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4 1 1 The Formal Definition of Normalization, The most commonly applied normal forms are first second and third. normal forms Additionally there are the rarely commercially implemented. Boyce Codd fourth fifth and Domain Key normal forms The normal. forms steps are cumulative upon each other In other words each one is. applied to the previous step and the next step cannot be applied until the. previous one is implemented The following examples apply. A database model can only have third normal applied when it is in. second normal form, If a database model is only in first normal form then third normal. form cannot be applied, That is what is meant by cumulative The overall result of normalization. is removal of duplication and minimizing on redundant chunks of data. The result is better organization and more effective use of physical space. among other factors, Normalization is not always the best solution In data warehouses there. is often a completely different approach to database mode design Normal. ization is not the only solution The formal approach to normalization. insists on expecting a designer to apply every normal form layer in every. situation In a commercial environment this is often overzealous applica. tion of detail The trouble with the deeper and more precisely refined. aspects of normalization is that normalization tends to overdefine itself sim. ply for the sake of defining itself further, Before going into the details of normalization some specifics should be. covered briefly because they are used in the process of explaining normal. ization and the different normal forms These specifics include the concepts. of anomalies dependence and determinance,1 1 1 Anomalies. Relational database modeling eliminates what are called anomalies from. occurring in a database Anomalies can potentially occur during changes to. a database An anomaly is a bad thing because data can become logically. corrupted An anomaly with respect to relational database design is essen. tially an erroneous change to data more specifically to a single record. Anomalies apply to any changes to data Thus insert delete and update. anomalies can occur as follows,1 1 The Formal Definition of Normalization 5. Insert Anomaly This is caused when a record is added to a detail table. with no related record existing in a master table For example adding. a new book first as written by a specific author creates a book writ. ten by nobody This is senseless, Delete Anomaly This is caused when a record is deleted from a master. table without first deleting all sibling records from detail tables For. example deleting authors without deleting books first will result in. authorless books A special case is a cascade deletion where deletion of. a master record automatically deletes all child records in all related. detail tables before deleting the parent record in the master table. Update Anomaly This anomaly is similar to deletion in that both. master and detail records must be updated in order to avoid. orphaned detail records When cascading it needs to be ensured. that any primary key updates are propagated to related child table. foreign keys,1 1 2 Dependence and Determinance, Dependence implies that a value is dependent on another value Determi. nance implies that a value will help to determine the value of another value. These are the details, Functional Dependence Y is functionally dependent on X if the value. of Y is determined by X In other words if Y X 1 then the value. of X will help to determine the value of Y Thus Y is dependent on X. as a function of the value of X, Determinant A determinant is the inversion opposite of functional. dependency Therefore if Y X 1 then X is a determinant of Y. This is because X determines the value Y at least partially because 1 is. added to X as well, Transitive Dependence Z is transitively dependent on X when X. determines Y and Y determines Z Therefore Z is indirectly depen. dent on X through its relationship with Y, Candidate Key A candidate key is any column or combination of col. umns that can be used as a primary key for an entity A primary key. uniquely identifies each record in an entity, Full Functional Dependence This situation occurs where X determines. Y but X combined with Z does not determine Y In other words Y. 6 1 1 The Formal Definition of Normalization, depends on X and X alone If Y depends on X with anything else. then there is not full functional dependence Thus following on from. the description of what a candidate key is if X is the determinant it. cannot be a composite key because a composite key contains more. than one column the equivalent of X with Z, Multivalued Dependence A column containing a comma delimited. list a collection is a multivalued dependency All values are depen. dent as a whole on the primary key, Trivial Multivalued Dependence This occurs between two columns. when they are the only two columns in the entity One is the primary. key and the other a multivalued list, Nontrivial Multivalued Dependence This occurs when there are other. columns in an entity in addition to the primary key and a collection. Cyclic Dependence This is when X is dependent on Y which in turn is. also dependent on X directly or indirectly Cyclic dependence there. fore indicates a logically circular pattern of interdependence Cyclic. dependence typically occurs with entities containing a composite pri. mary key of three or more columns For example three columns in. an entity are related in pairs to each other In other words X relates to. Y Y relates to Z and X relates to Z Ultimately Z relates back to X. That covers the definitions of anomalies dependence and determi. nance Now let s examine the definitions of normal forms from a formal. perspective,1 1 3 First Normal Form 1NF, First normal form eliminates repeating groups where all records in all enti. ties are identified uniquely by a primary key in each entity All columns. other than the primary key must be dependent on the primary key First. normal form achieves the following,Eliminates repeating groups. Defines primary keys, All records must be uniquely identified by a primary key The pri. mary key is unique prohibiting duplicate values,1 1 The Formal Definition of Normalization 7. All columns other than the primary key must depend on the primary. key either directly or indirectly,All columns must contain a single value. All values in each column must be of the same datatype. Creates a new entity and moves repeating groups to the new entity. removing them from the original entity,1 1 4 Second Normal Form 2NF. Second normal form requires that all nonkey values must be fully function. ally dependent on