Wanted: Database Models

by James C
Summary:

The topic of data modeling has always been hard for students to grasp. Even though the there are many techniques on data modeling, no one standardized method has been agreed on by educational institutions. In order for developers to understand the connections between entities and their relationships they first must study the entity relationship (ER) modeling technique. Despite the effectiveness of this technique, though, many developers, as seen through their work, are still having trouble using, learning, and integrating with it. To add to this dilemma, many developers are also having additional issues with combining the object-oriented approach with the entity relationship modeling technique. This article sheds some light on the subject of which modeling technique is more effective, the UML or ER modeling technique. The debate between the better of the two are is not answered, but rather explored. Both methods having similar issues, like dealing with multi-valued attributes, for example. One real issue that did arise in the end was that database designers and system analysts are in constant disagreement. Both systems analysts and database designers are both comfortable with different ideas. SA’s are at ease with object-oriented programming methods. Database designers are more structured and mathematically centered.

Reflections:

I feel that most individuals that enter these types of fields, systems analyst and database designer, are already comfortable in dealing with structured or methodical subjects. I myself am the type that likes to start a project by laying out the requirements and material needed first. I always find that the I have to remind myself to focus achieving my goal and not widening the requirements of the project.

The search for better techniques have always been a continuous struggle. With new and evolving technology on the horizon, I’m sure that UML and ER modeling won’t be the only players in the market. Maybe the incoming techniques yet to be discovered will bring about more cohesion between the communication of system analyst and database designers.

Citations:

Chilton, M. A., McHaney, R., & Chae, B. (2006). Data modeling education: The changing technology. Journal of Information Systems Education, 17(1), 17-17-20. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/200168756?accountid=10357