Data Modeling and Universal Patterns

by Wendy O

The article that I read appears to be a summary of a book “The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 3: Universal Patterns for Data Modeling.” The article helps define the differences between reusable data models and patterns. Patterns are described to be the core templates that are independent to any particular application. They mainly provide the underlying structure so that modelers can reuse these to build any model. Most commonly used to extend and develop just about any type of data model.

In more general terms, a pattern in data modeling can be described as a template that serves as a guide for developing data models. The article also provides a general understanding of the different levels of generalization. Level 1 is specific, level 3 is generalized. The higher the level, the more “generalized” the model, not to be confused with “normalization”. Normalization tends to eliminate redundancies; whereas generalization has to do with using more flexible build.


I liked this article because it provided a very basic understanding of what universal modeling is. They gave great examples and they helped answer some standard questions. One thing I found useful was the question and answer regarding whether to use a specific or a generalized pattern. The author basically tells you to determine whether the purpose of your data model is to illustrate and communicate information requirements or if it’s to provide a sounds foundation for a database design. If it is to illustrate and communicate, a more specific data model should probably be used. Otherwise, a level 3 or 4, more generalized pattern, should be used.

Its related to this week’s chapter because it covers Universal Data Modeling. I learned that universal patterns for data modeling are more or less used to stay consistent. They build upon common models allowing the builder to have some confidence of knowing that the patterns are true
and tested. They are general builds that work in every day real life.

Agnew, p., Silverstone, l.. (2009, February ). What are universal patterns for data modeling?. Retrieved from Http://www.Univdata.Com/portals/9/udm_publications_article_universal_patternsfordatamodeling_beye_newsletter. Pdf.