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Rock Metal Adult Contemporary Rock R&B Latin Jazz
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The Awkward Stage Girth Wasabi Peanuts The Bobby Jenkins Band Juices of Brazil
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Home On the Sea Spicy Legumes Live! Running the Game Long Road White
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10/01/2006 5/25/1997 11/12/2005 7/27/1985 10/30/1988 1/01/2003 6/10/2005
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Notice that for the first artist, there is only one album and therefore one release date However, for the fourth and fifth artists, there are two albums and two release dates In practice, we cannot guarantee which release date belongs to which album Sure, it d be easy to assume that the first release date belongs to the first album name, but how can we be sure
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that album names and dates are always entered in order and not changed afterward There are two ways to eliminate the problem of the repeating group First, we could add new attributes to handle the additional albums, as in Table 42 Table 42
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The Awkward Stage Girth Wasabi Peanuts The Bobby Jenkins Band Juices of Brazil
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Artists and Albums: Eliminate the Repeating Group, but at What Cost
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Rock Metal Adult Contemporary Rock R&B Latin Jazz
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Album Name 1
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Home On the Sea Spicy Legumes Running the Game Long Road
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Release Date 1
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10/01/2006 5/25/1997 11/12/2005
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Album Name 2
NULL NULL NULL
Release Date 2
NULL NULL NULL
7/27/1985 1/01/2003
Live! White
10/30/1988 6/10/2005
We ve solved the problem of the repeating group, and because no attribute contains more than one value, this table is in 1NF However, we ve introduced a much bigger problem: what if an artist has more than two albums Do we keep adding two attributes for each album that any artist releases In addition to the obvious problem of adding attributes to the entity, in the physical implementation we are wasting a great deal of space for each artist who has only one album Also, querying the resultant table for album names would require searching every album name column, something that is very inefficient If this is the wrong way, what s the right way Take a look at Tables 43 and 44 Table 43 The Artists
ArtistName
The Awkward Stage Girth Wasabi Peanuts The Bobby Jenkins Band Juices of Brazil
Genre
Rock Metal Adult Contemporary Rock R&B Latin Jazz
4
Normalizing a Data Model
Table 44
The Albums
ReleaseDate
6/10/2005 10/01/2006 5/25/1997 11/12/2005 7/27/1985 10/30/1988 1/01/2003
AlbumName
White Home On The Sea Spicy Legumes Running the Game Live! Long Road
ArtistName
Juices of Brazil The Awkward Stage Girth Wasabi Peanuts The Bobby Jenkins Band The Bobby Jenkins Band Juices of Brazil
We ve solved the problem by adding another entity that stores album names as well the attribute that represents the relationship to the artist entity Neither of these entities has a repeating group, each attribute in both entities holds a single value, and all of the previously mentioned query problems have been eliminated This database is now in 1NF and ready to be deployed, right Considering there are several other normal forms, we think you know the answer
Second Normal Form (2NF)
Second normal form (2NF) specifies that, in addition to meeting 1NF, all non-key attributes have a functional dependency on the entire primary key A functional dependency is a one-way relationship between the primary key attribute (or attributes) and all other non-key attributes in the same entity Referring again to Table 43, if ArtistName is the primary key, then all other attributes in the entity must be identified by ArtistName So we can say, ArtistName determines ReleaseDate for each instance in the entity Notice that the relationship does not necessarily hold in the reverse direction; any genre may appear multiple times throughout this entity Nonetheless, for any given artist, there is one genre But what if an artist crosses over to another genre To answer that question, let s compare 1NF to 2NF In 1NF, we have no repeating groups, and all attributes have a single value However, in 1NF, if we have a composite primary key, it is possible that there are attributes that rely on only one of the primary key attributes, and that can lead to strange data manipulation anomalies Take a look at Table 45, in
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Table 45 Artists: 1NF Is Met, but with Problems
PK Artist Name
The Awkward Stage Girth Wasabi Peanuts
PK Genre
Rock Metal Adult Contemporary Rock R&B Soul Latin Jazz World Beat
Signed Date
9/01/2005 10/31/1997 1/01/2005
Agent
John Doe Sally Sixpack John Doe
Agent Primary Phone
(777)555-1234 (777)555-6789 (777)555-1234
Agent Secondary Phone
NULL (777)555-0000 NULL
The Bobby Jenkins Band The Bobby Jenkins Band Juices of Brazil Juices of Brazil
3/15/1985 3/15/1985 6/01/2001 6/01/2001
Johnny Jenkins Johnny Jenkins Jane Doe Jane Doe
(444)555-1111 (444)555-1111 (777)555-4321 (777)555-4321
NULL NULL (777)555-9999 (777)555-9999
which we have solved the multiple genre problem But we have added new attributes, and that presents a new problem In this case, we have two attributes in the primary key: Artist Name and Genre If the studio decides to sell the Juices of Brazil albums in multiple genres to increase the band s exposure, we end up with multiple instances of the group in the entity, because one of the primary key attributes has a different value Also, we ve started storing the name of each band s agent The problem here is that the Agent attribute is an attribute of the artist but not of the genre So the Agent attribute is only partially dependent on the entity s primary key If we need to update the Agent attribute for a band that has multiple entries, we must update multiple records or else risk having two different agent names listed for the same band This practice is inefficient and risky from a data integrity standpoint It is this type of problem that 2NF eliminates Tables 46 and 47 show one possible solution to our problem In this case, we can break the entity into two different entities The original entity still contains only information about our artists; the new entity contains information about agents and the bands they represent This technique removes the partial dependency of the Agent attribute from the original entity, and it lets us store more information that is specific to the agent