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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Databases by John V. Petersen

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Steps to Normalize Your Data Model

Just as achieving an optimal database design is a multistep process, so, too, is the process of normalization. At a minimum, you will want to normalize to the third normal form. Quite possibly, you might need to go one step further by normalizing to the Boyce-Codd Normal Form. Fourth and fifth normal forms do exist, but their use is far less common. For informational purposes, the fourth and fifth normal forms are described briefly at the conclusion of this section.

To illustrate the normalization process, consider the following list of unnormalized data items:

  • Customer ID (primary key)

  • Customer Name

  • Customer Type

  • Contact Name (one to many)

  • Category Name (one to many)

If you have ever worked with data that comes ...

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