Uses for Physical and Implementation Data Models{1}

by Alexander V










The article was about the differences between the physical and implementation data models and the different users who the models are suited for. The physical data model shows what the design should look like and the implementation data model shows how the design should be implemented.  An example of a physical data model would be the star schema and an example of the implementation data model is a set of views shown over a normalized set of tables. The main question answered in the article is what data model do organizations use and why. What data model the organization uses depends on what users will be using the model. The physical data model is sufficient for the less technical users and the implementation data model is better suited for more technical users.


The article is related to week two’s topic in that it covers data modeling. I found the article to be very interesting since I always thought  that there was only one type of data model. I did not know that certain data models were better suited for less technical users and other data models were better suited for more technical users. I agree with the author that for most users of the organization that the physical data model is sufficient. I have not used the implementation model enough to comment about its uses. What I basically understood from the article was that the implementation data model could include any type of detail such as certain constraints, rules, permissions, etc.

I thought the article could have explained the implementation data model in more depth. I understood what a physical data model was since the author used the star schema as an example and we covered that in class. I basically had no idea what the implementation data model was after reading the article a couple of times. I had to use Google to find more information about what an implementation data model is and what it is used for. I think the implementation data model is a more useful data model in comparison to the physical data model. From what I read from other articles, it allows users to apply different implementations of a design to different types of environments.


Hoberman, S. (2011). Physical data model versus implementation data model. Information Management, 21(5), 26. Retrieved from
Maloney, Sean. Data-Modeling Vs. Implementation Modeling. Sql Server World Wide User’s Group Publications. Retrieved from