Single Table Inheritance

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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.[1] 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.

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  1. ^ Martin Fowler Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture (2003), p. 278

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