Thursday, August 4, 2022

DATABASE RELATIONS, TABLES AND SEMANTIC CONSISTENCY

by David McGoveran with Fabian Pascal

 

Note: In "Setting Matters Straight" posts I debunk online Q&As that involve fundamentals which I first post on LinkedIn. The purpose is to induce practitioners to test their foundation knowledge against our debunking, where we explain what is correct and what is fallacious. For in-depth treatments check out the POSTS and our PAPERS, LINKS and BOOKS (or organize one of our on-site/online SEMINARS, which can be customized to specific needs). Questions and comments are welcome here and on LinkedIn.

“In a RDBMS, a table is columned rows, as in you treat individual rows as an actual entity while the columns are its attributes. In an excel tab, you can create a column, but it doesn't have to have all the same data types in that column, nor does one row have to represent one entity. It's more free form ... All in all, RDB is relational because it's column based rows and constrained to that format, while non relational can have free form like an excel. When you have rows that are uniform (constrained to what the column should be), you create entities as tables, and link them through columns to keep track of the relationships.”
--Quora.com
I posted this on LinkedIn as one of my "To Laugh or Cry?" items which, unlike "Setting Matters Right" posts, are beyond debunking. But the exchange that followed made me realize that there is, nevertheless, pedagogical value to it: it expresses something important, but poorly due to author's lack of foundation knowledge.

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