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Chapter 5. Relational Database Design > The Basics of Process Analysis

The Basics of Process Analysis

So far this chapter has illustrated the principles of relational database design, and provided examples of a notation (the ERD notation) that can be used to produce a compact visual representation of a database structure. But this activity needs to fit into a broader type of activity that we refer to as process analysis.

Process analysis (in this book, anyway) refers to the act of deriving a database design from a real-world problem. In a sense, almost all database design needs be preceded by some form of analysis, to determine the scope of the problem being solved and focus on what needs to be built and why. Process analysis begins with a process description and ends with an ERD. That ERD will be the basis for implementing a real solution in FileMaker, a process covered in more detail in Chapter 6, “Working with Multiple Tables.” To perform such analysis, you need a firm grip on entities, attributes, and relationships. Understanding relationship optionality is also a helpful tool.


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