received on Fri Dec 14 2007 - 18:02:55 CET

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