Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Paper: The Interpretation and Representation of Database Relations

The data management field cannot and will not progress without educated and informed users. Recently I announced UNDERSTANDING THE REAL RDM, a new series of papers that will
  • Offer to the data practitioner an accessible informal preview of David's work.
  • Contrast it with the the current common interpretation that emerged after EFC's passing and to demonstrate the practical implications of the differences.

I have been using the proceeds from my monthly blog @AllAnalytics to maintain DBDebunk and keep it free. Unfortunately, AllAnalytics has been discontinued. I appeal to my readers, particularly regular ones: If you deem this site worthy of continuing, please support its upkeep. A regular monthly contribution will ensure this unique material unavailable anywhere else will continue to be free. A generous reader has offered to match all contributions, so please take advantage of his generosity. Thanks.

While the misuse and abuse of the RDM has been thoroughly documented @dbdebunk, in THE DBDEBUNK GUIDE TO MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DATA FUNDAMENTALS and by others elsewhere, there has been no formal exposition yet of the real model as envisioned by E. F. Codd (EFC), an effort now undertaken by David Mcgoveran to be published in a forthcoming book that, given its non-trival nature, takes a long time to prepare for publication.
If you are a thinking data professional interested in understanding the real RDM, as opposed to the current understanding--such as it is--let alone the abuse and distortions in the industry, this material available nowhere else is a must read. By reading these papers you will gain a correct grasp of the real RDM and realize the significant practical benefits that fail to materialize due to misconceptions propagated by DBMS vendors, the trade media and "experts" and to poor SQL implementations. You will also realize the pros and cons of SQL and how to optimize its use.

In preparation for the real RDM, the series begins with an analysis of EFC's writings between 1969-1980, which will then be used to show how McGoveran's interpretation follows from EFC's vision and with what consequences.

The first paper in the series, The Interpretation and Representation Of Database Relations, is now available for purchase from the PAPERS page. It interprets, clarifies and discusses the structural component of EFC's RDM as introduced in his initial 1969-70 papers.

Table of Contents

Series Preface


1. Interpretation of Database Relations

1.1. Attributes as Constrained Domains

1.2. Time-Varying Relations

2. Representation of Database Relations

2.1. Physical Independence

2.1.1. Uniquely Named Attributes

2.1.2. Primary Keys

2.1.3. Relations and R-tables

3. Database Normalization

3.1. Simple Domains and Normal Form

3.2. Non-simple Domains and Normalization

3.2.1. Foreign Keys



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