the primary key No partial dependencies are allowed A. partial dependency will exist when a column is fully dependent on a part of. a composite primary key A composite primary key is a primary consisting. of more than one column in an entity Second normal form achieves the. The entity must be in first normal form, Removes columns to other entities that are independent of the pri. All nonkey values must be fully functionally dependent on the pri. mary key In other words nonkey columns that are not completely. and individually dependent on the primary key are not allowed. Partial dependencies must be removed A partial dependency is a spe. cial type of functional dependency that exists when a column is fully. dependent on a part of a composite primary key, Creates a new entity to separate the partially dependent part of the. primary key and its dependent columns,1 1 5 Third Normal Form 3NF. Third normal form eliminates transitive dependencies where a column is. indirectly determined by the primary key This is because the column is. functionally dependent on another column whereas the other column is. dependent on the primary key Third normal form achieves the following. 8 1 1 The Formal Definition of Normalization,The entity must be in second normal form. Eliminates transitive dependencies where a column is indirectly. determined by the primary key This is because that column is func. tionally dependent on a second column where that second column is. dependent on the primary key, Creates a new entity to contain any separated columns. 1 1 6 Boyce Codd Normal Form BCNF, In Boyce Codd normal form every determinant in an entity is a candidate. key If there is only one candidate key then third normal form and BCNF. are the same Boyce Codd normal form achieves the following. An entity must be in third normal form, An entity can have only one candidate key where all potential pri. mary keys are separated into separate entities,1 1 7 Fourth Normal Form 4NF. Fourth normal form eliminates multiple sets of multivalued dependencies. Fourth normal form achieves the following, An entity must be in third normal form or Boyce Codd normal form. Multivalued dependencies must be transformed into functional. dependencies This implies that a single value is dependent on the. primary key as opposed to multiple values a collection being. dependent on the primary key, Eliminates multiple sets of multivalued dependencies sometimes. described as nontrivial multivalued dependencies,1 1 8 Fifth Normal Form 5NF. Fifth normal form eliminates cyclic dependencies 5NF is also known as. Projection normal form PJNF The term projection is used to describe new. entities containing subsets of data from the original entity A cyclic depen. dency is a form of circular dependency where three pairs result as a combi. nation of a single three column composite primary key entity those three. pairs being column 1 with column 2 column 2 with column 3 and col. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization 9, umn 1 with column 3 In other words everything is related to everything. else including itself If normalized entities are joined again using a three. entity join the resulting records will be the same as that present in the orig. inal entity Fifth normal form achieves the following. An entity must be in fourth normal form, Cyclic dependencies must be eliminated where a cyclic dependency is. a column that depends on a second column where the first column is. either directly or indirectly dependent on itself, The post transformation join must match records for a query on the. pretransformation entity,1 1 9 Domain Key Normal Form DKNF. Domain key normal form is the ultimate application of normalization and. is more a measurement of a conceptual state of a database model as. opposed to a transformation process in itself DKNF is the ultimate normal. form and describes how a completely normalized database model should be. structured, Anomalies are not allowed including insertion update or deletion. Every record in the database must be directly accessible in all man. ners such that no errors can result, Every record in every entity must be uniquely identifiable and. directly related to the primary key in its entity Therefore all columns. in all entities are directly determined by the primary keys in their. respective entities, All validation of data is done within the database model From a. practical perspective it is prudent to split functionality between data. base and front end applications, Now let s take a step sideways and try to simplify normalization. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization, Many existing commercial relational databases do not go beyond the imple. mentation of third normal form This is often true of online transaction. processing OLTP databases and nearly always true in properly designed. 10 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization, data warehouse databases Application of normal forms beyond third nor. mal form can tend to produce too many entities resulting in too many. entities in SQL query joins Too many entities in SQL query joins can. reduce system performance for any type of database The more entities in a. join the more difficult queries are to tune Also more query complexity. makes it more difficult for a database query optimizer to make a best guess. at the fastest execution path for a query The result is poor performance. From a purely commercial perspective good performance is much more. important than granular perfection in relational database design It s not. about the design but more about satisfied customers and end users Poor. response time from a computer system will upset people In fact poor. response time can be much more than simply upsetting because it can. impact business and the bottom line for a company, How can normalization be made simple Why is it easy I like to offer a. simplified interpretation of normalization to get the novice started In a. perfect world most relational database model designs are very similar As a. result much of the basic database design for many applications such as. accounting or manufacturing is all more or less the same Some of the. common factors are separating repeated columns in master detail relation. ships using first normal form pushing static data into new entities using. my version of second normal form and doing various interesting things. with third normal form and beyond, Normalization is for the most part easy and largely common sense with. some business knowledge experience thrown in There are of course. numerous exceptional circumstances and special cases where my basic inter. pretation of normalization does not fill all needs up to 100 percent In these. situations parts of the more refined formal interpretation can be used. The result is that I have partially redefined the normal forms of normal. ization slightly different from what I like to call the formal form of normal. ization I have thus redefined normalization into fewer normal forms. which I consider practical for use in a commercial environment If you find. any of my definitions to be contrary to the accepted definitions of normal. ization that is because I have deliberately attempted to simplify the various. normal form layers for the layperson, Application of the relational database model to a data set involves the. removal of duplication which is performed using a process called normal. ization Normalization consists of a set of rules called Normal Forms Nor. malization is applied to a set of data in a database to form entities Entities. are for placing directly associated data into Entities can be related or linked. