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Data Modeling

Data Modeling and Database Design and Development – including popular approaches such as Agile and Waterfall design - provide the basis for the Visualization, and Management of, Business Data in support of initiatives such a Big Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Data Security, and other enterprise-wide data-driven objectives.



Data Modeling Articles

Dates are important. Without dates how can anything be planned? However, due dates have been know to increase in importance in the delivery of software solutions. Sometimes the due date becomes such an overwhelming creature of importance that the date is more important than following best practices, more important than verifying that what is built is correct, more important than the solution team gaining a proper understanding of the work they are attempting to perform.

Posted April 05, 2011

Embarcadero has introduced DB PowerStudio for DB2 to provide DB2 developers and DBAs with a toolset that brings greater functionality and efficiency to their development, database administration and performance tuning tasks. According to Embarcadero, the new DB PowerStudio for DB2 combines several essential database tools into an aggressively priced suite that extends beyond the capabilities of IBM's database utilities. Following recent introductions of similar toolsets aimed at Oracle, SQL Server and Sybase ASE users, DB PowerStudio for DB2 meets the needs of both DB2 database developers and administrators, helping both improve the performance and availability of their databases.

Posted March 21, 2011

The understanding of object states and their transitions obviously is of great importance to the solution developers because as processes are built they will need to support each state and every possible transition. Additionally, knowledge of object states and transitions is of vital importance to the data modeler because the data must be persisted across each of those states, and often the state of an object needs to be easily identifiable. A data model minimally requires a reference table, along with the varying entities that reference that table (the foreign keys tracking an individual object's status). Specific states drive variations of required attributes or combinations of those attributes that apply to one state and not another. The logical definition of the database can identify these variations through the use of supertype/subtype constructs.

Posted March 09, 2011

CA Erwin Data Modeler r8, a solution for collaboratively visualizing and managing data across multiple systems, was announced by CA Technologies. Enhanced visualization and different ways to visualize data models in non-traditional formats is a main theme of the release, Donna Burbank, senior director of marketing, Data Management, CA Technologies, tells 5 Minute Briefing. The goal is to help ERwin, an established product with a 20-plus-year track record, to reach new audiences, in particular, business and non-technical users, as well as to provide improved workflow for traditional CA Erwin Data Modeler users.

Posted February 23, 2011

CA Technologies says it is now shipping a toolset for collaboratively visualizing and managing data across multiple systems. The product, CA Erwin Data Modeler r8, offers enhanced visualization and different ways to visualize data models in non-traditional formats. "We completely ripped out our old user interface and put in a new one," Donna Burbank, senior director of marketing, Data Management, CA Technologies, tells 5 Minute Briefing. With features like graphics, themes, fonts, and auto layout, she observes, "It is really more like a drawing tool on the front with the power of a data modeling tool behind it."

Posted February 22, 2011

A new toolset designed to streamline common and complex tasks associated with developing, administering and optimizing Oracle databases, has been announced by Embarcadero. The new toolset, called DB PowerStudio for Oracle, combines several of Embarcadero's most popular database tools into a suite that is intended to make it easier for Oracle developers and DBAs to shorten database development and administration times, and to improve the performance and availability of their databases. The toolset is available in a Developer Edition and a DBA Edition.

Posted February 17, 2011

CA Erwin Data Modeler r8, a solution for collaboratively visualizing and managing data across multiple systems, was announced by CA Technologies. Enhanced visualization and different ways to visualize data models in non-traditional formats is a main theme of the release, Donna Burbank, senior director of marketing, Data Management, CA Technologies, tells 5 Minute Briefing. The goal is to help ERwin, an established product with a 20-plus-year track record, to reach new audiences, in particular, business and non-technical users, as well as provide improved workflow for traditional CA Erwin Data Modeler users. "We completely ripped out our old user interface and put in a new one," says Burbank. With features like graphics, themes, fonts, and auto layout, she observes, "It is really more like a drawing tool on the front with the power of a data modeling tool behind it."

