Institute for Informatics
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Databases and Information Systems

Uni Göttingen

Referential Integrity in Databases

Referential Integrity is a well-known notion in relational databases, in general represented by FOREIGN KEY to PRIMARY KEY referential constraints. Referential Integrity maintenance is supported in the SQL standard by referential actions, e.g., ON DELETE CASCADE. In our previous work, we have investigated a logic-based semantics of referential actions, showing that referential actions in general cause severe problems. For XML data, referential integrity carries over with the XML schema key and keyref concepts, showing that the problem remains relevant in the database world.