Relational Database Design Concepts

Up to this point we have focused on the physical design of a database which includes things like files and filegroups. The physical design is focused on how data is stored and what is the most efficient way to access data. Now we are going to start to look at implementing the logical design of a database which includes objects like tables and the relationships between them. The logical design is only concerned with modeling a real-world data scenario – it is unaware and is not dependent on one particular Database Management System. For Example, I could use the same logical design to create a database in both SQL Server and Access and I would come up with the exact same database as far as the logical design is concerned. However, the physical design for the two databases could be very different – the Access database would be made up of only one file whereas the SQL Server database could be made up of many different files spread across several hard drives. Another example is a database on SQL Server that gets another data file added to it. While the physical design has change by adding another file, the logical design is still the same. The important point to get here is that the physical implementation of a database and the logical implementation of a database are two distinct concepts that are, for the most part, independent of one another.

I think I’ve said this already, but if not, SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). So it makes sense that the databases that we are going to be working with are relational databases.
If this is your first time working with a relational database of any kind or you never got a good grasp on the design concepts, I encourage you to stop here and get a book on designing relational databases. Check out the following links to get started learning about logical database design:

Support WebCast: Database Normalization Basics

Understanding Relational Database Design
ACC2000: Database Normalization Basics (Q209534)