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 Exclusive Interview Question

What is Normalization? OR What are the Different Types of Normalization?

Posted on 9/18/2009 | Category: Sql Server Interview questions | Views: 43021




Note: - A regular .NET programmer working on projects often stumbles on this question, which is but obvious. The bad part is sometimes the interviewer can take this as a very basic question to be answered and it can be a turning point for the interview. So let's cram it.


It is set of rules that have been established to aid in the design of tables that are meant to be connected through relationships. This set of rules is known as Normalization.


Benefits of Normalizing your database include:



  • Avoiding repetitive entries

  • Reducing required storage space

  • Preventing the need to restructure existing tables to accommodate new data

  • Increased speed and flexibility of queries, sorts, and summaries

Note: - During an interview, people expect to answer a maximum of three normal forms and that's what is expected practically. Actually you can normalize database to fifth normal form. But believe this book, answering three normal forms will put you in a decent shape during an interview.


The three normal forms as follows:


First Normal Form


For a table to be in first normal form, data must be broken up into the smallest units possible. In addition to breaking data up into the smallest meaningful values, tables in first normal form should not contain repetitions groups of fields.




Repeating groups example


In the above example, city1 and city2 are repeating. In order for these tables to be in First normal form, you have to modify the table structure as follows. Also note that the Customer Name is now broken down to first name and last name (First normal form data should be broken down to the smallest unit).




Customer table normalized to first normal form


Second Normal Form


The second normal form states that each field in a multiple field primary key table must be directly related to the entire primary key. In other words, each non-key field should be a fact about all the fields in the primary key.


In the above table of customer, city is not linked to any primary field.




Normalized customer table.

 




City is now shifted to a different master table.



That takes our database to a second normal form.


Third Normal Form


A non-key field should not depend on another Non-key field. The field Total is dependent on Unit price and qty.



Fill third normal form

So now the Total field is removed and is the multiplication of Unit price * Qty.

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