It is important to have a solid database structure to avoid problems that are brought about by a poorly designed database application. One of the methods that can be used to avoid poorly designed applications is the process of normalization. Normalization is a process that refines table structures and turns them into proper states so that they can store as much data as possible (Hernandezb, 2003). The reason it is important to normalize, is to avoid redundancy and to ensure that the data dependencies are logical. The process of normalization is significant for so many reasons, but mainly it is important because it ensures that the database is able to take little space in the disk which is a good thing as it increases performance (Hernandezb, 2003).
Normalization goes through three important steps, namely; first normal form (1NF), second normal form (2NF) and third normal form (3NF). The first normal form is basically involved in setting important rules for database normalization. In the first normal form, all columns and rows that are in the table should be unique; data cannot be broken down any more (Kao, 2012). No row or column intersection that should contain a null or multi valued items. In the confirmation of the first normal form, the modification of multi valued items is the first step; this is done to ensure that there is no table that makes more than one entry (Kao, 2012). A unique key is utilized to search for records that have duplicate entries; however, the key cannot resolve the requirements of the first normal form because there are no entries in a single field. All repeating values from table should be removed and taken to a new table; the final step should be the maintenance of atomicity.
When all the requirements of the first normal form are met, it is imperative to meet the following requirements in regard the second normal form (Coronel, Morris & Rob, 2009). All the data should be split up to create different relationships, which should then be stored as separate tables. An effective way of splitting can be through the introduction of a third table. Foreign keys should be effectively used to create relationships.
The 3NF is the third step in data normalization. 3NF is used to enhance the previous two forms. One major requirement for 3NF is for all column references which are in referenced data and not dependent on primary keys to be eliminated. A simple way of communicating this is that only the foreign key columns should be utilized to reference another table (Coronel, Morris & Rob, 2009). Each of the table should contain atomic data items, meaning there should be no repeating of groups are designated primary keys. All transitive dependencies should be eliminated from the table. All tables ought to have non primary key characteristics which are functional and dependant on primary key.
The third normal form is able to reduce the insert, update and delete anomalies when all the non primary key attributes are stored only once (Hernandeza, 2003) . By storing the non primary key attributes once, the redundant data is removed together with the possibility of unsynchronized data. Removing all the transitive dependencies in this type of form will ensure that the amount of data duplication is reduced and there is data integrity that prevents updating.
Coronel, C., Morris, S., & Rob, P. (2009). Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management (with Premium Web Site Printed Access Card) (Management Information Systems). Ne York: Cengage Learning.
Hernandez, M. J. (2003). Database Design for Mere Mortals:A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition. New York: Addison Wesley .
Hernandez, M. (2003). Understanding Normalization. Los Angeles: Califiornia State University.
Kao, P. (2012). Patent No. 8089,623. U.S.