Go Premium for a chance to win a PS4. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

Access 2010 - Relational databases and normalization for newbies

Posted on 2013-06-07
5
Medium Priority
?
418 Views
Last Modified: 2013-07-06
Is there a description of what a relational database is that doesn't induce suicide in the part of the reader?  The links I'm finding are verbose, raise more questions than they answer and do not enlighten.

Ditto the normalization process.  Is there a description of what the normalization process is that a newbie can understand?
0
Comment
Question by:brothertruffle880
5 Comments
 
LVL 61

Assisted Solution

by:mbizup
mbizup earned 500 total points
ID: 39228509
If articles are "inducing suicide",  have you tried videos?

There are many on YouTube on the subject of relational databases and Normalization, including this by Jim Dettman (EE's Access Topic Advisor and long-time Expert):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YH6gG0Y660
0
 
LVL 85

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 500 total points
ID: 39228519
A good book on the subject is "Database Design for Mere Mortals". It is targeted to the beginner developer, and generally gets you on the right path. Plus, the induced suicide rate is well below the norm <g>.

But do remember this - database normalization is not a series of "do Step A, then do Step B, then Step C". You must first understand your data and how it relates to your real-world issue that you're trying to solve. It's entirely possible that you could have two databases with identical tables that are normalized differently, since the intended purpose of each may be completely different.
0
 
LVL 77

Assisted Solution

by:peter57r
peter57r earned 500 total points
ID: 39228574
You're going to get tons of advice on this so I just want to limit my comments to this.
Normalisation is something that makes it easier to develop better applications.  This does not mean that every aspect of a development is made easier by normalisation, but that taking an app as a whole  it produces better designs.
But 'formal technical' books on normalisation are bordering on a waste of time , in my view, if you are developing with Access the sort of apps found in most businesses. Concentrate on the basic ideas found in what is termed 'third-normal-form' and don't get drawn into the multitude of variations beyond that.
My reference is to what I think is a relatively simple explanation.
http://databases.about.com/od/specificproducts/a/firstnormalform.htm
0
 
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

by:
sarabande earned 500 total points
ID: 39228579
i personally think that wikipedia has a much readable definition of what an RDB is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_database

an RDB contains a number of tables. each row of those tables is called a record. the columns (fields) of the table have a name and a predefined type (string, number, date, ...) which is the same for all records (fields). there is neither a dynamic in the number of fields nor is it possible to have multiple values per field. one column or a selection of columns can be defined to build the primary key of the table. additionaly you can define an index on columns or a combination of columns which could help to search for values. you can add records to the table but each new record must have a unique primary key.

two tables of an RDB can be put into a relation by using the primary keys of table 1 in (a) non-primary key column(s) of table 2. for example if you have a table Person with primary key PersonID and a second table BankAccount, then the second table could have a column Owner which stores the PersonID for that account. this model would allow one person to have multiple bank accounts but not vice versa. it is called a 1:n relation.  an n:m relation would be modeled by an additional table 3 which has columns for both the primary-key of table 1 and the primary key of table 2.

normalization gives rules how the fields of the table should be defined to avoid redundancy and how to guarantee integrity. those rules are defined with different normalforms. for example first normalform (1nf) requires that all fields were atomic (simple, indivisible) and that you don't have two records with same values. even 1st normalform is not easy to fulfil for a concrete model. for example if you have a field which contains street and number, it already violates the 1nf whcih would require two fields instead.

Sara
0
 

Author Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 39248037
Hi Peter 57.
I have no problem with the concept and end-goals of normalization.  It's just that I think it's being made more complicated than it needs to be.
0

Featured Post

Free learning courses: Active Directory Deep Dive

Get a firm grasp on your IT environment when you learn Active Directory best practices with Veeam! Watch all, or choose any amount, of this three-part webinar series to improve your skills. From the basics to virtualization and backup, we got you covered.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Did you know that more than 4 billion data records have been recorded as lost or stolen since 2013? It was a staggering number brought to our attention during last week’s ManageEngine webinar, where attendees received a comprehensive look at the ma…
We live in a world of interfaces like the one in the title picture. VBA also allows to use interfaces which offers a lot of possibilities. This article describes how to use interfaces in VBA and how to work around their bugs.
In Microsoft Access, learn how to “cascade” or have the displayed data of one combo control depend upon what’s entered in another. Base the dependent combo on a query for its row source: Add a reference to the first combo on the form as criteria i…
In Microsoft Access, learn different ways of passing a string value within a string argument. Also learn what a “Type Mis-match” error is about.
Suggested Courses

782 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question