Reviewing Data Integrity

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The seventh and final phase in the database-design process involves reviewing the final database structure for data integrity.

First, you review each table to ensure that it meets the criteria of a properly designed table, and you check the fields within each table for proper structure. You then resolve any inconsistencies or problems you encounter and review the structures once more. After you've made the appropriate refinements, you check table-level integrity.

Second, you review and check the field specifications for each field. You make necessary refinements to the fields and then check field-level integrity. This review reaffirms the field-level integrity you identified and established earlier in the database-design process.

Third, you review the validity of each relationship, confirm the relationship type, and confirm the participation characteristics for each table within the relationship. You then study relationship integrity to ensure that there are matching values between shared fields and that there are no problems inserting, updating, or deleting data in either of the tables within the relationship.

Finally, you review the business rules that you identified earlier in the database-design process and confirm the constraints you've placed on various aspects of the database. If there are any other limitations that have come to your attention since the last set of personnel interviews, you establish them as new business rules and add them to the existing set of business rules.

You're ready to implement your logical database structure in an RDBMS program once you've completed the entire database-design process. However, the process is never really complete because the database structure will always need refinement as your organization evolves.


Part II: The Design Process