Database normalization refers to the process of organizing data in a database. Normalization tries to attain two goals. It strives to eliminate redundant data and ensuring data dependencies can make sense. Storing the same data in one table is one of the examples of eliminating redundant data. On the other hand, storing only related data in one table is one of the methods of making sure that data dependencies make sense. In most instances, normalization involves dividing large tables into smaller tables. The relationship between the tables is then defined. The aim of dividing the data into small tables is to isolate the data for any additions, deletions, or modifications to be made within a certain field easily. The alterations are then propagated throughout the rest of the database according to the defined relationships (Kedar, 2009).
To normalize database, one must follow a series of guidelines. The guidelines are referred to as normal forms. The normal forms are numbered from one – first normal form, 1NF – to five –fifth normal form, 5NF. The first normal form is the lowest form of normalization whereas the fifth normal form is the highest form of normalization. Data in unnormalized form can repeat within the same column. Therefore, to convert data to the first normal form one should eliminate duplicate columns that may exist in the same table. In addition, one should create a separate table for all types of data that are related. In addition, one should identify each row using a distinctive column or set of columns, which are referred to as primary keys. To convert database to the second normal form one should remove subsets of data that are applicable to different rows of the table and insert them in separate tables.
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