In this tutorial, we will learn about database normalization. Normalization is the process of
refining a database design to ensure that each independent piece of information
is at one place. Normalizing the database tables removes data redundancy. The process
removes data anomalies.
Normalization makes it possible to access data more flexibly, and eliminates the possibility that
inappropriate modifications will take place that make the data inconsistent.
Normalization of a complex table often amounts to taking it through a process of decomposition
into a set of smaller tables. This process removes undesirable multi-valued attributes and
repeating groups within rows, and data redundancy within columns. Repeating groups and multi-valued
attributes are essentially tables within tables.
Three Normal Forms
The process of normalization is used to ensure database integrity. The three normal forms are the most commonly used in this process.
Advantages of Normalization
Data normalization can be an expensive process in time and resources; however, besides the advantages
derived from the purposes of normalization, there are other advantages that need to be taken into account:
Developing ERD’s is much easier when the data is normalized and the tables, columns
and relationships are pre-determined. By having the data normalized it is easier to modify a single object property.
Joins can be very expensive and proper normalization can improve relationships between
tables and minimize the amount of data having to be searched.
Due to the better joins, the optimizer has fewer indexes per table, so it does not have to consider as many execution plans. This helps with retrievals and updates.
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