University of Hertfordshire

Big Data Technology - Can We Abandon The Teaching of Normalisation?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEduLearn 17
Subtitle of host publication9th International Conference On Education and New Learning Technologies
EditorsL. Gomez Chova, A. Lopez Martinez, I. Candel Torres
Place of PublicationBarcelona
PublisherInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-697-3777-4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017
Event9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


Conference9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Abbreviated titleEdulearn 17


The design and implementation of Relational Databases is a well-established process. Many traditional text books for teaching database systems begin their introductory chapters with the ANSI/SPARC three level architecture diagram. Generally, this diagram consists of a conceptual model with external user views, a logical model in the target DBMS followed by a physical database design
and implementation stage. However, with the advent of Big Data and so called “schemaless”databases and NoSQL databases this appears to have turned this process on its head. Or has it? In this paper, we will compare the data structures of a traditional relational database with a document based schemaless database (MongoDB) at the logical and physical database design stage. We will
use the traditional concepts of the data definition language, data manipulation language and data control language of both types of database. We also briefly compare the query languages and the purposes of both types of databases. We will answer the question in the title of the paper “Big Data Technology – can we abandon the teaching of Normalisation?”

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