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database management with odbc

Relational Data Model Weaknesses

Network Data Model

These seemingly simple steps reveal two fundamental weaknesses inherent with the relational data model. The first weakness is the fact that each relationship requires duplicate columns in both tables associated with it. For example, both the ARTIST and ALBUM tables must contain and thus maintain a column that stores the names of the artists so a link between an artist and their albums can be established. This means extra storage space as well as programming overhead are required to keep the two columns “in sync.” Changing the name of an artist means that all the ALBUM entries for that artist need to have their “artist name” column updated.

The second weakness, and the more relevant aspect of this article, is the fact that a single relationship may only contain two tables, the primary key (main) table and the foreign key (referencing) table. Within the Music Collection database Python, both the ALBUM table and the MOVIE table need to reference the ARTIST table. Due to this limitation, two separate relationships need to be defined; one that includes the ALBUM table reference to the ARTIST table and one that has the MOVIE table referencing the ARTIST table.

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