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization 11, to each other through the use of key or index identifiers which describe a. row of data in an entity much like an index is used in a book An index in a. book is used to locate an item of interest without having to read the entire. book from cover to cover, In my version of normalization there are four levels or layers of normal. ization I like to call first second third and beyond third normal forms. Each normal form may be a refinement of the previous normal form. although that is not strictly a requirement In other words my simple. method does not necessarily require cumulative normal forms although in. most cases cumulative application of each successive layer makes sense In. designing entities for performance it is common practice for designers to. ignore the steps of normalization and jump directly to second normal form. Third normal form is often not applied either unless many to many joins. cause an absolute need for unique values at the application level. Experienced designers make it more of an instinctive process because. they have seen similar patterns in data time and again This is why I think. it is possible to partially rewrite and simplify the normal forms of normal. ization My intention is by no means to be bombastic but only to try to. make this process a little easier to understand and in the context of this. book to allow for ultimately better performing SQL queries by reducing. the granularity and complexity of the underlying data structures. Note Overnormalization using third normal forms and beyond can lead to. poor performance in both OLTP and data warehouse type databases Over. normalization is more commercially in top down designed Java object. applications In this situation an object structure is imposed onto a rela. tional database Object and relational data structures are completely differ. ent methodologies because the fine details of granularity are inherent in. object modeling The same is true of extreme application of normal forms. but that creates too many entities too much processing built into a data. base model and ultimately highly complex SQL coding and poor perfor. mance as a result, So I am assuming that normalization in its strictest form is generally. impractical because of its adverse effect on performance in a commercial. environment especially fourth normal form and beyond The simplest way. to describe what normalization attempts to achieve can be explained in. three ways,12 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization. 1 Divide the whole into smaller more manageable parts. Note The key phrase is manageable parts There is a sensible balance some. where between placing detailed granularity in both the database and front. end applications The most practical form is basic structures in the database. model first second and third normal forms and all other normal forms. applied in applications using application coding,2 Remove duplicated data into related subsets. 3 Link two indirectly related entities by creating a new entity The. new entity contains indexes keys from the two indirectly related. entities This is commonly known as a many to many join. These three points are meaningless without further explanation of nor. malization so let s go through the rules and try to explain normalization in. an informal fashion Let s start with some relational database buzzwords. An entity contains many repetitions of the same row An entity. defines the structure for a row An example of an entity is a list of cus. tomer names and addresses,Note An entity is also known as a table. A row is a line of data Many rows make up the data in an entity An. example of a row is a single customer name and address within an. entity of many customers A row is also known as a record or a tuple. The structure of a row in an entity is divided up into columns Each. column contains a single item of data such as a name or address A. column can also be called a field or attribute, Referential integrity is a process of validation between related enti. ties where references between different entities are checked against. each other A primary key is placed on a parent or superset entity as. the primary identifier or key to each row in the entity The primary. key will always point to a single row only and it is unique within the. entity A foreign key is a copy of a primary key value in a subset or. child entity An example of a function of referential integrity is that it. will not allow the deletion of a primary key entity row where a for. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization 13, eign key value exists in a child entity Primary keys are often referred. to as PK and foreign keys as FK Note that both primary and foreign. keys can consist of more than one column A key consisting of more. than one column is known as a composite key, An index is used to gain fast access to an entity A key is a special. form of an index used to enforce referential integrity relationships. between entities An index allows direct access to rows by duplicating. a small part of each row to an additional index file An index is a. copy of the contents of a small number of columns in an entity occu. pying less physical space and therefore faster to search through than. an entity The most efficient unique indexes are usually made up of. single columns containing integers There are many other types of. indexes of various shapes and forms but specialized indexes such as. bitmap indexes have very specific applications, Note Primary and foreign keys are special types of indexes applying refer. ential integrity Oracle Database automatically indexes primary keys but. not foreign keys,1 2 1 First Normal Form, First normal form