Let us first try to grasp the definition of the two keys.
Candidate Key – A Candidate Key can be any column or a combination of columns that can qualify as unique key in database. There can be multiple Candidate Keys in one table. Each Candidate Key can qualify as Primary Key.
Primary Key – A Primary Key is a column or a combination of columns that uniquely identify a record. Only one Candidate Key can be Primary Key.
One needs to be very careful in selecting the Primary Key as an incorrect selection can adversely impact the database architect and future normalization. For a Candidate Key to qualify as a Primary Key, it should be Non-NULL and unique in any domain. I have observed quite often that Primary Keys are seldom changed. I would like to have your feedback on not changing a Primary Key.
I have illustrates the difference between a candidate key and a primary key in SQL Server.
2 An Example to Understand Keys
2.1 Select a key that does not contain NULL
2.2 Select a key that is unique and does not repeat
2.3 Make sure that Primary Key does not keep changing
3 Selection of Primary Key
4 Quick Note on Other Kinds of Keys
Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)
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