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Paper 2 - Computer Science > Databases > Flashcards

Flashcards in Databases Deck (42)
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What is a data model?

An abstract model of which things to store and what information about them should be recorded.


What is an Entity?

An object, event, person or thing about which data is to be stored


What is an attribute?

Attributes are characteristics or other information about entities


How are databases formed?

They are formed of tables which are used to store multiple entities


What is the notation for an entity description?

Entity1 (Attribute1, Attribute2 ....)
-The primary key is always underlined

Example: Patient (Title, Firstname, Surname, Address, Email)


What is an entity identifier?

-An attribute given to each entity which is unique within that table.
-Also known as the primary key.


What is a requirement of primary keys (entity identifiers)?

They must be unique


What are the three types of relationships entities can have with each other?



What is an Entity relationship diagram?

They graphically represent the relationships between tables/entities in a database


What does it mean when entities have a link between them in an Entity relationship diagram?

That the two entities are related in some way,


What 2 things show a relationship in an Entity relationship diagram?

- Both the degree and the name of the relationship need to be specified
- For example: Head teacher -------------------- School
The degree: One-to-one
The name: In charge of


What type of key is formed of multiple attributes, combined to form the primary key?

A composite key


What is a composite primary key?

A key formed of multiple attributes, combined to form the primary key
(also known as just a composite key)


What is a primary key?

an attribute that uniquely identifies every entity in a database


What is a foreign key?

-An attribute that is a primary key in another table
-The attribute exists in both tables


How is the primary key and foreign represented in an entity description?

-The primary key has an asterisk next to it
For example: PatientID *
-The foreign key is in italics


When is a link table used?

-It's used to represent many-to-many relationships
-It creates a third table (the linking table) as many to many relationships are impossible to represent on a computer


What is a relational database?

A database that is formed of multiple tables that are linked together by common attributes


How is a record with a primary key quickly located?

An index of the primary key and is automatically maintained by the database software, it gives the position of every record according to its primary key


What is Normalisation?

The process used to make the design of a database the most efficient without compromising the integrity of the data


What are the advantages of normalising a database

- It allows for faster searching and sorting and saves storage space as it creates smaller tables
- They are easier to maintain.
- Data consistency is improved, reducing the number of anomalies that occur.
- Data integrity is maintained as there is no unnecessary duplication of data.


When is a database in first normal form?

If the database contains no repeating attribute/group of attributes


What does atomic mean?

It means that no single column contains more than one value


When is a database in second normal form?

-It must satisfy first normal form
-Contains no partial key dependencies


What is a partial key dependency?

When attributes depend on only one part of the primary key (only happens when the primary key is a composite primary key)


When is a database in third normal form?

-It must satisfy second normal form
-It must have no non-key dependencies


What is a non-key dependency?

Where the value of an attribute is determined by the value of another attribute which is not part of the key


What does a client server database system provide?

It provides simultaneous access to a database for multiple clients


What is concurrent access?

It's a problem caused when multiple users attempt to access/update the same field in database at the same time


What problems can concurrent access lead to?

It can result in updates being lost if two users edit a record at the same time