Explain the difference between logical and physical data independence.

Logical data independence means that users are shielded from changes in the logical structure of the data, while physical data independence insulates users from changes in the physical storage of the data.

Consider the Students relation from that example (and now assume that it is not replaced by the two smaller relations). We could choose to store Students tuples in a heap file, with a clustered index on the sname field. Alternatively, we could choose to store it with an index on the gpa field, or to create indexes on both fields, or to store it as a file sorted by gpa. These storage alternatives are not visible to users, except in terms of improved performance, since they simply see a relation as a set of tuples. This is what is meant by physical data independence.


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