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Database Normalization


  • Edgar F. Codd first proposed the process of normalization and what came to be known as the 1st normal form

  • Normalization , is the process of organizing data to minimize redundancy in design of relational design


  • Usually involves dividing a database into two or more tables and defining relationships between the tables

  • Eliminating redundant data (for example, storing the same data in more than one table) .


  • Ensuring data dependencies make sense (only storing related data in a table).


  • Both the goals reduce the amount of space a database consumes and ensure that data is logically stored





  • Update Anomaly

  • Update Anomaly -Employee 519 is shown as having different addresses on different records.

  • An insertion anomaly -Until the new faculty member is assigned to teach at least one course, his details cannot be recorded.

  • A deletion anomaly. All information about Dr. Giddens is lost when he temporarily ceases to be assigned to any courses.

Normal Forms

  • The database community has developed a series of guidelines for ensuring that databases are normalized .


  • Numbered from one (the lowest form of normalization, referred to as first normal form or 1NF) through five (fifth normal form or 5NF).
First Normal Form (1NF)

  • First normal form (1NF) sets the very basic rules for an organized database:


    • Eliminate duplicative columns from the same table.


    • Create separate tables for each group of related data and identify each row with a unique column or set of columns (the primary key).
Second Normal Form (2NF)

  • Second normal form (2NF) further addresses the concept of removing duplicative data:


    • Meet all the requirements of the first normal form.
    • Remove subsets of data that apply to multiple rows of a table and place them in separate tables.
    • Create relationships between these new tables and their predecessors through the use of foreign keys.

Third Normal Form (3NF)

  • Third normal form (3NF) goes one large step further:


    • Meet all the requirements of the second normal form.


    • Remove columns that are not dependent upon the primary key.
Fourth Normal Form (4NF)

  • Finally, fourth normal form (4NF) has one additional requirement:


    • Meet all the requirements of the third normal form.


    •  relation is in 4NF if it has no multi-valued dependencies.

  • Process of efficiently organizing data in a database.