This is a continuation of my posts on relational databases, started here. Previous posts on this theme, “Data Modeling“, “Let’s Talk About Database Schema“, “The Exasperating Topic of Database Indexes“, “The Keys & Relationships of Relational Databases“, and “Relational Database Query Optimization“.
Consider you’re a die-hard fan of progressive death metal, with a particular affinity for bands like Allegaeon. Over the years, you’ve accumulated a vast collection of CDs, vinyls, and other memorabilia.
Your collection has grown so much that you decide to document every item meticulously. Each piece of memorabilia contains information about the album, track titles, band members, and so forth. If you scribbled down every detail in one continuous list, you’d end up with a lot of repeated information. For instance, both “Proponent for Sentience” and “Formshifter” would mention the same band members like Riley McShane and Michael Stancel.
Normalization is akin to setting up separate lists or sections in your documentation. One section purely for “Band Members” where you detail members of Allegaeon over time. Another section for “Albums”, where instead of listing band members all over again, you simply refer back to the “Band Members” section. This kind of organization cuts down redundancy and ensures if, say, a band member leaves, you have only one spot to update.Continue reading “Normalization in Relational Databases”