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  1. #1
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    Non-atomic values

    We recently had an exam and were given the following question (translated as best I could):

    "What does it mean when a attribute is "non-atomic" ?"

    What would be your answer out of the following options:

    A) It is not the tables primary key
    B) It can't be NULL
    C) It can be split into simpler attributes
    D) It has to be the primary key of another table
    E) None of above

    I answered E, but the teacher insisted C was the correct answer.
    My argument is it doesn't MEAN "It can be split into simple attributes". I would say something like "It stores more than one value per cell". And according to wikipedias article on 1NF, example 2, the answer C is simply wrong as non-atomic values should be split into a separate table with a foreign key back to the original table.

    At least thats how I understood it. What's your opinion?
    Last edited by xterminator; Apr 7, 2008 at 13:20. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
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    your teacher was right, that's my opinion
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  3. #3
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    ^^^2nded,

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    3rded...


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