Database Basics

The purpose of a database is to store the information required by an organization. Any means of collecting and organizing data is a database. Prior to the Information Age, information was primarily stored on cards, in file folders, or in ledger books. Before the adding machine, offices employed dozens of workers who spent all day adding columns of numbers and double-checking the math of others. The job title of those who had that exciting career was computer.

Author's Note
Welcome to the second of three chapters that deal with database design. Although they're spread out in the table of contents, they weave a consistent theme that good design yields great performance:
  • Chapter 2 provides an overview of data architecture.
  • Partitioning the physical layer is covered in Chapter 49, “Partitioning.”
  • Designing data warehouses for business intelligence is covered in Chapter 51, “Business Intelligence Database Design.”
There's more to this chapter than the standard “Intro to Normalization.” This chapter draws on the lessons that have been learned over many years.
This chapter covers a book's worth of material, but concisely summarizes the main ideas. The chapter opens with an introduction to database design terms and concepts. Then the same concept is presented from three perspectives: first, with the common patterns, then with a custom Layered Design concept, and lastly with the normal forms. Each of these ideas is easier to comprehend after you understand the other ...

Get Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.