Overview As a
database grows, it grows not only in size, but also complexity. One way to
reduce complexity and minimize the size of the database is to reduce the
amount of redundant data--for example, storing only a product number in a
customer order instead of the full product name. This process, referred to
as normalization, not only reduces database size and complexity, but can
also be a great tool for reducing errors such as typos and misspellings as
data is stored only once, instead of repeated multiple times. But how do
you normalize a database? What types of data make good candidates for
normalization? Is it sometimes better not to normalize? The links below
can answer these questions and more.
You can find a basic definition of “normalization” at the
Webopedia.com site (http://webopedia.internet.com/).
For more information, read "Normalization" at www.troubleshooters.com/littstip/ltnorm.html.
W.J. Gilmore’s article “An
Introduction to Database Normalization,” is an excellent
introduction to database normalization, including descriptions of the
rules of normalization, and detailed descriptions of important database
terms. Several examples illustrating how these rules are used are also
provided. At the end of the article, you'll find other resources,
including a list of books and links. Database normalization does not have
to be a confusing project. It can be an uncomplicated process if some
fundamental rules are followed. Mike Chapple’s article, “Database
Normalization Basics,” on About.com, provides some basic
guidelines that will make almost any database normalization project seem
easy. For an excellent example of database normalization, visit www.icehouse.net.
Finally, be sure to read the database normalization tutorial found on this
page, which includes normalization examples. Don’t miss Part
2 of this tutorial.
Additional Links Many
database normalization articles can be accessed at this SearchDatabase.TechTarget.com
Normalization Web page. Normalization of a relational database is the
main topic at: ccism.pc.athabascau.ca.
Normalization Basics,” found on the Microsoft Product Support
page, explains normalization terminology and provides a basic
understanding of the normalization of relational databases.