Q

The significance of BCNF

Could you please explain to me the significance of Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF)? I understand what it is and what...

it does, but not sure if it is that significant. Thank you very much.

Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF) is simply an extension of third normal form (3NF). I did an Ask The Expert response for this term (2001-05-01) that covers it in more detail.

Using present development languages, BCNF is not particularly significant. There were once very good reasons to use BCNF, roughly twenty years ago to exploit the features of DB2 as it existed at that time, mainly from COBOL but also from other mainframe languages.

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This was last published in September 2002

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BCNF can be defined very simply: a relation is in BCNF if it is in 3NF and if every determinant is a candidate key. First, notice the slight fifference between BCNF and 3nf. 3NF limits us to consider only determinants of non-key attributes whereas BCNF considers the determinants of all attributes.
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