10 Database Design Ideas

I just finished reading the first chapter of the Deep Dives book, and if this chapter says anything about the rest of the book we are in for a treat. This chapter was written by Paul Nielsen and Louis Davidson. I have had the pleasure of working with Paul in the past and have had the opportunity to sit and discuss database design with him on more than one occasion. Paul and Louis start the chapter off by listing the 10 design idea’s right up front. Each idea that they refer to has a well thought out explanation. Each of these ideas are explained, many of them even to the point where many people make mistakes.

A great example of this starts with point about normalization. In my opinion many rules of database development have been around for many of years, some of these ideas have not changed even thought the technology does. Many books will talk about the text book way to complete a task while others will show you other ways to complete the same tasks, not many of these come with practical knowledge that you can take back to work and apply to your designs.

For what it’s worth I believe alternate names for this chapter could have been:

10 Things to Avoid

10 Mistakes Commonly Made

10 New Jelly Belly Flavors (Ok, maybe not this one.)

10 Traits to “That Guy”

A few years ago Paul and I were having a discussion I believe at the PASS Summit. During the course of this discussion Paul had made mention of one of the rules that he talks about in this chapter. To my embarrassment now, I had disagreed with him. My argument was based on the fact that you can’t make defined rules that are going to apply for each and every database created. Paul was kind enough to let me have some time to come up with an example to show him what I meant. It has been 3 years now and I am still searching, yet Paul has not mentioned a word. Paul and Louis bring 10 design idea’s that I believe many people can make a policy.



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