“In the context of databases, cardinality refers to the uniqueness of data values contained in a column. High cardinality means that the column contains a large percentage of totally unique values. Low cardinality means that the column contains a lot of “repeats” in its data range.”
Whilst researching today, I came across a word that I’d never heard before – Cardinality. As indicated above, in the context of OSS databases, it has significant importance so I’m surprised that I’ve never heard any colleagues mention it over the last decade in OSS.
When architecting a solution, the cardinality of each data set (both in the OSS and in the source data) must be understood. For example, an OSS naming convention for network elements invariably needs complete uniqueness (ie high cardinality) to differentiate between each and every device in the network. But the port table will potentially have low cardinality, with port-names being the same across devices, although each port will be uniquely referenceable via inheritance of card and then device object IDs.
Great word! I hope I get the chance to use it on a live project soon. 😀