Thursday, July 10, 2008

Relational model

The relational model for database management is a database model based on first-order predicate logic, first formulated and proposed in 1969 by Edgar Codd.

Its core idea is to describe a database as a collection of predicates over a finite set of predicate variables, describing constraints on the possible values and combinations of values. The content of the database at any given time is a finite model (logic) of the database, i.e. a set of relations, one per predicate variable, such that all predicates are satisfied. A request for information from the database (a database query) is also a predicate.

The purpose of the relational model is to provide a declarative method for specifying data and queries: we directly state what information the database contains and what information we want from it, and let the database management system software take care of describing data structures for storing the data and retrieval procedures for getting queries answered.

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