Single Table Inheritance
Single table inheritance is a way to emulate object-oriented inheritance in a relational database. When mapping from a database table to an object in an object-oriented language, a field in the database identifies what class in the hierarchy the object belongs to. In Ruby on Rails the field in the table called 'type' identifies the name of the class. In .NET Framework, it is called the Discriminator column.
- Martin Fowler Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture (2003), p. 278
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