Business Objects

The Purchase Order form, below, will be the example used to demonstrate the normalization process. It is a fairly standard form with both explicitly and implicitly stated data. The process can be demonstrated with a single exhibit. In a real case, the analyst normalizes many exhibits.

Application exhibits, such as screen snapshots, forms, reports and other user documents are the best types of input to the normalization process because they show "what data" and "how used." As good as these exhibits are, some application data are hidden or not explicitly stated.

Old database design documentation -- data dictionaries, file and table descriptions -- should not be included during the requirements phase. They are reviewed after the first-cut design as an audit tool to validate the completeness of the data discovered during the requirements phase.

You will have "orphans" during this phase. Orphans are data that have no home. Document them. Put them aside. Move on. As you learn more about the data, you'll find them a home.