Relational Database: Best Design Practices

    OptimizDBA_Database_design
    Posted September 10, 2018

    With the advent of big data and the increasing importance of data analytics, database management is more critical than ever. Every organization using a database management system appoints a DBA equipped to manage the resources and optimize the efficiency of the Database Management System.

     

    Owing to the exponential increase in the volume and types of data, it is essential to create a relational DBMS which can accommodate the needs of the database system. While SQL has traditionally been used to create databases, it limits the type of data stored. In the last decade or so, NoSQL, an alternative of SQL has gained popularity due to compatibility for multiple data types. When a DBA is assigned the task of designing a relational database management system, there are certain things which can improve the quality of the database.

     

    Below mentioned are five best practices which should be kept in mind while designing one.

     

    Identification

    The most critical factor to consider when designing a relational database is the correct identification of the data types to be stored. This also forms the basis for the selection of SQL or NoSQL database management system.

    However, this step needs collaboration between a database design expert and domain expert. The domain expert can express the exact requirements, and the designer then has to elicit the information and get the exact requirements.

     

    Tool Selection

    Any database design needs an excellent design tool, also known as a modeling software or a CASE tool. Business process, data flow charts, functional decompositions, and entity relationship models are some of the some of the data models that can be created using a CASE tool.

    These tools also enable sharing, merging and version control. For any design process to be efficient, the CASE tool selection is very crucial as they support documentation and analysis of the process.

     

    Relationship Enforcement in a Relational Database

    Database design has three type of relations, namely, one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. To maintain data integrity in a relational database and to transition these from data model to implemented database, it is imperative to enforce relationship on identified entity pairs. Relationship enforcement is not only crucial for integrity but also to simplify the complexity of specific models.

     

    Data Modeling

    According to Wikipedia, “Data modeling is a process used to define and analyze data requirements needed to support the business processes within the scope of corresponding information systems in organizations.”

    However, data modeling, in simple terms, is the creation of structures used to store different data sets and establish relationships between them. Based on the type of database being built, data modeling is either dimensional (for a relational data warehouse) or transactional (for an OLTP database).

    Standard Naming convention

    Every database object, be it a table, column, index, key or relationship need to be given a naming convention for optimum database design. This is a significant part of the process as it prevents errors during data retrieval. It also creates uniformity hence increasing the efficiency of the design. There is never a perfect naming convention, and it will always vary from design to design, but naming conventions are fundamental to maintain the database for running on a long-term basis.

    Conclusion

    Database design is an ever-evolving process and cannot be restrained to a particular set of rules or style. It will vary from person to person, and there are numerous tips and practices which can lead to a better design, but, the methods mentioned above will make the process easier and more efficient. Besides, it will also give you a strong base to build on.

     

    We at OptimizDBA have been designing, maintaining, and improving relational database performance for almost 2 decades. We can help you unlock the true potential of your database that will have a significant performance boost to your application. Contact us to know more about how we can help you scale.

     

     

     

     


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