Those familiar with my work know I have deplored the lack of foundational knowledge and sound practices in the database trade for years. One of the most egregiously abused aspects is normalization, as reflected in the opening quotes. The prevailing argument is as follows:

The problem is that points 2 and 3 are not necessarily true, in which case point 4 does not hold. What is more, even if the claims were all true, denormalization would still be highly questionable because performance gains, if any, can only be had at the expense of integrity. The purpose of this article is to explain just why the notion of "denormalization for performance" is a misconception and to expose its costly dangers, of which practitioners are blissfully unaware. If the integrity cost of denormalization is taken into consideration, it will cancel out performance gains, if any.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access