Database Normalization Assignment Help
If you have been studying one of the major subjects of I.T. field, “Database Management System”, then very often you have heard the term Normalization. Even, in corporate, professionals ask, Is that database normalized?” or Is that database in BCNF state?’’ But when this topic is introduced in the course and students get its assignment or homework, then they start freaking out.
Doing Normalization assignment is not at all an easy chore. However, knowing and learning the principles of normalization and applying them practically reduces the complexity and it could drastically improve the performance of your DBMS. But what is it and why it is important for every database, let have a look.
What is Normalization?
Database normalization is a technique of organizing the data in the database. It is a systematic approach of decomposing tables to eliminate data redundancy and undesirable characteristics like Insertion, Update and Deletion Anamolies. It is a multi-step process that puts data into tabular form by removing duplicated data from the related tables.
Database Normalization is done in order to achieve these goals:
1. Minimization of data redundancy
2. Minimization of data restructuring
3. Minimization of I/O by reducing the size of transactions
4. Enforcing the referential integrity
Important Elements Used in Normalization
Before drilling down the further information of Normalization, let’s try to recap some of the important terms used in relational database because these terms are actively being used while performing normalization over database design.
- ENTITY– is a logical collection of objects that are relevant to the database. Its physical counterpart is “table” in the database. For example, an entity called EMPLOYEE will keep data related to all employees of the organization.
- ATTRIBUTE – is a descriptive or quantitative characteristics of an entity. Its physical counterpart is a column in a table. For example, entity EMPLOYEE can have attributes like EMPLOYEE_ID, EMPLOYEE_NAME, etc.
- PRIMARY KEY – is an attribute or a collection of attributes that can identify uniquely each instance of an entity. For example, EMPLOYEE_ID could be the primary key for the above entity.
- RELATIONSHIP – is a logical link between two entities. It normally represents business rules between the entities. While defining the relationship, it is always suggested to treat one entity as a driver (PARENT ENTITY) and other as driven (CHILD ENTITY). These relationships are mainly of three types:
1. ONE-TO-ONE i.e. for each entry in parent entity, there could be one and only one entry in child entity.
2. ONE-TO-MANY i.e. for each entry in parent entity, there could be one or more than one entry in child entity.
3. MANY-TO-MANY i.e. for one or a collection of entries in parent entity, there could be one or more than one entry in child entity. This case should also be resolved as it leads to data redundancy
- FOREIGN KEY - The relationship between 2 tables matches the Primary Key in one of the tables with a Foreign Key in the second table.
Importance of Normalization
There is no concept of handling the database without normalization, complexity will always be there in it. Without Normalization, it becomes difficult to handle and update the database, because it has the major chances of facing data loss. Insertion, Updation and Deletion Anamolies are very frequent if Database is not Normalized, hence it is mandatory to normalize for the best possible understanding.
Look at the important reasons why normalization is used for every database
- Avoids data modification (INSERT/DELETE/UPDATE) anomalies
- Makes the database optimized and easy to maintain
- Provides greater flexibility in retrieving the expected data
- Strengthens the data security
- Increases storage efficiency
- Speed up the data access
- Decreases the chances of data inconsistency
Rules of Data Normalization
There are some standard rules defined to make the database completely normalized. These rules come in various normal forms that are discussed below:
- First Normal Form - As per First Normal Form, no two Rows of data must contain a repeating group of information. In short, each column should be unique.
- Second Normal Form - The entity should already be considered in 1NF. As per the Second Normal Form, there must not be any partial dependency of any column of the primary key. It means all the attributes in the entity should be solely dependent on the primary key.
- Third Normal Form - The entity should already be in 2NF and no column value should be dependent on any other value except the key of the table. As the database gets normalized in 3NF that means the database is normalized.
- BCNF (Boyce Codd Normal Form) - It is an extended version of BCNF. In this all tables should have only one primary key.
- 4 NF (Multivalued Dependency) - It also has two conditions. First, an entity must be in BCNF and second is if an attribute is based on value list, then it must be taken out as a distinct entity.
- 5 NF (Join Dependency) - An entity must be in 4 NF and if an attribute is based on multi attribute, then it must be taken out as a separate entity.
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