Database Design and Relational Theory

Normal Forms and All That Jazz

  • C. J. Date

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Setting the Scene

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 3-21
    3. C. J. Date
      Pages 23-43
  3. Functional Dependencies, Boyce/Codd Normal Form, and Related Matters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 47-64
    3. C. J. Date
      Pages 65-95
    4. C. J. Date
      Pages 97-115
    5. C. J. Date
      Pages 117-143
    6. C. J. Date
      Pages 145-159
    7. C. J. Date
      Pages 161-182
  4. Join Dependencies, Fifth Normal Form, and Related Matters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-183
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 185-200
    3. C. J. Date
      Pages 201-219
    4. C. J. Date
      Pages 221-240
    5. C. J. Date
      Pages 241-260
  5. Further Normal Forms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-261
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 263-285
    3. 6NF
      C. J. Date
      Pages 287-306
    4. C. J. Date
      Pages 307-315
  6. Orthogonality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 317-317
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 319-345
  7. Redundancy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 347-347
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 349-389
  8. Appendixes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 391-391
    2. C. J. Date
      Pages 393-406
    3. C. J. Date
      Pages 407-416
    4. C. J. Date
      Pages 417-435
    5. C. J. Date
      Pages 437-441
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 443-451

About this book


Create database designs that scale, meet business requirements, and inherently work toward keeping your data structured and usable in the face of changing business models and software systems.

This book is about database design theory. Design theory is the scientific foundation for database design, just as the relational model is the scientific foundation for database technology in general. Databases lie at the heart of so much of what we do in the computing world that negative impacts of poor design can be extraordinarily widespread. 

This second edition includes greatly expanded coverage of exotic and little understood normal forms such as: essential tuple normal form (ETNF), redundancy free normal form (RFNF), superkey normal form (SKNF), sixth normal form (6NF), and domain key normal form (DKNF). Also included are new appendixes, including one that provides an in-depth look into the crucial notion of data consistency. Sequencing of topics has been improved, and many explanations and examples have been rewritten and clarified based upon the author’s teaching of the content in instructor-led courses. 

This book aims to be different from other books on design by bridging the gap between the theory of design and the practice of design. The book explains theory in a way that practitioners should be able to understand, and it explains why that theory is of considerable practical importance. Reading this book provides you with an important theoretical grounding on which to do the practical work of database design. Reading the book also helps you in going to and understanding the more academic texts as you build your base of knowledge and expertise. Anyone with a professional interest in database design can benefit from using this book as a stepping-stone toward a more rigorous design approach and more lasting database models.

You will:
  • Understand what design theory is and is not
  • Be aware of the two different goals of normalization
  • Know which normal forms are truly significant 
  • Apply design theory in practice 
  • Be familiar with techniques for dealing with redundancy 
  • Understand what consistency is and why it is crucially important 


Database Design Functional Dependence Multivalued Dependence Join Dependence Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF) Fourth Normal Form Essential Tuple Normal Form (ETNF) Fifth Normal Form Sixth Normal Form Orthogonal Design Data Consistency Redundancy Free Normal Form (RFNF) Superkey Normal Form (SKNF) Relational Theory Denormalization

Authors and affiliations

  • C. J. Date
    • 1
  1. 1.HealdsburgUSA

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