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Explain the concept of a surrogate key.
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Database Processing: Fundamentals, Design, and Implementation
Edition: 15th
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A surrogate key is an artificial key that is created to act as the primary key for a relation. The surrogate key is a unique, numeric value that is appended to the relation. Surrogate keys are used in situations when no suitable primary key exists within the user data, or when all available primary keys within the data are too cumbersome for an efficient design. Surrogate key values have no meaning to the users and are normally hidden on all forms, reports, and displays. Most DBMS products can automatically generate values for surrogate keys as needed.
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