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Message Posted: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 @ 15:10:36 GMT

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Subj:   Re: 3NF vs Dimensional modelling
From:   Geoffrey Rommel

Neil Raden wrote:

  normalization was a technique to get relational data bases to perform as OLTP platforms, because they were too slow. When Codd devised what we now call normalization, he didn't have a word for it.  

  It was 1973. And you know what he said? He said, "Nixon is normalizing relations with China, so I guess that's what I'm doing, normalizing my relations."  

  So there you have it, the NORMAL form is an expression that was totally arbitrary. He could have called it Third Chickenfat Form.  

I beg to differ. Regardless of the origin of the word, there is something "normative" about [345]NF relations: they are explicitly designed to avoid having to update two or more tables when you are updating only one piece of data, and to avoid the well-known insert, update, and delete anomalies. These anomalies are generally considered to be Bad Things. Moreover, the higher normal forms are not just theoretically pure but have proved useful in real-world applications.


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