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SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Vol. 2 by Kimberly Tripp, Paul Randal, Paul Nielsen, Brad McGehee, Greg Low, Louis Davidson, Kalen Delaney

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Chapter 6. Generalization: the key to a well-designed schema

Paul Nielsen

The year: 2002. The project: approximately a year late and $1.5 million greater than budget. The team had grown from a small handful of developers to 19, but the work was getting further behind by the day. The project was mission critical to the organization, but because the organization’s culture valued friendship over performance, the delays were accepted. The situation had degraded to the point where management wanted a second opinion. I was told there were “no sacred cows—challenge everything.” (In hindsight, they should’ve known that was a challenge I’d relish).

The project collected data for monthly reporting—not a complicated project. Once I understood the requirements, ...

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