Referential integrity refers to the use of relationships to achieve consistency and accuracy in databases; the relationships help in joining two or more tables, this is accomplished by establishing a primary key that is used in the parent table and foreign keys that are used in the associated sub-tables (Database Guide, 2016). The keys are unique for every record entered into the database. Referential integrity, therefore, allows the users in charge of feeding information into systems to add data without creating unnecessary duplicates.
An example of a situation that is analogous to referential integrity is the storing of records in institutions such as hospitals at separate points without any connections between them despite them being related. In such a case, there exists no primary key that allows people collecting information from the patients to identify whether data about a person has been entered into the system or not. Since there are several points in hospitals where data on the patients are collected such as the reception and information recorded by different doctors, it is possible to enter several copies of related data about the same person; this results in redundancy. If referential integrated were implemented in such a situation, the patients would be assigned a primary key at the reception, and other doctors can add to their information with the help of foreign keys.
Some of the main adva…
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