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Naming guidelines are extremely important when you create your physical model There are literally hundreds of naming standards out there, and each has its pros and cons At the end of the day, it doesn t matter which standard you use, as long as you use a standard Why is a naming standard so important First, it provides a quick indicator of the type of object you are working with If all tables start with the same prefix, such as table or tbl, and if all views start with vw or view, then you will be able to tell at a glance where data is coming from This practice can save a lot of time and is especially helpful if you find yourself looking at T-SQL code that is not performing well Also, when performance tuning, you will have different considerations for views than
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you do for tables, so it s helpful to know quickly which type of object you are accessing Second, naming standards can prevent problems that can arise because of your SQL Server configuration This comes into play most often in case sensitivity If you name your objects in a standardized way, then your code can be written in the same way This match of code to object name is crucial if you are going to host your database on a case-sensitive server If you refer to a table in code as Employee and the table is actually named employee, a case-sensitive server will tell you the table doesn t exist OK, you might be saying, I ll just set up my SQL Server to be case insensitive But what if that decision is taken away from you, now or five years from now There is nothing worse than going back over old code to make sure that the case matches the table because your customer decided it needed case sensitivity Using good naming standards now prevents you from having to do more work later Finally, naming standards can help force good standards on the database developers We have worked with some extremely talented developers, but talent in C# does not always translate to talent in T-SQL Developing for databases is a whole different animal, so anything you can do to enforce better standards will be a big help As we said, there is no right or wrong method for your database naming standards No matter which standard you implement, the point is that you have one To see whether your standard is a good one, ask yourself a few questions
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Does the naming standard make sense to you You need to make sure that the standard makes sense to you and that you will be able to follow it during your design If the standard contains hard-to-use or hard-to-remember elements, then you will likely forget about them and end up deviating from your own standard Will others understand the standard Your standard must also make sense to others If it doesn t make sense to the other people who will be using it, then they too may forget parts of the standard Make sure you run your thinking by a colleague before the standard gets etched in stone Does the standard lend itself to consistency Can you implement your standard the same way over and over again As we mentioned earlier, complex elements make for a difficult-to-implement standard Just remember to keep it simple
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Now let s look at the naming standard we are using in the model for this book Again, this standard is not the only way, and your standard may be very different, but we want you to understand our thinking before we get into building the physical model If, however, you like the standard laid out here, we highly recommend its use because we have had great success with it
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