How to Approach Database Design

Discussions of database design for relational systems—this one included—often seem schizophrenic. On the one hand, you're told that the relational model makes database design intuitive and easy; on the other hand, you're told that unless your database is “simple” (whatever that is), you'll either have to refer to other sources (which sounds ominous), or let the gurus do it for you. So why bother to wade through endless explanations?

Recognizing this confusion, one relational theorist postulates that database design is often easier to do than to explain exactly what it was you did. In our attempt to explain exactly what to do when you design a database, we will encourage and educate your intuitive impulses, as well ...

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