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Data integrity is the overall completeness, accuracy and consistency of data. This can be indicated by the absence of alteration between two instances or between two updates of a data record, meaning data is intact and unchanged. Data integrity is usually imposed during the database design phase through the use of standard procedures and rules. Data integrity can be maintained through the use of various error-checking methods and validation procedures.
Data integrity is enforced in both hierarchical and relational database models. The following three integrity constraints are used in a relational database structure to achieve data integrity:
The concept of data integrity ensures that all data in a database can be traced and connected to other data. This ensures that everything is recoverable and searchable. Having a single, well-defined and well-controlled data integrity system increases stability, performance, reusability and maintainability. If one of these features cannot be implemented in the database, it must be implemented through the software.