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Using ERwin Data Modeler

Using ERwin Data Modeler

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data modeling with erwin
data modeling with erwin

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Published by: api-3814149 on Oct 19, 2008
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Point 1:Using ERwin Data Modeler for OptimalDatabase Design
ERwin is a database design tool used to create Entity Relationship (ER) diagrams. You canuse the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of ERwin to create and maintain graphical modelsthat represent databases and their structures. The models can be implemented acrossdifferent platforms, such as Oracle, SQL Server, and Sybase.This ReferencePoint explains how to create a data model using ERwin. It also describes thedifferent features of Erwin, such as layering and transformation.
Data Modeling Concepts
Data modeling enables you to formulate information structures and capture business rules.Data structures are defined to store the data associated with a data model. These structuresprovide a description for the information that flows in a data model. The graphicalrepresentation of a data model depicts the relationships between the storage datastructures.Each data model has two components - logical and physical. The logical componentestablishes the data requirements to implement business rules. It also represents businessrules using entities, attributes, and the relationships between them. The physical componentmaps the data values with the physical databases.
ERwin supports Integration Definition for Information Modeling (IDEFIX) andInformation Engineering (IE) modeling standards.
Entities and Attributes
Attributes are used to apply the business rules to a data model. The values stored in theattributes identify the characteristics of an entity.Entities represent the identities, physical objects, and other elements, about whichinformation is stored in the data models. An entity can be a tangible object, such as a book,or a logical object, such as a business unit. Each entity contains a name, description, andassociated attributes. The values in the attributes identify each element of the entity class.In ERwin, an entity is the graphical representation of logically grouped data. It represents aclass that consists of data and data structures. The ER diagram provides a visualrepresentation of relationships among the entities in a data model. In these diagrams, anentity is represented by a rectangular box.An independent entity does not require information from another entity to uniquely identify itscontent. In contrast, a dependent entity must have information associated with another entityin the data model. It requires a primary key (PK) value of another entity to identify itsinstances uniquely. The database uses this property to identify the instances of entitiesstored in tables.The key attributes are:
Primary Key: Defines a single attribute or a set of attributes to identify the instances ofentities. All relationships in a data model are based on primary keys. Domain experts
help identify a primary key and discover its attributes. Each key attribute is called acandidate key.
Simple: Defines an attribute that has been reduced to its smallest possible granularityand is completely dependent on the primary key for values. Each simple attribute musthave a value.
Derived: Defines an attribute derived from the values of one or more attributes. Theseattributes are dependent on other attributes in the data model for their values.
Foreign Key (FK): Defines a single attribute or a set of attributes that are primary keysfor another entity. These are the key attributes that migrate to another entity in a datamodel.The different types of entities are:
Core: Describes the entities in a data model on which the business rules are applied.The core entities are also called the primal entities. They can be dependent orindependent. The core entities identify the entity classes that can be reused in a datamodel. All core entities are extensively reused to implement standardization, reduceimplementation time, and minimize changes or errors.
Code: Describes independent entities. They are also called reference entities. Thevalues assigned to the attributes of the code entities identify unique instances of therecord values in a database.
Subtype: Describes dependent entities. They are used to store a different set ofattributes for the same entity. The siblings of the subtype entity are related to theirparents using an inclusive or exclusive relationship.
Associative: Describes the entities that have primary keys that are composite andconsist of values from two or more entities. These entities help resolve a many-to-manyrelationship in which many instances of one entity are related to many instances ofanother entity.
Redundant: Describes the entities that have different names but contain information onthe same object. These entities are used when a role is modeled for an entity.
Overloaded: Describes the entities that contain information on multiple objects in adata model. These entities do not have values for each of their attributes.
Relationships in a Database
In ERwin, relationships are illustrated using a verb phrase that defines how the two entitiesare related to each other and a line that connects the two entities. The identifyingrelationships are represented in the logical model and the physical model using one or moreforeign key attributes.The cardinality of a relationship is the number of child and parent entities related by therelationship. The degree of a relationship is the number of attributes related to each other inany two entities. When the degree of a relationship is unary, an instance of the entity isrelated to itself. This is also called a recursive relationship. The direction of a relationshipindicates the originating entity in a binary relationship. The originating entity is called theparent entity and the terminating entity is called the child entity.The different types of relationships are:
Identifying: Defines a relationship that identifies instances of child entities based on thevalues of the attributes in a parent entity. The child entity is dependent on the parententity.
Subtype: Defines a relationship that relates a parent entity to one or more childentities. This type of relationship identifies one or more instances of an attribute set inthe child entities. If there is only one child entity, the relationship is called exclusive. Incase there is more than one child entity, the relationship is called inclusive.
One-to-One: Defines a relationship that relates a single instance of one entity with asingle instance of a second entity. The parent and child entities are related using aprimary key to identify instances of the attribute values.
One-to-Many: Defines a relationship that relates a single instance of one entity tomany instances in the second entity. The instances of the second entity are identifiedusing composite keys.
Many-to-Many: Defines a relationship that relates a single instance of one entity tomany instances in the second entity, and a single instance of the second entity to manyinstances of the first entity. These relationships are resolved using the composite keysand the associate keys of the parent entity.
Designing Key Constraints
Key constraints are designed to uniquely identify the instances of entities. This is done afterall the data structures required to store the data are defined. The constraints are also usedto restrict the range of values that attributes can take.ERwin uses a horizontal line to separate the key area that holds the primary key from thenonkey areas in a data model. The nonkey attributes store the values for the attributes. Thekey attributes do not include a Null value and should not be changed randomly. It isimportant to avoid any change to a key attribute because all relationships are based on thevalues of the key attributes.The candidate keys in a primary key should be minimum for efficient indexing and dataretrieval. A primary key migrates to the child entities to identify the relationship between theoriginating entities and the terminating entities. The migrated primary key of the first entity iscalled a foreign key in the second entity. ERwin uses a solid line to represent the identifyingrelationships between the parent entity and the child entity. A dashed line in ERwin betweenthe parent and child relationship indicates a nonidentifying relationship.
Tuning Database Models
The process of normalization defines the way in which the attributes in an entity are relatedto each other and to the primary key. Normalization can be used to fine-tune the databasemodels. It minimizes the redundancy of information in a database, which in turn minimizesambiguities. Null values also waste the memory allocation for database records and result inidentity conflicts when the data is retrieved.The resolution of a database to the first normal form moves the repetitive attributes toseparate entities. A dependent entity that has a set of attributes to represent the redundantinformation is created. The resolution of a database to the second normal form removes theredundant attributes. The attributes that do not have a value for the instances of the entitiesare also removed in the second normal form. The resolution to the third normal form relatesall the attributes to the primary key. It terminates the association of the attributes to the otherkeys in the data model.
Using ERwin
ERwin enables you to create graphical database models to define relationships.To modify the database design, you need to change the physical model. ERwin divides largebusiness data structures and models into smaller models for better manageability. TheSubject Areas are used to hold smaller subsets of the larger data model. ERwin captures

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