Re: Natural keys vs Aritficial Keys

From: Roy Hann <specially_at_processed.almost.meat>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 2009 02:03:19 -0500
Message-ID: <>

lawpoop wrote:

> On Jul 2, 11:24 am, Bob Badour <> wrote:
>> > Isn't any key that partially relies on a date/time field thereby
>> > partially artificial?
>> All keys are equally artificial. They are after all artifices for
>> identifying things. Your own name is an artifice chosen by your parents
>> and to which you were conditioned to respond. Unless your name is George
>> Foreman or Prince Michael, it was chosen to be somewhat unique for your
>> parents' ease of reference.
> If all keys are equally artificial, is a natural key then artificial?

Ultimately, yes. But "ultimately" is nothing to do with the problem you are trying to solve.

You are trying to capture data about a particular enterprise of interest. Within that enterprise of interest some keys will already exist and some might have to be created. To my credit card company my credit card number is artificial (since they generate it and assign it to me), but to my video rental company it is a natural key.

Received on Fri Jul 03 2009 - 09:03:19 CEST

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