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Why shouldn't we allow NULLs?

I've heard that it's a bad idea to do database design such that nullable fields exist. However, eliminating nullables often cause much more complex schemas.

Given a schema where elimination of the NULL is considerably more complex (e.g. replace any instance of NULLs with a separate table which gets JOIN'd), or using a nullable field, which is the better action, and why?

marked as duplicate by Marian, jcolebrand Sep 7 '11 at 18:48

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migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com Sep 7 '11 at 18:35

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