Relationship and their cardinality

Cardinality of a Relationship | All About Databases

relationship and their cardinality

Posts about Cardinality of a Relationship written by Muhammad Haadi. There is also a third case of (Many to Many) relationship but I consider it separate from. It's important to think about the cardinality of relationships carefully. There are many relationships that may at first seem to be one-to-one, but turn out to be more. By defining the entities, their attributes, and showing the relationships between Cardinality specifies how many instances of an entity relate to one instance of.

For example, a customer can buy a product, a student can take a course, an artist can record an album, and so on. Like entities, relationships can have attributes: Our database could then record each sale and tell us, for example, that at 3: For example, each customer can buy any number of products, and each product can be bought by any number of customers.

This is known as a many-to-many relationship. We can also have one-to-many relationships. For example, one person can have several credit cards, but each credit card belongs to just one person.

Looking at it the other way, a one-to-many relationship becomes a many-to-one relationship; for example, many credit cards belong to a single person.

What is Cardinality in Databases? - Definition from Techopedia

Finally, the serial number on a car engine is an example of a one-to-one relationship; each engine has just one serial number, and each serial number belongs to just one engine.

We often use the shorthand terms 1: N for one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships, respectively. The number of entities on either side of a relationship the cardinality of the relationship define the key constraints of the relationship.

There are many relationships that may at first seem to be one-to-one, but turn out to be more complex. For example, people sometimes change their names; in some applications, such as police databases, this is of particular interest, and so it may be necessary to model a many-to-many relationship between a person entity and a name entity.

Redesigning a database can be time-consuming if you assume a relationship is simpler than it really is. In an ER diagram, we represent a relationship set with a named diamond.

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The cardinality of the relationship is often indicated alongside the relationship diamond; this is the style we use in this book. The ER diagram representation of the customer and product entities, and the sale relationship between them.

Partial and Total Participation Relationships between entities can be optional or compulsory. In our example, we could decide that a person is considered to be a customer only if they have bought a product.

Relation Types

On the other hand, we could say that a customer is a person whom we know about and whom we hope might buy something—that is, we can have people listed as customers in our database who never buy a product. These are referred to as the participation constraints of the relationship.

In an ER diagram, we indicate total participation with a double line between the entity box and the relationship diamond. From time to time, we encounter cases where we wonder whether an item should be an attribute or an entity on its own. For example, an email address could be modeled as an entity in its own right. When in doubt, consider these rules of thumb: Is the item of direct interest to the database?

Objects of direct interest should be entities, and information that describes them should be stored in attributes. Our inventory and sales database is really interested in customers, and not their email addresses, so the email address would be best modeled as an attribute of the customer entity.

Does the item have components of its own? If so, we must find a way of representing these components; a separate entity might be the best solution. In the student grades example at the start of the chapter, we stored the course name, year, and semester for each course that a student takes. Can the object have multiple instances?

If so, we must find a way to store data on each instance. The cleanest way to do this is to represent the object as a separate entity. In our sales example, we must ask whether customers are allowed to have more than one email address; if they are, we should model the email address as a separate entity.

Is the object often nonexistent or unknown? If so, it is effectively an attribute of only some of the entities, and it would be better to model it as a separate entity rather than as an attribute that is often empty.

Consider a simple example: The ER diagram representation of student grades as a separate entity Entity or Relationship? An easy way to decide whether an object should be an entity or a relationship is to map nouns in the requirements to entities, and to map the verbs to relations. All else being equal, try to keep the design simple, and avoid introducing trivial entities where possible; i.

  • Cardinality (data modeling)

Intermediate Entities It is often possible to conceptually simplify many-to-many relationships by replacing the many-to-many relationship with a new intermediate entity sometimes called an associate entity and connecting the original entities through a many-to-one and a one-to-many relationship. A passenger participates in an M: Any given flight can have many passengers with a booking.

Any given passenger can have bookings on many flights.

relationship and their cardinality

Hence, we can consider the many-to-many relationship to be in fact two one-to-many relationships, one each way. A "one-to-one" relationship is mostly used to split a table in two in order to provide information concisely and make it more understandable. In the hospital example, such a relationship could be used to keep apart doctors' own unique professional information from administrative details.

In data modelingcollections of data elements are grouped into "data tables" which contain groups of data field names called "database attributes". Tables are linked by "key fields". A "primary key" assigns a field to its "special order table".

Cardinality (data modeling) - Wikipedia

For example, the "Doctor Last Name" field might be assigned as a primary key of the Doctor table with all people having same last name organized alphabetically according to the first three letters of their first name. A table can also have a foreign key which indicates that field is linked to the primary key of another table.

A complex data model can involve hundreds of related tables. A renowned computer scientist, Edgar F. Coddcreated a systematic method to decompose and organize relational databases. Codd's steps for organizing database tables and their keys is called database normalizationwhich avoids certain hidden database design errors delete anomalies or update anomalies.

relationship and their cardinality