removes repetition by creating one to many relation. ships Data repeated many times in one entity is removed to a subset entity. which becomes the container for the removed repeating data Each row in. the subset entity will contain a single reference to each row in the original. entity The original entity will then contain only nonduplicated data This. one to many relationship is commonly known as a master detail relation. ship where repeating columns are removed to a new entity The new entity. gets a primary key consisting of a composite of the primary key in the mas. ter entity and a unique identifier within each master primary key on the. detail entity, In the example in Figure 1 1 a first normal form transformation is. shown The sales order entity on the left contains customer details sales. order details and descriptions of multiple items on the sales order Applica. tion of first normal form removes the multiple items from the sales order. entity by creating a one to many relationship between the sales order and. the sales order item entities This has three benefits. 14 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization,1 Saves space. 2 Reduces complexity, 3 Ensures that every sales order item will belong to a sales order. In Figure 1 1 the crow s foot pointing to the sales order item entity indi. cates that for a sales order to exist the sales order has to have at least one. sales order item The line across the pointer to the sales order entity signifies. that at least one sales order is required in this relationship The crow s foot is. used to denote an inter entity relationship, Note Inter entity relationships can be zero one or many to zero one or. The relationship shown in Figure 1 1 between the sales order and sales. order item entity is that of one to one or many,Figure 1 1. First normal form, Example rows for the first normal form structure in Figure 1 1 are shown. in Figure 1 2 Notice how the master and detail rows are now separated. 1 2 2 Second Normal Form, Second normal form creates not one to many relationships but many to. one relationships effectively separating static from dynamic informa. tion Static information is potentially repeatable This repeatable static. information is moved into separate entities In Figure 1 3 the customer. information is removed from the sales order entity Customer information. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization 15,Figure 1 2. First normal form,rows for Figure 1 1, can be duplicated for many sales orders or have no sales orders thus the. one and only one to zero one or many relationship between customers and. sales orders This many to one relationship as opposed to the one to many. relationship created by a first normal form transformation is commonly. known as a dynamic static relationship where repeating values rather than. repeating columns first normal form are removed to a new entity The. new entity containing static data gets a single column primary key which. is copied to a foreign key in the dynamic entity,Figure 1 3. Second normal, Example rows for the second normal form structure in Figure 1 3 are. shown in Figure 1 4 Now we have separation of master and detail rows and a. single entry for our customer name there is no duplication of information. On creation of the Customer entity one would create a primary key on the. 16 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization, CUSTOMER NUMBER column as shown on the right side of the dia. gram in Figure 1 3 Figure 1 4 does not show a CUSTOMER NUMBER. but merely a customer name for explanatory purposes In Figure 1 4 a. primary key would be created on the name of the Customer entity One of. the most significant realistic benefits of excessive normalization is saving phys. ical space However with the low prices of disk space in the modern world. this is not really too much of an important factor anymore Processor and. memory costs are relatively much more expensive than the costs of storage. Figure 1 4,Second normal,form rows for,Figure 1 2, Note In the previous edition of this book one of the readers pointed out that. the normal form transformation shown in Figures 1 3 and 1 4 is actually a. second to third normal form transformation rather than a first to second nor. mal form transformation This is because the transformation splits a compos. ite key into two entities I am attempting to simplify the process of. normalization not rewrite it Separating static and dynamic data into separate. entities is looking at the process from a business operational perspective The. objective is not to contradict the accepted process of normalization but to. make it a little easier for the layperson This is a simplified interpretation. 1 2 A Layperson s Approach to Normalization 17,1 2 3 Third Normal Form. Third normal form is used to resolve many to many relationships into. unique values In Figure 1 5 a student can be enrolled in many courses. and a course can have many students enrolled It is impossible to find a. unique course student item without joining every student with every. course Therefore each unique item can be found with the combination of. values Thus the CourseStudent entity in Figure 1 5 is a many to many. join resolution entity In a commercial environment it is very unlikely that. an application will ever need to find this unique item especially not a. modern day Java object Web application where the tendency is to drill. down through list collections rather than display individual items Many. to many join resolutions should only be created when they are specifically. required by the application It can sometimes be better to resolve these. joins in the application to improve database performance and not create. new entities at all, Note Be very careful using third normal form and beyond. Figure 1 5,Third normal form, Example rows for the third normal form structure in Figure 1 5 are. shown in Figure 1 6 Notice how the containment of both students within. courses and courses within students is provided by the application of third. normal form The question you should ask yourself when using third nor. mal form is this Does your application need both of these one to many. relationships If not then do not create the new entity because more enti. ties lead to more complex joins and thus slower SQL statements Theoreti. cally application of third normal form under these circumstances is correct. However in a commercial application you will not necessarily need to. access the information in both orders, Now let s understand this a little further Look at Figure 1 7 That. many to many relationship we had between the two entities on the left in.
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