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ER identifiy relationship question

ER identifiy relationship question

ER identifiy relationship question


I have a table.  Each row in the table can be defined by an automatically generated unique id number.  The individual rows can also be defined by a group of column elements (which happen to be foreign keys).

My primary key is the unique id number but it is also possible for cols 1,2, 3... to be grouped as a primary key.  Can I have both things labelled as primary keys at the same time or is this a bad practice? I ask because someone said that some of my relationships are identifying and that they should be labelled as such.

RE: ER identifiy relationship question


Can I have both things labelled as primary keys at the same time


or is this a bad practice?

The Primary Key is the field or combination of fields which serve to identify each row of the table. You don't want to be using two different expressions as identifiers in two different parts of your system and the database won't even let you try.

What you should do is define the unique ID as the Primary Key and then define the other columns as a composite Candidate Key. That way the database will prevent you entering a duplicate value in the unique ID or entering a duplicate combination in the other fields.

Geoff Franklin

RE: ER identifiy relationship question

succinct, clear, and good advice

thanks for the valuable post, geoff

r937.com | rudy.ca

RE: ER identifiy relationship question

ah...thanks.  Forgot abotu the old Candidate  key :)

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