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Microsoft® Access® Small Business Solutions: State-of-the-Art Database Models for Sales, Marketing, Customer Management, and More Key Business Activities by Brent Spaulding, Leigh Purvis, Larry Linson, Truitt Bradly, Teresa Hennig

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Chapter 3. Relational Data Model

In the database world, just like in the real world, people try to make sense of and organize information by breaking it down into manageable pieces. To help us in that process, we try to find a consistent approach. We organize papers and bills into folders, label them, and stuff them into a particular drawer of a particular filing cabinet. The reason we create consistent methods for storing things is simple: so we can find them again! Database systems try to do the same thing: provide a consistent method to create mechanisms for storing information. The relational data model (abbreviated RDM) provides a framework to break down information into logical chunks in order to promote a consistent and efficient means of storing information.

In 1969, themathematician Edgar Codd proposed the concepts that underlie the relational model, which is arguably the most popular database model in use today. Although Codd is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in products provided by the leaders of the database world: Microsoft, Oracle, Informix, and many others.

Codd based his model on relational set theory. Online articles that explain relational theory are often written with a mathematical complexity that can be challenging. However, it is encouraging to know that you don't have to be a mathematician to understand the concepts of RDM, because the goal is similar to what we try to accomplish in our personal lives: a consistent, logical approach to storing information ...

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