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Domain-key normal form | DBMS

DBMS | Domain-key Normal Form: In this tutorial, we will learn about the domain-key normal form in the database management system with domain constraints. By Anushree Goswami Last updated : May 29, 2023

What is Domain-key normal form in DBMS?

A domain-key normal form is a normal form used in database normalization which needs particularly that the database contains no restrictions other than domain constraints and key constraints.

A domain constraint identifies clearly the permitted and enabled values for a given attribute, while a key constraint identifies clearly the attributes that distinctly identify a row in a given table or relation.

It is fundamentally a process in the database to arrange systematically data efficiently and effectively. Fundamentally, there are two targets of doing normalization, which are as follows,

  1. To eliminate repeated data or in other words, it can be said to eliminate redundant data.
  2. It is to make certain that there will be data dependencies.

The domain/key normal form is successfully reached when each constraint on the relation or table of the attribute is a logical consequence of the definition of keys and domains, and imposing key and domain restraints and conditions, which causes all constraints to be arranged. That's why it avoids all non-temporal anomalies. To achieve Normalization, the steps to be taken are,

  1. Eliminate repeating groups and remove repeating data.
  2. Eliminate those columns that are not considered to be dependent on Key.
  3. The multiple relationships should be separate independently.

It's very effortless to construct a database in the domain/key normal form than it is to change the form of lesser databases which may have in a great number of anomalies. Although, successfully constructing a domain/key normal form database continue to exist as a challenging task, even for experienced database programmers. Thus, in the duration of time the domain/key normal form removes the problems found in most databases, it inclined to be the most costly normal form to achieve. However, unsuccessful to achieve the domain/key normal form may carry long-term, hidden costs due to anomalies which become noticeable in databases attached only to lower normal forms over a period of time.

The fundamental scheme behind the domain/key normal form is to identify the normal form that takes into account all the possible dependencies and constraints.

In easily understood manner, the domain/key normal form define as a normal form utilized in database normalization which needs particularly that the database which have no constraints other than domain constraints and key constraints.

In other words, the domain/key normal form contain a relation schema only if all constraints and dependencies that should hold on the valid relation state can be imposed by easily imposing the domain constraint and key constraint on the relation or table of attributes. For a relation in the domain/key normal form, it becomes very straight forward to impose all the database constraints by simply examining so that each attribute value is a tuple is of the suitable domain and that every key constraint is imposed.

The reasons to utilize the domain/key normal form are in the following points,

  1. To avoid general constraints in the database those are not clear key constraints.
  2. Most databases can easily test or check key constraints on attributes.

A table is in Domain-Key normal form only if it is in 4NF, 3NF and other normal forms. It is based on constraints:

Domain constraint

Values of an attribute had some set of values, for example, EngineerID should be four digits long:

EngineerID Engineer Name Engineer Age

Key constraint

An attribute or its combination is a candidate key.

General constraint

Predicate on the set of all relations.

Although, because of the difficulty of including complicated constraints in the domain/key normal form relation its practical utility is limited means that they are not in practical use, as long as it may be quite difficult to identify general integrity constraints.

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