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CS403 - Database Management Systems - Lecture Handout 22

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Overview of Lecture

  • Data Volume and Usage Analysis
  • Designing Fields
  • Choosing Data Type
  • Coding Techniques
  • Coding Example
  • Controlling Data Integrity

The Physical Database Design Considerations and Implementation

The physical design of the database is one of the most important phases in the computerization of any organization. There are a number of important steps involved in the physical design of the database. Steps are carried out in sequence and need to be performed precisely so that the result of the first step is properly used as input to the next step. Before moving onto the Physical database design the design of the database should have undergone the following steps, Normalization of relations Volume estimate Definition of each attribute Description of where and when data is used (with frequencies) Expectation or requirements of response time and data security. Description of the technologies.

For the physical database design we need to check the usage of the data in term of its size and the frequency. This critical decision is to be made to ensure that proper structures are used and the database is optimized for maximum performance and efficiency. The following steps are necessary once we have the prerequisite complete:

Select the appropriate attribute and a corresponding data type for the attribute. The process of selecting the attribute to be placed in a specific relation in the physical design. Need considerable care as it is one of the most important and basic aspects for the creation of the database.

Grouping of attributes in the logical order so that the relation is created in such a way that no information is missing from the relation and also no redundant or unnecessary information is placed in the relation. Looking at the logical design at the time of transformation into physical design there may be stages when the information combined logically in the logical design looks odd when transforming the design into a physical one.

The scheme of storage on hard disk is important as it leads to the efficiency and management of the data on disk. Different types of data access mechanism are available and are useful for rapid access, storage, and modification of data. Different types of database structures can be used for placement of data on disks, management of data in the forms of indexes and different database architecture is vital and leads to better retrieval and recovery of records.

Preparing queries and handling strategies for the proper usage of the database, so that any type of input or output operation performed on the database is executed in an optimized and efficient way.


Field is the smallest unit of application data recognized by system software, such as a programming language or any database management system. Designing fields in the databases’ physical design as discussed earlier is a major issue and needs to be dealt with great care and accuracy. Data types are the structure defined for placing data in the attributes. Each data type is appropriate for use with certain type of data.

4 major objectives for using data types when specifying attributes in a database are given as under:

Minimized usage of storage space

Represent all possible values

Improve data integrity

Support all data manipulation

The correct data type selection and decision for proper domain of the attribute is very necessary as it provides a number of benefits. Most common data types used in the available DBMS of the day have the following set of common attributes.




There a re some attributes which have some sparse set of values, these values when they are represented in any data type are hard to express, for this purpose some codes are used. As the codes defined by the database administrator or the programmer consume less space so they are better for use in situations where we have large number of records and wastage of small amount of space in each record can lead to loss of huge amount of data storage space. Thus causing lowered database efficiency

S1020 Sohail Dar Reading
S1038 Shoaib Ali Gardening
S1015 Tahira Ejaz Reading
S1015 Tahira Ejaz Movie
S1018 Arif Zia Reading

Coding techniques are also useful for compression of data values appearing the data, by replacing those data values with the smaller sized codes we can further reduce the space needed by the data for storage in the database.

Following tables give the use of codes and their utilization in the database environment

Coding Example:


S1020 Sohail Dar R
S1038 Shoaib Ali G
S1015 Tahira Ejaz R
S1015 Tahira Ejaz M
S1018 Arif Zia R

Hobby Table

R Reading
G Gardening
M Movies

In the above example we have seen the implementation of the codes as replacement to the data in the actual table, here we actually allocated codes to different hobbies and then replace the codes instead of writing the codes in the table.

We get a number of benefits by the use of data types and the benefit can be in a number of dimensions.

Default value

Default values are the values which are associated with a specific attribute and can help us to reduce the chances of inserting incorrect values in the attribute space. And also it can help us preventing the attribute value be left empty.

Range Control

Range control implemented over the data can be very easily achieved by using any data type. As the data type enforces the entry of data in the field according to the limitations of the data type.

Null Value Control

As we already know that a null value is an empty value and is distinct from zero and spaces, Databases can implement the null value control by using the different data types or their build in mechanisms.

Referential Integrity

Referential Integrity means to keep the input values for a specific attribute in specific limits in comparison to any other attribute of the same or any other relation.