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A difficult decision has to be made concerning database design—to normalize or not to normalize, that is the question. You will always want to normalize a database to some degree. How much do you normalize a database without destroying performance? The real decision relies on the application itself. How large is the database? What is its purpose? What types of users are going to access the data? This hour covered the three most common normal forms, the concepts behind the normalization process, and the integrity of data. The normalization process involves many steps, most of which are optional but vital to the functionality and performance of your database. Regardless of how deep you decide to normalize, there will most always be a trade-off, either between simple maintenance and questionable performance or complicated maintenance and better performance. In the end, the individual (or team of individuals) designing the database must decide, and that person or team is responsible.

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