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Chapter 7. Database Design > Normalization

7.2. Normalization

E. F. Codd, then a researcher for IBM, first presented the concept of database normalization in several important papers written in the 1970s. The aim of normalization remains the same today: to eradicate certain undesirable characteristics from a database design. Specifically, the goal is to remove certain kinds of data redundancy and therefore avoid update anomalies. Update anomalies are difficulties with the insert, update, and delete operations on a database due to the data structure. Normalization additionally aids in the production of a design that is a high-quality representation of the real world; thus, normalization increases the clarity of the data model.

7.2.1. First Normal Form

The general concept of normalization includes several "normal forms." An entity is said to be in the first normal form (1NF) when all attributes are single valued. To apply 1NF to an entity, we have to verify that each attribute in the entity has a single value for each instance of the entity. If any attribute has repeating values, it is not in 1NF.


  

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