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Data Modeling Essentials - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780126445510, 9780080488677

Data Modeling Essentials

3rd Edition

Authors: Graeme Simsion Graham Witt
eBook ISBN: 9780080488677
Paperback ISBN: 9780126445510
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 4th November 2004
Page Count: 560
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - What Is Data Modeling?
1.1 Introduction
1.2 A Data-Centered Perspective
1.3 A Simple Example
1.4 Design, Choice, and Creativity
1.5 Why Is the Data Model Important?
1.6 What Makes a Good Data Model?
1.7 Performance
1.8 Database Design Stages and Deliverables
1.9 Where Do Data Models Fit In?
1.10 Who Should Be Involved in Data Modeling?
1.11 Is Data Modeling Still Relevant?
1.12 Alternative Approaches to Data Modeling
1.13 Terminology
1.14 Where to from Here?—An Overview of Part 1
1.15 Summary

Chapter 2 - Basics of Sound Structure
2.1 Introduction
2.2 An Informal Example of Normalization
2.3 Relational Notation
2.4 A More Complex Example
2.5 Determining Columns
2.6 Repeating Groups and First Normal Form
2.7 Second and Third Normal Forms
2.8 Definitions and a Few Refinements
2.9 Choice, Creativity, and Normalization
2.10 Terminology 60
2.11 Summary 61

Chapter 3 - The Entity-Relationship Approach
3.1 Introduction
3.2 A Diagrammatic Representation
3.3 The Top-Down Approach: Entity-Relationship Modeling
3.4 Entity Classes
3.5 Relationships
3.6 Attributes
3.7 Myths and Folklore
3.8 Creativity and E-R Modeling
3.9 Summary

Chapter 4 - Subtypes and Supertypes
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Different Levels of Generalization
4.3 Rules Versus Stability
4.4 Using Subtypes and Supertypes
4.5 Subtypes and Supertypes as Entity Classes
4.6 Diagramming Conventions
4.7 Definitions
4.8 Attributes of Supertypes and Subtypes
4.9 Non-Overlapping and Exhaustive
4.10 Overlapping Subtypes and Roles
4.11 Hierarchy of Subtypes
4.12 Benefits of Using Subtypes and Supertypes
4.13 When Do We Stop Supertyping and Subtyping?
4.14 Generalization of Relationships
4.15 Theoretical Background
4.16 Summary

Chapter 5 - Attributes and Columns
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Attribute Definition
5.3 Attribute Disaggregation: One Fact Per Attribute
5.4 Types of Attributes
5.5 Attribute Names
5.6 Attribute Generalization
5.7 Summary

Chapter 6 - Primary Keys and Identity
6.1 Basic Requirements and Trade-Offs
6.2 Basic Technical Criteria
6.3 Surrogate Keys
6.4 Structured Keys
6.5 Multiple Candidate Keys
6.6 Guidelines for Choosing Keys
6.7 Partially-Null Keys
6.8 Summary

Chapter 7 - Extensions & Alternatives
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Extensions to the Basic E-R Approach
7.3 The Chen E-R Approach
7.4 Using UML Object Class Diagrams
7.5 Summary

Chapter 8 - Organizing the Data Modeling Task
8.1 Data Modeling in the Real World
8.2 Key Issues in Project Organization
8.3 Roles and Responsibilities
8.4 Partitioning Large Projects
8.5 Maintaining the Model
8.6 Packaging It Up
8.7 Summary

Chapter 9 - The Business Requirements
9.1 Purpose of the Requirements Phase
9.2 The Business Case
9.3 Interviews and Workshops
9.4 Riding the Trucks
9.5 Existing Systems and Reverse Engineering
9.6 Process Models
9.7 Object Class Hierarchies
9.8 Summary

Chapter 10 - Conceptual Data Modeling
10.1 Designing Real Models
10.2 Learning from Designers in Other Disciplines
10.3 Starting the Modeling
10.4 Patterns and Generic Models
10.5 Bottom-Up Modeling
10.6 Top-Down Modeling
10.7 When the Problem is Too Complex
10.8 Hierarchies, Networks, and Chains
10.9 One-to-One Relationships
10.10 Developing Entity Class Definitions
10.11 Handling Exceptions
10.12 The Right Attitude
10.13 Evaluating the Model
10.14 Direct Review of Data Model Diagrams
10.15 Comparison with the Process Model
10.16 Testing the Model with Sample Data
10.17 Prototypes
10.18 The Assertions Approach
10.19 Summary

Chapter 11 - Logical Database Design
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Overview of the Transformations Required
11.3 Table Specification
11.4 Basic Column Definition
11.5 Primary Key Specification
11.6 Foreign Key Specification
11.7 Table and Column Names
11.8 Logical Data Model Notations
11.9 Summary

Chapter 12 - Physical Database Design
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Inputs to Database Design
12.3 Options Available to the Database Designer
12.4 Design Decisions Which Do Not Affect Program Logic
12.5 Crafting Queries to Run Faster
12.6 Logical Schema Decisions
12.8 Summary

