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Relational Data Model

Definition - What does Relational Data Model mean?

A relational data model involves the use of data tables that collect groups of elements into relations. These models work based on the idea that each table setup will include a primary key or identifier. Other tables use that identifier to provide "relational" data links and results. Database administrators use something called Structured Query Language (SQL) to retrieve data elements from a relational database.

Techopedia explains Relational Data Model

Other aspects of relational database design correspond to specific parts of a data table. For example, a conventional database row would represent a tuple, which is a set of data that revolves around a particular instance or virtual object so that the primary key is its unique identifier. A column name in a data table is associated with an attribute, an identifier or feature that all parts of a data set have. These and other strict conventions help to provide database administrators and designers with standards for crafting relational database setups.

As mentioned, the primary key is a fundamental tool in creating and using relational data models. It must be unique for each member of a data set. It must be populated for all members. Inconsistencies can cause problems in how developers retrieve data. Other issues with relational database designs include excessive duplication of data, faulty or partial data, or improper links or associations between tables. A large part of routine database administration involves evaluating all of the data sets in a database to make sure that they are consistently populated and will respond well to SQL or any other data retrieval method.

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