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Database Design: Know It All by Graham Witt, Graeme Simsion, Markus Schneider, Patrick O'Neil, Elizabeth O'Neil, Bonnie O'Neil, Thomas P. Nadeau, Tony Morgan, Jim Melton, Sam S. Lightstone, W.H. Inmon, Jan L. Harrington, Terry Halpin, Ralf Hartmut Güting, Lowell Fryman, Stephen Buxton, Toby J. Teorey

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Chapter 8. Denormalization

The phrase “smaller, faster, cheaper” has long been the credo of the builders of computer chips, personal digital assistants (PDAs), quantum computers, and even printers. It is well known to be a difficult task to optimize all three at the same time, and most of the time there are important trade-offs that need to be addressed. A similar phrase, “faster, better, cheaper,” was used in NASA, but came into serious question after several critical losses in the past decade, including the infamous Mars Climate Orbiter with its disastrous mix of English and metric units in the same system. In database design we would very much like to optimize performance (fast queries), maintainability (fast updates), and integrity (avoiding ...

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