Chapter 13 - Advanced Normalization
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Introduction to the Higher Normal Forms
13.3 Boyce-Codd Normal Form
13.4 Fourth Normal Form (4NF) and Fifth Normal Form (5NF)
13.5 Beyond 5NF: Splitting Tables Based on Candidate Keys
13.6 Other Normalization Issues
13.7 Advanced Normalization in Perspective
13.8 Summary

Chapter 14 - Modeling Business Rules
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Types of Business Rules
14.3 Discovery and Verification of Business Rules
14.4 Documentation of Business Rules
14.5 Implementing Business Rules
14.6 Rules on Recursive Relationships
14.7 Summary

Chapter 15 - Time-Dependent Data
15.1 The Problem
15.2 When Do We Add the Time Dimension?
15.3 Audit Trails and Snapshots
15.4 Sequences and Versions
15.5 Handling Deletions
15.6 Archiving
15.7 Modeling Time-Dependent Relationships
15.8 Date Tables
15.9 Temporal Business Rules
15.10 Changes to the Data Structure
15.11 Putting it into Practice
15.12 Summary

Chapter 16 - Modeling for Data Warehouses and Data Marts
16.1 Introduction
16.2 Characteristics of Data Warehouses and Data Marts
16.3 Quality Criteria for Warehouse and Mart Models
16.4 The Basic Design Principle
16.5 Modeling for the Data Warehouse
16.6 Modeling for the Data Mart
16.7 Summary

Chapter 17 - Enterprise Data Models and Data Management
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Data Management
17.3 Classification of Existing Data
17.4 A Target for Planning
17.5 A Context for Specifying New Databases
17.6 Guidance for Database Design
17.7 Input to Business Planning
17.8 Specification of an Enterprise Database
17.9 Characteristics of Enterprise Data Models
17.10 Developing an Enterprise Data Model
17.11 Choice, Creativity, and Enterprise Data Models
17.12 Summary


Data Modeling Essentials, Third Edition, covers the basics of data modeling while focusing on developing a facility in techniques, rather than a simple familiarization with "the rules". In order to enable students to apply the basics of data modeling to real models, the book addresses the realities of developing systems in real-world situations by assessing the merits of a variety of possible solutions as well as using language and diagramming methods that represent industry practice.

This revised edition has been given significantly expanded coverage and reorganized for greater reader comprehension even as it retains its distinctive hallmarks of readability and usefulness. Beginning with the basics, the book provides a thorough grounding in theory before guiding the reader through the various stages of applied data modeling and database design. Later chapters address advanced subjects, including business rules, data warehousing, enterprise-wide modeling and data management. It includes an entirely new section discussing the development of logical and physical modeling, along with new material describing a powerful technique for model verification. It also provides an excellent resource for additional lectures and exercises.

This text is the ideal reference for data modelers, data architects, database designers, DBAs, and systems analysts, as well as undergraduate and graduate-level students looking for a real-world perspective.

Key Features

  • Thorough coverage of the fundamentals and relevant theory
  • Recognition and support for the creative side of the process
  • Expanded coverage of applied data modeling includes new chapters on logical and physical database design
  • New material describing a powerful technique for model verification
  • Unique coverage of the practical and human aspects of modeling, such as working with business specialists, managing change, and resolving conflict


Data modelers, data architects, database designers, DBAs, systems analysts; undergraduate and graduate-level students


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2004
4th November 2004
Morgan Kaufmann
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"The perfect balance of theory and practice, giving the reader both the foundation and the tools to deliver high-quality data models." --Karen Lopez, Principal, InfoAdvisors, Inc.

"The complete guide to data modeling for the reflective practitioner. Students like this book and so do I -- it is clear and accessible without sacrificing rigor." --Professor Graeme Shanks, School of Business Systems, Monash University, Australia

"A unique, practical and comprehensive guide, providing an invaluable resource to anyone involved in data modeling from the novice to the expert data modeler." --Len Silverston, author of The Data Model Resource Book, Volumes 1 and 2.

"Includes an extraordinary amount of good, useful, and well articulated information about the field." --David Hay, President, Essential Strategies, Inc. and author of Data Model Patterns

"Data Modeling Essentials is a fresh look at an old topic...much more accesible and refreshing in its tone and attitude. Simsion's explanations are very clear and his examples easy to follow...This book is useful for both beginners and experienced data modelers who want a new innovative approach to the important task of documenting data requirements." - The Bridge --Barbara A. Carkenord

"The book is extremely well-written. It is humorous at times, full of useful anecdotes, and follows a very logical sequence...In summary, I found Data Modeling Essentials, Third Edition, very useful for data modelers at any level of experience." --DM Review

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Graeme Simsion

Graeme C. Simsion has over 25 years experience in information systems as a DBA, data modeling consultant, business systems designer, manager, and researcher. He is a regular presenter at industry and academic forums, and is currently a Senior Fellow with the Department of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia

Graham Witt

Graham C. Witt is an independent consultant with over 30 years of experience in assisting enterprises to acquire relevant and effective IT solutions. His clients include major banks and other financial institutions; businesses in the insurance, utilities, transport and telecommunications sectors; and a wide variety of government agencies. A former guest lecturer on Database Systems at University of Melbourne, he is a frequent presenter at international data management conferences.

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent Consultant, Sydney, Australia