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ER Database Modeling Diagram and Software

One of the chief goals of a database management system is to provide convenience and efficiency in managing substantial volumes of information from your database. Management includes retrieval or storing of information from the database. These large-scale bodies of information are essential for every company or business type that buys or sells products and services. This may include anything from simple contact profile information of all of your employees for your records.

A list of prices associated with various products in your inventory storeroom is a “relationship” (R) between price points and the actual product.  An additional relationship that can be derived is a history of individuals that may have previously purchased a specific product, the date that transaction occurred, the form of payment made and how the item was shipped. The “entities” (E) in this equation are 1) Price points 2) Product Description 3) Contact 4) Purchase Date 5) Transaction Type 6) Shipping information. All of this information is important when the client returns for a reorder and your ability to retrieve all these data points in hopes of improving the customer experience. It is the database designer’s job to draw a functional diagram (D) between these entities and their relationships to each other.

Among the 5 data models being used in database designing, the relational model is probably the most commonly-used by database designers. A relational data model is basically a record-based model where data and relationships are represented by a collection of tables consisting of columns and rows. ERD or the Entity-Relationship Diagram is the method used in the modeling.Here are some of the ERD diagram examples to further illustrate the concept:

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The Process

The relational data analysis tools assist an IT professional or engineer in building subsequent relationships by categorizing similar attributes found within the data set using the three building blocks: entity, relationship and attributes. Entities can be simply thought of as nouns like a person (employee, customer, or client) a place, or objects (items sold, bought or discarded). A relationship will then be drawn out between these entities. Relationships can also be simply thought of as a verb used to link two or more nouns. Both entity and relationship will now be identified with their attributes. For example: a pack of roasted peanuts has an expiration date or ED attribute. The attribute will describe an entity’s distinct identifying characteristic and will serve as its primary key.

The Application

Needless to say, there is a large variation of applications for a properly designed database model. Using a db design tool to help build these relationships between various datasets and apply attributes is a must when dealing with large volumes of data. The data programming language for database models in Microsoft sql client vary from those found in other platforms like Oracle for example.  When working within an existing database, it is necessary to understand the current design with relational data analysis tools prior to introducing new entities so that you may take advantage of an existing ERD diagram. You can find ERD diagram examples online to get a better understanding. Most designers will agree that database modeling software is absolutely necessary to provide a robust ERD regardless of the platform used for your database. Not every db design tool will offer the value, usage and compatibility required by your project so it is important to choose the best database design tool for your project.

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