Normalization, Confusion among Textbooks

by Kevin Q
The peer reviewed journal I chose was about normalization in general and how some textbooks may have different reasons for normalizing. Carpenter goes on to discuss “E.F. Codd, the acknowledged father of relational database and normalization.” Codd’s normalization is attaching attributes to primary keys like we have discussed in class. Carpenter then mentions Hoffer et al books and their goals of normalization. They are: “(1) Minimize data redundancy, (2) Simplify the enforcement of rerential integrity constraints, (3) Make it eaier to maintain data, and (4) Provide a better design that is an improvise representation of the real world and a stronger basis for future growth.” Carpenter agrees that these goals are great overall but feels that the real goal of normalization should be “to produce correctyl structured relations.” He believes that the clarity on the subject of normalization would help students be able to grasp the concept more easilt and clear up confusion. Carpenter says that not all data redundancies should be eliminated as some, though rare, are essential in some cases. Carpenter then moves onto the subject of what level of normalization are we supposed to reach and how even textbooks can’t give a unified answer or statement.

I feel that this article is important because as we learn topics in class we need to be aware that students and employers elsewhere could possibly have learned things like normalization differently and may expect us to know these ideas even though we may have been taught differently. It’s unfortunate that many textbooks are in disagreement and/or not unified on the subject matter at some times, but that is also what makes this career interesting and fresh. There is not set in stone way to do everything and new things arise daily in our field.

Carpenter, Donald A. “Clarifying Normalization.” Journal Of Information Systems Education 19, no. 4 (December 15, 2008)

2 thoughts on “Normalization, Confusion among Textbooks”

  1. I think this blog was interesting because it shows that there could be different takes on how normalization is taught, and different people have learned different ways. I think we must choose the way that can best be applied.

  2. That’s something I’ve always had to remind myself; that computer stuff can be understood differently by other people and there process to solving a problem could be totally different than mine. Like you said, that’s what keeps this field fresh, and I agree. I feel like theres always a new challenge, theres always some new thing to learn in information systems. Having a understanding of multiple ways to solve something will only make us better. Thx for the good read!

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