Normalizing vs denormalizing 
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 Normalizing vs denormalizing

I have a legal database with a [Cases] table and a [Defendants] table and
they are both linked together with a [CaseNumber] field.There are usually
about 40 defendants or so for every case, and it's a "one to many
relationship". Here's the deal though: Sometimes I need to pull up a query
that says "show me all casenumbers where the defendant can be (Arco or Shell
or Exxon) AND the casenumber MUST have defendant Union76."

This is a bit awkward for SQL if the Defendants table and Cases table
are separate. I, at first, thought about keeping the tables separate and
doing a series of tables that list case numbers that build/exclude upon
each other for ecah criteria, but this method seems slow performance-wise.
Another method I thought of is to DENOMARMALIZE the database and simply list
all defendants per case in a single long text field within the [Cases]
table with each name separated by a token (in this case "~"). Then I can
do all the "ands" and "ors" in that single text field without SQL awkwardness.
Performance seems fast too.

Do you think this is the best method or is there a better way?

- Steve



Tue, 05 Jul 2005 01:35:43 GMT
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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