I usually work with databases that are parent-child relationship (with nested levels). I guess this can be seen as a normalized database. Recently, I have seen databases that are designed a bit different but still pretty effective. There would be hundreds of tables but all tables (the records) are tied together by a designated key (UniqueIdentifier) to all tables. I guess this can be seen as a denormalized database.
For example, lets say we have a patient table that has unique record for each patient. This table drives and ties the rest of the tables with the designated key (UniqueIdentifier) for a patient.
Are there advantages vs disadvantages in this database design compared to the traditional nested parent-child relationship design? One advantage that I see with this design so far is that it is so much easier to track down data. Take the key and do a "WHERE" on a table.
Hmmm... Are my questions related to Normalize vs Denormalize design? Maybe that is what I should google on. Is Denomalize design usually tie by keys? And it makes sense since these database are for reporting tiers