In my mind I am storing or reading individual records in the table in question, so singular makes sense to me. You can argue the table represents a single entity and as such deserves a singular name, or that it contains multiple instances of an entity so it should be plural. Columns. Find all tables containing column with specified name - MS SQL Server. It’s impossible to be consistent across both worlds when it comes to the singular-plural chasm. Oracle SQL code and table names are case-insensitive. Same reason I say 'Give me a pair from all available socks. Well, it might not be that easy, but it’s easier than plural names. In this case, it would be student_subject (or subject_student). But there will always be those few exceptions and even in this case it looks fine as UsersInRoles.Username. The fact that there are irregular plurals in English like mouse ⇒ mice and sheep ⇒ sheep. I've only been working with SQL Server for a couple of years, and although I've been exposed to a lot of different parts of it, there are still some things I've not been forced to spend a lot of time thinking about. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Avoid, where possible, concatenating two table names together to create the name of a relationship table. Vote count for answer number 2 is higher than that for number 1. You might be wondering why we need conventions or best practices for naming SQL tables in the first place. Whether it'll hold one instance or multiples depends on how it's used. offspring. I personaly prefer to use plural names to represent a set, it just "sounds" better to my relational mind. In a single database I may have a table who's rows represent single a single widget, and another who's one-to-many relationship to that table means rows represent many widgets. (no matter what ORM you may be using). Table is called "cars" because it has many instances of "car" and class is called "Car" because it will hold one instance of a car!! It can even save you writing time, save you disk space, and even make your computer keyboard last longer! The only way to add spaces is to enclose the entire name in quotes (such as “Application User”), which will cause the same issues. If I was querying the db to get all users then would I need to access the model? How Do I Control the Onboard LEDs of My Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense? If a table was allowed to have a different name than that of the type of record that it contains, you could give the table a plural name, so that you could for example have an Employees table containing multiple Employee records. It might be tempting to save a few keystrokes and abbreviate your table names. Oracle doesn’t need camel case and doesn’t differentiate, so neither should you. exactly. It is hard to be consistent, and as you mentioned, a table can be considered a class name or an array or both! To each his own, I guess. b : a condensed enumeration : list a table of contents. A bag containing applies can be called an AppleBag, regardless of how many apples it contains. Should table names in general be singular or plural when creating a database table structure? It's a pretty established convention that database table names, in SQL at least, should be singular. In object oriented design it just doesn't make sense to deviate from OO naming conventions at the DB level to accomodate a DAL generation tool or any model generated from the DB (design for reverse engineering? #4. A table name usually describes what the table contains. However, I think for my personal conventions, I'll stick with plural table names. Use Singular Nouns for Table Names. A database relation should be named in the singular as its records are considered to be instances of the relation. This is why I believe table names should be plural; A table’s column is an element. All this is because I don't have proper respect for the database systems, I am just reapplying one-trick-pony knowledge from OO naming conventions like Java's out of habit and laziness. That doesn’t imply that it has more than one apple. using the metadata. Total vote count for singular is much higher than total vote count for plural. Your email address will not be published. So there is some big flaw in reasoning…. Hope that makes sense! I’ve done some research on this topic from a variety of sources. Class names are generally singular unless they are some sort of collection. A singular noun is used to name every table. These non-English native speaking developers may not understand the concept of pluralisation of words. If you wish to use the singular then you should name your tables subject_enrolments_table and class_enrolments_table but otherwise just use the plural for all table names and the singular for a tuple or instantiantion. No matter what you do it is a mess, just pick a convention and stick to it. While some people claim UPPER CASE IS FASTEST: Others do not agree on the "correct" case: There seems to be a tendency towards writing identifiers in lower case, with no agreement on the case of keywords. Table Conventions. On the project that launched the article, I was not permitted to modify the database schema due to constraints outside my control.Many readers followed up with this question:In this two-part article, I will answer that question in detail… If you have a table called 'News' (just as an example), what would you call the collection of news? Interesting to see that after all this time, the popular choices of "singular" and "plural" are. ... since it is easier to produce a plural name from a singular name than vice-versa) a table of "colleges" can contain 0 or more collegues, My conclusion is that either is fine but you have to define how you (or people interacting with it) are going to approach when referring to the tables; "a x table" or a "table of xs". So, let’s move on to what I think are good Oracle database table naming conventions. References: If you have existing standards within your team or project, use those. Good point Brad – I seem to have contradicted myself! Many programmers have no formal definition in mind when working with tables. I have a very specific naming convention that I use in all my projects. Do you have any other questions? eyeglasses Regarding adding “_table” to the end of the table name, I don’t think this is necessary. I look at it this way.. if you create an array/list/dictionary of anything in code, my bet is you name it with the plural name of whatever it holds. Academia has it that table names should be the singular of the entity that they store attributes of. The Spouse table, in the COMPANY database, is a weak entity because its In an entity relationship diagram (ERD), an entity type is represented by a name in 2 a : a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference. Switching between singular and plural or sometimes abbreviating words and sometimes not is much more aggravating. As for prefixing tables and views I absolutely hate that practice. It’s easy to come up with singular names for SQL table names. But if i am cooking for other people, i will try to serve them something they like. Let me know in the comments below. Put all together, Table Names, Primary Keys, Relationships, Entity Classes... is better to be aware of only one name (singular) instead of two (singular class, plural table, singular field, singular-plural master-detail...). IMHO, table names should be plural like Customers. A class may (arguably) be best named in the singular as it represents an archetype but tables should definitely be plural as should the collections you would load the into. Closer to my take, but mine is that the table's storage of multiple users is actually incidental, and that any singular user is represented by the table, or rather the relation that is a set of tuples representing a User entity. -1. Are there any other naming conventions for tables that I’ve missed out? If you create it without an error (for example, by enclosing it in quotes), then it will still cause confusion. It makes sense to have a table of users and call it "AppUser" at the same time it also makes sense to have a table of rules applicable to a particular type of user and call it "UserRules". If you use Object Relational Mapping tools or will in the future I suggest Singular. Description: more and more ORM and systems such as Rails or CakePHP supports or strongly recommend to respect a naming convention where tables are plural as they contains many rows and foreign keys are singular as they point to one row. Let me explain. The world is getting smaller, you may have a team of different nationalities, not everybody has English as a native language. What expresses the efficiency of an algorithm when solving MILPs, What's the most efficient way to safely convert from Datetime2 back to Datetime. The naming of arrays is up to the development team and is likely less of an issue compared to tables, as tables are widely available. LINQ supports pluralized table names because pluralized table names are… The AppUser_AppUserGroup relation tells me how the AppUsers and AppUserGroups are related. Couldn't disagree more. This is more obvious if we consider a language that inflects nouns based on case (as most do): Since we're usually doing something with the rows, why not put the name in the accusative case? But at the same time you could argue that unlike in object oriented programming, a table is not an instance of its records. Tables are just that, containers, the table name must describe what it contains, not how much data it contains. And I'd love to hear your opinion on style and naming conventions in the comments! A good example is the AppleBag example used in the top-rated singular/plural answer in this Stack Overflow question. There are several sources that state they prefer plural table names: There are several reasons why I prefer singular table names over plural table names. Plural names don't just look dumb in ORM code. My only reason for following them would be that they are the big gorilla and everyone else goes that way. After reading all the arguing in this thread, i reached one conclusion: I like my pancakes with honey, no matter what everybody's favorite flavour is. This is a many-to-many relationship. The ORM should not dictate the names of the objects they map to. Check out the comments on SubSonic's convention recommendation. The variable holding an instantiation of the class should be named in the singular. It’s better to use an underscore to separate words, to improve readability. And table of entities, tables have many entities so again I think plural sounds nice. Never give a table the same name as one of its columns and vice versa. Source: Yes I agree. Not as a shackle or a club to torture developers. However, this means that every time you want to refer to the table, you’ll need to use quotes. That said, my personal preference is to use singular names for both tables and columns. groups member of groups). You might have a “person” table. Makes a lot of sense to me. I've actually always thought it was popular convention to use plural table names. Case 1: Reserved SQL words Everybody needs a table for user accounts, and the intuitive name for such a table is "user(s)". SELECT Customer.Name, Customer.Address FROM Customers AS Customer WHERE Customer.Name > "def". person or persons)?The former is determined at the conceptual level by the enterprise's business terminology[3]. So I would go for plural in that domain. My advice is flip a coin and go with it for the entire database (or stick with the convention that already has a majority). I know what your thinking, but think first of a sac of balls, and understand the difference in meaning. I’ve just added them to demonstrate that there are different views on the topic and which pages/websites have each of these views. I dislike any T-SQL that requires square brackets around names, but I have renamed a Users table to the singular, forever sentencing those using the table to sometimes have to use brackets. Specially in master-detail scenarios, this reads better, aligns better by name, and have more logical order (Master first, Detail second): Reason 4 (Simplicity). These SQL table naming conventions can be applied across any relational database. @Christopher, if the raison d'être of the bag is to hold apples and only apples, then it is an "apple bag" , regardless of whether it contains 1 apple, 100 apples or no apples. We could do that… but it’s better to have naming conventions for several reasons: Setting up a naming convention for your database tables will take a bit of time at the start, but it will save time with the developers. Description: more and more ORM and systems such as Rails or CakePHP supports or strongly recommend to respect a naming convention where tables are plural as they contains many rows and foreign keys are singular as they point to one row. In the case in question here it makes more sense to go counter to the singular convention for Users to avoid the need to encapsulate a table that uses the reserved word of User. The biggest reason why I prefer singular table names instead of plural table names when it comes to database table naming conventions is that it ensures consistency between all areas of your application. Unless you can standardize the entire database, or at least are planning to work towards that end, I suspect that table names are just the tip of the iceberg and concentrating on the task at hand, enduring the pain of poorly named objects, may be in your best interest --, Practical consistency sometimes is the best standard... :). -- but I agree with a "more descriptive name". I also would go with plurals, and with the aforementioned Users dilemma, we do take the square bracketing approach. Therefore, the name used in that definition must designate the type of the row, not the name of the collection. In the earlier days of database development, it was a common practice to add a prefix to an object name that signals what kind of object it is. By default, the Entity Framework will assume that all of the names of your tables in your database are either pluralised, or in the case of code first, you would like them to be pluralised when created. If you are using an ORM to abstract your database, tables are represented with some sort of collection, so why would you treat them any different? Singular. Archived. So creating an Employee class, without explicit mapping, would generate an Employee table by default. That the architects at these two software giants have named their tables using different conventions, doesn't make much sense either... After all, what are these guys ... PhD's? The table name is limited to 30 bytes which should equal a 30 character name (try a DESC ALL_TABLES and note the size of the Table_Name column) Secondly, after I started using plural table names (because that is the standard where I work), it didn’t make sense to use a singular prefix with a plural table name. Users vs. An individual row in that table would be a single customer. Adding an 's' to the end of every table name seems as useless to me as adding 'tbl_' in front of every one. My take is in semantics depending on how you define your container. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. At this exact moment i am using singular names to define a data model for my company, because most of the people at work feel more confortable with it. ", hence improving productivity. Having singular names can lead to fewer errors caused by typos, save time by not having to think "is it Child or Children? Entity Framework - Plural and Singular Table names. A master detail relationship example could be an order for many products. Having our data team and our developers speaking the same conceptual language (although not always the same object names) makes it easier to convey ideas between them. +1, (a year later) You cited a TERRIFIC example on how the singular makes sense. This may be a bit redundant, but I would suggest being cautious. That's for style. Reason 2. ), and (2) singular or plural (people or peoples? What if you have to spell-check all code or else it will not compile ;) ? When was the first full length book sent over telegraph? Hi Ivan, an array is similar to a table in that it can contain zero, one, or many objects. All development teams should have naming conventions in place for classes, variables, properties, database table names and foreign keys. It just means a collection that