19. Principles of Database Design

In our first chapter, we introduced the notion that relational databases are a collection of data, stored in any number of tables. The tables are assumed to be related to each other in some fashion. In the previous chapter, on maintaining tables, we made clear that database designers can, if they choose, assign foreign keys to ensure that certain relationships between tables are maintained properly.

However, even with our knowledge of primary and foreign keys, we still have not yet addressed the basic issue of how to design a database in the first place. The main questions to address are the following:

• How should data be organized into a set of related tables?

• What data elements should be placed in each table? ...

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