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Explain integrity constraints.

Integrity constraints and Data Consistency:

  • Integrity constraints are rules defined on a database schema to ensure the accuracy and consistency of data. They provide a way to control what values are allowed in certain columns or tables.
  • Authorized users may modify the database, and integrity constraints help prevent unintended changes that could lead to data inconsistency or loss.

Integrity Constraints in ER Models:

  • In the context of Entity-Relationship (ER) models, integrity constraints play a crucial role in defining the structure and relationships between entities.
  • The given options are:
    • a. Key Declarations: This refers to specifying certain attributes as a candidate key for an entity set. A candidate key uniquely identifies each entity in the set.
    • b. Form of a Relationship: This involves defining mapping cardinalities such as 1-1, 1-many, and many-many between entities. It ensures that the relationships between entities are well-defined and adhere to the desired structure. Arbitrary Predicates as Integrity Constraints:
  • An integrity constraint is a condition or rule that ensures the accuracy and consistency of data. While it is true that integrity constraints are essential for maintaining data quality, not all arbitrary predicates can serve as integrity constraints. Typically, integrity constraints are predefined rules rather than arbitrary predicates. Ensuring Accuracy and Consistency in Relational Databases:
    • Integrity constraints play a critical role in relational databases by enforcing rules that maintain the accuracy and consistency of data. These rules are defined during the design phase and are applied whenever data is modified.
    • Common types of integrity constraints in relational databases include primary key constraints, foreign key constraints, unique constraints, and check constraints. They help ensure that data adheres to predefined rules, preventing errors and maintaining the quality of the database.

In summary, integrity constraints are vital components of database design and management, serving to enforce rules that safeguard data accuracy and consistency across various models, including relational databases and ER models.

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