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TimothyAWiseman avatar image
TimothyAWiseman asked

Understanding Normal Forms

I think I have a relatively good understanding of the basic applications of the Normals Forms, and I am fairly comfortable bringing most database structures to 3NF and I see the benefits thereof. But my understanding is fairly shallow and comes from a hodge podge of different sources that all explain the application without really providing the theory behind it. I am also faced with trying to explain it to some other more junior SQL developers and I am not certain I can do that as well as I would like. So, what are some good references for really understanding the Normal Forms? I am looking both for things to help me gain a deep understanding of them, and to help introduce newer developers to the basics.
normalizationtheorynormal-form
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DaniSQL avatar image
DaniSQL answered
Check out this books I had from school: [Database Systems:A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Managemen][1]t and [Database System Implementation][2]. Its been a while since I opened them but I remember having a good time reading them. These books are vendor neutral and more academic. [1]: http://www.pearson.ch/HigherEducation/Addison-Wesley/1449/9780321210258/Database-Systems-A-Practical-Approach-to.aspx [2]: http://www.amazon.com/Database-System-Implementation-Hector-Garcia-Molina/dp/0130402648/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277902169&sr=1-2
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I used that first book when I went to Uni, and I've still got it...somewhere. It is a good book
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Håkan Winther avatar image
Håkan Winther answered
I think wikipedia is a great source for many different things. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization#Normal_forms][1] > Each attribute must be a fact about > the key, the whole key, and nothing > but the key. - Wiorkowski and Kull *(normalize until it doesn't work, denomarlize until it works again)* [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization#Normal_forms
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I thought it was "normalise until it hurts, denormalise until it works."
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Either works, both are wrong, sort of.
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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered
I still haven't replaced a rather old reference book, [Handbook of Relational Database Design][1] by Fleming & von Halle. It's one of the best descriptions of normalization I've found, despite it's age. Plus, you can get a practically new copy for a buck, so it's hard to knock the price. [1]: http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Relational-Database-Candace-Fleming/dp/0201114348/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277900235&sr=8-3
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