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Access Table Design by Blue Claw Database

Table Design Definition, Examples and Recommendations

We typically design tables to 2nd and 3rd normal form when it makes sense. 

However, the key to an efficient, long-lived, fast, reliable, maintainable database is to not copy data from one table to another.  As a result of this rule the structure of dependent tables is not dependent directly on the data contained in the master or parent tables - we always use artificial keys (autonumber fields) to link tables. 

Use of artificial keys gives us the ability to never perform cascade updates on related, subordinate tables.  In our table design there, where ever possible, there is only a single occurrence of a data item in the database - all other occurrences use the previously mentioned autonumber fields to point to the single-value entry .

The last and possibly most important theme is to prevent duplicate data records where ever possible.

It is important that you learn about database table normalization.  Normalization is a scientific procedure with a little art involved that guides you through the process of building tables with related attribute fields.  The table normalization steps progress in sophistication starting at first normal form, going next to second normal form, then to 3rd normal form.  For some applications it is advised to go to the final level which is referred to as Boyce-Codd normal form.

Review our step by step discussion in this table design section of our website.  The hub page has links to the six important pages in this section.










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