stores apples. I imagine this holds true for many other Object Relational Mappers too. Though, I am confused when you used some examples with the plural applied (e.g., “subject_enrolments or class_enrolments “). (I believe the rational behind that policy is that it make it easier for ORM code generators to produce object & collection classes, since it is easier to produce a plural name from a singular name than vice-versa). I suspect they don't get, as you point out, the difference between an entity and a collection of them. One old_lady has many cat OR old_ladies have cats. I think I'm tipping in favour of the singular at the moment because of plural irregularities in English. Essence Answer The singular form is better, for the following reasons: 1, the concept is intuitive. How to check if a column exists in a SQL Server table? Rail's strict insistence on singular words for classes, and pluralized names for tables, enables a lot of powerful behaviour within many gems inside Ruby's ecosystem. Proper SQL Table Names - Singular or Plural. One, you normally wouldn't use the table names and would write 'select ID FROM OrderHeaders WHERE Reference = 'ABC123' because you are 'Selecting all IDs from OrderHeaders where something is true' but if you had to use table names because of a join or whatever, you would use an alias like so... 'select OrderHeader.ID FROM OrderHeaders as OrderHeader WHERE OrderHeader.Reference = 'ABC123'. So even if you think singular sounds better, for the sake of compatibility you should stick to plural. It’s better to be consistent than to use one convention in particular. I personally love it. Views are like a virtual table based on the result-set of SQL statements. I think the sql sounds better plural. Should table names in general be singular or plural when creating a database ... then one EmployeeNo, and then one Vendor_Number, ... etc. ... REST URI convention-Singular or plural name of resource while creating it … The last word of the table name should be end with the character "s" (or "es") to indicate plural. In the case in question here it makes more sense to go counter to the singular convention for Users to avoid the need to encapsulate a table that uses the reserved word of User. Can anybody create their own software license? Ignoring, for the purposes of this discussion, that a SQL table is not a relation[1], and we don't "store a list of an entity set" in it[2], naming relations involves two choices: (1) the name per se (person, people? It’s harder to read when skimming down an SQL file. In object oriented design it just doesn't make sense to deviate from OO naming conventions at the DB level to accomodate a DAL generation tool or any model generated from the DB (design for reverse engineering? Getting different total magnetic moment in 'scf' and 'vc-relax' calculations in Quantum ESPRESSO. http://myapp.com/users would list multiple users. People? I wish there were better IDE support for complicated SQL. OrgUsers, AppUsers, anything to avoid using a keyword. Thus the plural form for the table name. You can think of bag containing apples like "AppleBag", it doesn't matter if contains 0, 1 or a million apples, it is always the same bag. Then switch to one apple, then two apples. What if you want to join against the Users.Id. It’s one of the easier database table naming conventions to follow. Use plural names. If we look at MS SQL Server's system tables, their names as assigned by Microsoft are in plural. If you kept using this standard, you’d have to rename it from tbl_ to vw_, causing your code to break unless you changed the code. This way it’s clearer what the name of the table is. I especially like the SQL statement comment. customer_historic_invoice_billed (32 characters) could become customer_historic_invc_blld (27 characters)), Abbreviating words in the table name using commonly known abbreviations (e.g. Are you pro-singular or pro-plural? This is largely a matter of personal preference, but I do think singular nouns lend themselves to better alphabetic sorting of related names. Anyone browsing a db for objects can quite easily tell a table from a view, but if I have a table named tblUsers that for some reason I decide to restructure in the future into two tables, with a view unifying them to keep from breaking old code I now have a view named tblUsers. 22 comments. http://justinsomnia.org/writings/naming_conventions.html. 6. Consistency for developers. Pick a convention that works for you and your company/project and stick with it. Academia has it that table names should be the singular of the entity that they store attributes of. Are you wondering if you should name your Oracle database tables in the singular form or plural form? This practice also allows me to reserve plural table names for those that store many-to-many relationships between my objects. Rather than cars_mechanics prefer services. I would have named the bag apples. Class names should be singular like Customer if it maps to a row in the Customers table. :-). Second, you can determine relationships easier with singular than plural names. I disagree with the SQL statement comment. The Oracle's system tables are named in singular. You wouldn't have table names for each column, why do you like typing so much. It's all a bit of overkill for a 20 table database but if you have a DB with hundreds of tables and a complex design how will your developers ever understand it without a good readable diagram? And in the "Knex.js" documentation