Creating Tables and Schema Design

Creating tables in SQLite databases and understanding the principles of schema design. We will explore how to define table structure, data types, constraints, and primary keys

By Kevin McAleer,    3 Minutes

Module 3 focuses on creating tables in SQLite databases and understanding the principles of schema design. We will explore how to define table structure, data types, constraints, and primary keys.

Understanding Table Structure

Tables are the foundation of a relational database. They organize and store data in a structured manner. In this section, we will explore the components of table structure.

Rows (Records) and Columns

A table consists of rows, also known as records or tuples, and columns, also known as fields or attributes.

  • Rows: Each row represents a distinct record or entry in the table. For example, in a “Books” table, each row might represent a specific book with information like the title, author, and publication year.
  • Columns: Columns define the specific types of data that can be stored in a table. Each column corresponds to a specific attribute or piece of information about the records. For instance, in the “Books” table, columns might include “Title,” “Author,” and “Publication Year.”

Creating Tables

To create tables in a SQLite database, we use the SQL CREATE TABLE statement. This statement specifies the table name, column names, data types, and constraints.

# Create a table
    CREATE TABLE books (
        title TEXT,
        author TEXT,
        year INTEGER

In this example, we create a table named “books” with four columns: “id,” “title,” “author,” and “year.” The INTEGER data type is used for the “id” and “year” columns, while TEXT is used for the “title” and “author” columns. The “id” column is defined as the primary key.

Defining Primary Keys

A primary key uniquely identifies each record in a table. It ensures data integrity and serves as a reference point for establishing relationships between tables. In SQLite, primary keys can be defined using the PRIMARY KEY constraint.

# Create a table with a primary key
    CREATE TABLE students (
        name TEXT,
        age INTEGER,
        grade TEXT

In this example, we create a “students” table with an “id” column as the primary key. Each record in the table will have a unique “id” value.

Modifying Tables

Sometimes, we need to modify the structure of existing tables. SQLite provides the ALTER TABLE statement to add, modify, or delete columns from a table.

# Add a new column to a table
connection.execute("ALTER TABLE students ADD COLUMN email TEXT")

In this example, we add a new “email” column to the “students” table. This new column will store email addresses for each student.

Schema Design Considerations

When designing a database schema, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure efficient data storage and retrieval. Some key considerations include:

  • Normalization: Organize data into tables and reduce redundancy.
  • Data Types: Choose appropriate data types for columns to optimize storage and enforce data integrity.
  • Constraints: Define constraints (e.g., NOT NULL, UNIQUE) to maintain data integrity and consistency.
  • Relationships: Establish relationships between tables using foreign keys to represent connections between entities.
  • Indexing: Use indexes to improve query performance on frequently searched columns.

By understanding these considerations, we can design efficient and well-structured databases.

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