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What is the term for...?


BobWeaver
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Today, I was at a sales presentation for a software product that ties Autocad to a database. It became quickly apparent that they had the database very badly structured. I was trying to find the correct term for what they did, but in reviewing my books on relational theory, I couldn't find the term.

Here is what they did:

Consider a table that contains all the employee data for the London office. Now, suppose you add a Paris office. They create a second table with exactly the same fields as the first in order to hold the new data. New York office--same thing--new table. No way to create summary reports of all employees without some horrendous scripting. This is more fundamental than a normalization problem, but I'm at a loss as to what the correct term is for this kind of structure. Can any of you relational experts give me the correct technical term for this? I know what I'd like to call it, but it's not suitable language for polite company.

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I've seen plenty of newbees asking for ways to duplicate their tables for just this purpose (one way that the copy/paste table ability of FM8 Advanced can be a trap for new developers.) For some reason people think their data will be safer if it's 'physically' separated like that, not looking at the maintenance and reporting issues this will cause.

I just call it "duplicate tables", but LaRetta's sounds good too. }:(

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LOL ... more apt given the mention of cities! :beer:

On the serious side, I don't know what the term might be. "Normalization" came to mind, but I agree with Mr. Weaver the problem runs deeper than that. Structure is the most critical aspect of a database ... slick calculations might coexist within bad design, but can never overcome it.

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...but I agree with Mr. Weaver...

See that? Mr. Weaver, he says. I'll be expecting a lot more respect from the rest of you from now on. }:(

LaRetta, I like your term, but since I only used the cities thing as an analogy, I don't think anyone at the office would get the joke. Besides, I have to sound all professional like.

So, "Duplicate/redundant" it is then. I hate coming across like a dufus when I'm talking to the IT department.

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Well, I should say that I am much more confident about the 'entity' part than the 'Duplicate/redundant' part. There may be a more technical term specifically for this type of error, say, 'multiple entity disorder' or something...

-Raz

added-

Here are a bunch of links to some fairly concise articles aout relational theory.

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Besides, I have to sound all professional like.

Oh. In that case, I'd use the term non-equi segmented redundancy. Techno-babble always makes their eyes glass over and you've got 'em. :girlgiggle:

Good to see you around, you busy boy (ummm, Mr.); I miss your daily words of wisdom here on Forums. :wink2:

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LaRetta, I kinda dig your "Urban Sprawl". I couldn't resist this since I've found myself in such. How about "Intergalactic-exponential-data-growth?"

Wikipedia gives an interesing explanation of "Exponential Growth" as "The phrase exponential growth is often used in nontechnical contexts to mean merely surprisingly fast growth..." which explains the growth (sprawl/creep) and intergalactic due to the physical space that you will need to bridge so as to make good use of the data.

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