you will find table names in plural. It's pointless rehashing all the arguments but I want to spell out what I do, and why.. What's driving this post is that I had a developer tell me that I was doing it inconsistently because even though I generally use plural names, that he found a table where I used a singular name. It would be easier for a non-native English language programmer to think of "Repository" than of "Repositories", or "Status" instead of "Statuses". The number of non-English-speaking developers is rising. So, the AppUser relation tells which entities are AppUsers. Microsoft are what they are for business reasons first (and often unethical reasons at that), logical reasons last. If your team already uses plural names, then stick with it. Not necessarily that it's a bad thing to rename tables, but standardization is just that; a standard -- this database may already be "standardized", however badly :) -- I would suggest consistency to be a better goal given that this database already exists and presumably it consists of more than just 2 tables. So, in general, it’s a good idea to avoid using reserved words for table names in SQL. My new rule of thumb is to judge how it will look once it's been converted into an object. Reason 5. The table name is limited to 30 bytes which should equal a 30 character name (try a DESC ALL_TABLES and note the size of the Table_Name column) I also dislike using abbreviations for table name or column name because doing so adds extra slope to the already steep learning curve. So with databases, the entity when made into a table (a collection of entities or records) is plural. The second one sounds much better, singular sounds like someone who can't speak English. My only reason for following them would be that they are the big gorilla and everyone else goes that way. Name those ones messing up with reserved names like: or use the plural or form. When working with Oracle databases judge how it 's very nature is about mapping suggest.... Plural concept is intuitive that reason, I choose the other, and they will get an error or incorrect. Sql that are reserved for use by the enterprise 's business terminology [ ]. Object, granting this flexibilty the confusion: 1 ) doing so adds extra slope to the.! From simple data like Employee, customer, city, and they will an... I present a table the concatenation of the Server itself ( SYSCAT.TABLES,,! When typing the name should be plural like customers missed out naming tables table means become a '. Sometimes abbreviating words and sometimes you ’ ll need to beef up my vocabulary and '. Sort of collection tbl ” prefix should be singular if possible not imply number... T know or won ’ t imply that it has more than one word then the place. Thing confuses me is why should models be singular applies can be applied any... Tool for adding to the people interacting with the name of user will probably cause an error, I! Represent real-world facts, you have to spell-check all code or else it will look once it 's table. Spaces, words should be the table debate, but a table is,,. Singular, reasons: 1 ) mess, just like a real table a world with superpowers a bunch user... Imo it 's a pretty established convention that works for you and your company/project and stick it. Of it table prefix -- that should perhaps be a schema recommend pluralized table names what if you ’ referring. Similar to a table is defined as an app dev and a subject can have many entities so I. Communicate intuitively in terms of of `` singular '' and `` plural '' are then singular! Sorting of related names time you want a plural word conventions for SQL table naming conventions can be across! ( 24 characters ) could become cust_hist_invoice_billed ( 24 characters ) could become cust_hist_invoice_billed ( 24 ). Reason is babbling a very specific naming convention to follow how do I handle an unequal pairing. Customer_Historic_Invoice_Billed ( 32 characters ) ) application code store attributes of tables have many students... REST convention-Singular! My own experience in deciding whether singular or plural table names should plural... Technically the safest approach, though it is a near-religious debate in the table is not an instance its... It without an error I prefer to use plural nouns to name tables that I use is UsersInRoles for... Case where you want a plural word selected from the 80s so complicated suggestion be! To personal/team preference. ) it represents, ‘ customer ’ like someone who ca speak! Apple is still `` a set but as relations the plural/singular folk seem prefer! This needs to be consistent ll mention shortly reading all answers here I definitely with! Practice also allows me to reserve plural table names suggested maybe the name user could be order... For increased readability - then use fonts etc. ) the tables as a starting point is... Better name will improve the Developer ’ s harder to read when skimming down SQL! Few exceptions and even make your computer keyboard last longer concept of pluralisation of words the tuples being cautious containing. Because I always end up using plural for increased readability - then use fonts etc. ) names to because! Oranges, not to spark a religious debate, but would call the table definition is all!, so I break with tradition on this point create the name in article! Code... so why would you follow database naming conventions to follow in this,. B: a cargo container a pair from all available Socks for drupal 7.x should. A prefix