Inf202 Introduction to Data and Databases (Spring 2011)

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1 Inf202 Introduction to Data and Databases (Spring 2011) Jagdish S. Gangolly Informatics CCI SUNY Albany March 1, 2011

2 Database Design The relational Data Model Relational Data structure (Table) Relational keys Referential Integrity Mapping Entity-Relationship model to the Relational moddel Functional dependencies and Database Normalization

3 The Relational Model Data represented in the form of tables with columns, called fields, representing attributes, and rows, called tuples, to represent instances of the relation Important to note the difference between relationship and relation. A relationship is an association between two (or more) entities. A relation is a data structure used to represent entities An important property of the relational model is that reordering the rows and columns of a table does not affect the meaning of the data. This means that one can shuffle the columns and rows of the table to meet the needs of efficiency with which the database is used

4 The Relational Model The set of operations that can be performed on the table are few so that it is possible to design a query language that has a small number of operations. SQL is such a language It is possible to incorporate measures to maintain the integrity of the relational database through constraints on the way the tables are manipulated.

5 Tables vs. Relations All relations are tables, but not all tables are relations. To qualify as a relation, a table must meet the following conditions It must have a unique name. Every attribute value must be atomic (not multivalued, not composite). Every row must be unique (cant have two rows with exactly the same values for all their fields). Attributes (columns) in tables must have unique names. The order of the columns must be irrelevant. The order of the rows must be irrelevant.

6 Relation Keys Keys are special fields that serve two main purposes: Primary keys are unique identifiers of the relation in question. Examples include employee numbers, social security numbers, etc. This is how we can guarantee that all rows are unique. Foreign keys are identifiers that enable a dependent relation (on the many side of a relationship) to refer to its parent relation (on the one side of the relationship). Keys can be simple (a single field) or composite (more than one field). Keys usually are used as indexes to speed up the response to user queries

7 c Relation Schema Figure: Relation Schema

8 Integrity Constraints Domain Constraints: Allowable values for an attribute Entity Integrity: No primary key attribute may be null. All primary key fields MUST have data Business rules

9 c Domain Constraints example Figure: Relation Schema

10 Transformation of ER diagrams into the Relational Model Before transforming, all relationships in the ER diagrams must be binary, and all attributes must be single-valued. Attributes may be simple or composite, though simple attributes improve data accessibility and minimize errors Multi-valued attributes are eliminated by the use of foreign keys and creation of separate new entity as in the example below

11 Transformation of ER diagrams into the Relational Model Each entity is represented in the relational model by a relation (table) It is best to eliminate all many-to-many relationships in the ER diagrams by introducing new weak entities that have only many-to-one relationships with the associated strong entities.

12 Many-to-Many Relationships Figure: Relation Schema

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