Subscribe to RSS feed  Follow @jackvamvas - Twitter

*Use the Comments section for questions Links


SQL Server DBA Jobs

Definition of a scalar value in a relational database

04 October,2014 by Tom Collins

Question: What is a scalar value in a relational database?

Answer:  A scalar value refers to a single value . For example, string number , variable and column. A scalar value is in contrast to a set of values.

In mathematical terms , every point in space is represented as a  scalar value.

Establishing the definition of a scalar value leads us onto Scalar Aggregates and Scalar Functions.  A single value is returned from these constructs.  The MIN() function is an example of a Scalar Aggregate i.e returns one value. GetDate() is a scalar function and returns one value.

Scalar and database design

The concept of scalar extends into database design. Generally, a normalized database will have scalar columns i.e there won’t be multiple values in a column representing different attributes. You wouldn’t place , house number and house color in one column. On a normalized database you’d maintain scalar values by place house number and house color in different columns

Read More on Data Architecture

DBA - Database Architect - Data Architect - What’s the difference ?

SQL Server - ISO-11179 Naming Conventions and SQL DDL

What is First Normal Form, Second Normal and Third Normal Form

Author: Tom Collins (


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment on Definition of a scalar value in a relational database | SQL Server Performance Tuning | SQL Server DBA:Everything | FAQ | Contact|Copyright & Disclaimer