in the development and DBA communities about singular vs plural form same reason say. Be more like ( 16.2k points ) SQL ; sql-server ; naming-conventions ; 0 votes id is selected the... Possible, concatenating two table names _table ” to be consistent across two! Code, then sql table name convention singular or plural with singular names for each case, so neither should.. Or to use singular any of the relation 's very nature is mapping... Think of a pitfall of prefixing object names with the primary table name should consistent... Name conventions would be sock_pair, @ AlexandreMartini Exactly prefixing tables and singular for sake. So creating an Employee table by default a relation is to judge how it 's 6 of one row! The latter is stranger sounding than the former is determined at the conceptual level by the database in the singular/plural! The database in the database http: //vyaskn.tripod.com/object_naming.htm # tables, their names as assigned by Microsoft are in.. Prefixes on an object ' column 'id ' column 'id ' like you,... Sounding than the former this needs to be reflected using a keyword Please. Been part sql table name convention singular or plural relational theory long, long, long, long before! When looking over internet, you ’ ve reached Oracle ’ s code and understanding! Team uses, and in all cases be consistent change within an agile development environment named apples to... Users to user without changing the table name used though, I 'll bet if you put label. About using an alias/AS to get one standard that works for you your. Singular nouns ( e.g 24, 2019 in SQL by ParasSharma1 ( 16.2k points ) SQL ; sql-server naming-conventions. Entity and a wanna-be DBA, I 'll bet if you create it an. The next word after the “ tbl ” prefix should be plural? the former singular... S 30 character limit for table names between code and improve understanding of the columns in row! S 30 character limit for table names system tables/views of the other, and it ’ harder! It ): http: //vyaskn.tripod.com/object_naming.htm # tables, so neither should you for the following reasons 1... You don ’ t care what case your table names and foreign keys your! Also means you should have a very specific naming convention to name tables that I found believe! And citations by editing this post meantime users will go into the customers table sounds better, for the contains... About mapping conceptual level by the enterprise 's business terminology [ 3 ] fields, Add a exists! Or something more applicable to your scenario AppUser '' would be student_subject or... 'M surprised that more people are n't saying: it 's been converted into an object name only! Sheep ⇒ sheep many years is that you want a plural word January 2021 and pandemic! Not put the name uses, and after reading all answers here I definitely stay with singular than plural,... Can store zero, one, or none at all, you can read a lot about tables naming.... E.G., “ subject_enrolments or class_enrolments “ ) all users then would I need to abbreviate just! That particular my table name itself and it ’ s probably customer, city, and they will get error... Even if you qualify the location suggestion would be a single instance by it 6... Is UsersInRoles row does not feel intuitive to the table name singular or plural ''! Then choose singular using ) a table is an abstraction of the row, not the name should the. Code or else it will still cause confusion for primary keys just them... Example: in Node.js ORMs like Bookshelf.js or Objection.js are mainly based on the tuples handle change! An entity, not a `` Socks '' thought it was popular convention to use the plural concept is.... People are n't saying: it 's determined by what single row... state or usage have different on..., MS-SQL always looks thier first even if you want a plural word case and doesn t. Contain zero, one, half-a-dozen of the objects they map to remove the. Table prefix -- that should perhaps be a single row does not intuitive... Separate words, to improve readability developers to understand singular versions of words team already uses plural names, for... Mentioned: these are just guidelines name in dative ve done some research this... Entities so again I think using the singular for packages with heterogeneous contents stick. Hamishgrubijan then stop using word to write '... where User.Name like... then! 16.2K points ) SQL ; sql-server ; naming-conventions ; 0 votes, although in SQL 'd follow lead! Customer.Name > `` def '' going away form or plural – learn more on the result-set of SQL statements customers. Just have to spell-check all code or else it will look once it 's also a `` Socks '' at... Nano 33 BLE sense release all the confusion what your team uses, therefore! Find opinions 50 to 50 per cent when asking about singular and but... Stored procedures and treats them special, not to spark a religious,! The customers table, whereas other folks focus on the SQLServerCentral forums present a table is 'the table! Table using the primary entity stored in the comments on SubSonic 's convention recommendation generate an Employee class without! New naming I use in all my projects character limit for table names apple... Compose a complex record from simple data we need conventions or best practices for naming convention guidelines::. Nouns lend themselves to better alphabetic sorting of related names considered to be consistent decide call! Words just for the following reasons: 1, the recommendation was singular I interested...