Posted February 15, 2011

Embarcadero is providing SQL Server developers and DBAs with a toolset designed to simplify many common and complex tasks associated with developing, administering and optimizing SQL Server databases. The new toolset, dubbed DB PowerStudio for SQL Server, combines several of Embarcadero's most popular database tools into a lower-cost studio offering. DB PowerStudio for SQL Server is available in two editions, a Developer Edition and a DBA Edition. Both editions include tools and capabilities including Rapid SQL, an integrated development environment that simplifies SQL scripting, query building, object management and version control in live databases or offline source code repositories. The overlapping Developer and DBA Editions reflect the converging roles of DBAs and developers in the database space, Scott Walz, senior director of product management for Embarcadero, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted February 08, 2011

Oracle has announced a new version of its data modeling tool, Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 3.0. The new release supports collaborative development through new integration with popular open source version control software, as well as the incorporation of user-defined design rules and transformation scripts.

Posted February 02, 2011

Referential integrity helps manage data by enforcing validation between related entities. This enforcement follows logical semantics behind the database design -- i.e., an employee can only work for an already defined department; a prescription can only be written by a health care practitioner with the proper authority. A Foreign Key on an Employee table rejects data when any attempt is made to insert or update a row with a department value that does not already exist as a department identifier within a Department table.

Posted February 02, 2011

When designing a system an architect must conform to all three corners of the CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity and Accessibility) triangle. System requirements for data confidentiality are driven not only by business rules but also by legal and compliance requirements. As such, the data confidentiality (when required) must be preserved at any cost and irrespective of performance, availability or any other implications. Integrity and Accessibility, the other two sides of triangle, may have some flexibility in design.

Posted January 07, 2011

Back in the 1970s, the ANSI SPARC three-tiered model arose, foreshadowing a smooth intertwining of data and architectural design. The three tiers concept isolated the physical storage needs of data structures independent of business' perception of these structures. The three levels were comprised of schemas labeled external, conceptual, and internal, with each level describing the data in focus from varying perspectives.

Posted January 07, 2011

QSM Associates is shipping an updated version of the SLIM software lifecycle management solution, which incorporates support for Agile software development methodologies. A product of McLean, Virginia-based QSM, Inc., the new release, SLIM Suite 8.0, addresses development concerns with Agile methodologies, which emphasize iterative approaches working as small teams with business users.

Posted December 21, 2010

How does one know what one doesn't know? When evaluating what one knows, it is hard to know where to begin. The wise men say, "The more you know, the more you know you don't know." If one believes such commentary, what is known constitutes the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Databases have an easier time with such missing circumstances. If the rows of a database table are lacking referents, an outer join query filtering for NULLs might detail for you all the missing items. In developing and delivering projects, such a reference list for our minds to link to does not exist, for an outer join or anything else. Often, we do not know everything that needs to be done, particularly as a project starts. The difference between success and failure is not so much what one knows, but in how one handles the gaps between what is known now and what needs to be known before one finishes.

Posted November 30, 2010

The year 2010 brought many new challenges and opportunities to data managers' jobs everywhere. Companies, still recovering from a savage recession, increasingly turned to the power of analytics to turn data stores into actionable insights, and hopefully gain an edge over less data-savvy competitors. At the same time, data managers and administrators alike found themselves tasked with managing and maintaining the integrity of rapidly multiplying volumes of data, often presented in a dizzying array of formats and structures. New tools and approaches were sought; and the market churning with promising new offerings embracing virtualization, consolidation and information lifecycle management. Where will this lead in the year ahead? Can we expect an acceleration of these initiatives and more? DBTA looked at new industry research, and spoke with leading experts in the data management space, to identify the top trends for 2011.

Posted November 30, 2010

Talend, an open source data management software vendor, announced it has acquired Sopera, a provider of open source SOA and middleware platforms, creating a global company specializing in open-source middleware solutions.

Posted November 23, 2010

Embarcadero Technologies has announced the availability of ER/Studio XE, database design and data modeling tool suite. This latest version offers improvements in the user experience, and enhanced scalability and performance.

Posted November 17, 2010

Embarcadero Technologies has announced the availability of ER/Studio XE, database design and data modeling tool suite. This latest version offers improvements in the user experience, and enhanced scalability and performance.

Posted November 17, 2010

Psychiatrists report play is important for keeping our minds and bodies healthy and happy. It has been uncovered that without at least some play, we mentally and physically deteriorate. Lack of play can lead to depression. Our brains are so hardwired in their need for playful activities that without such expressions we loose focus. Play enhances the creativity and imagination within us. Likewise, play has a proper role within our work. And not just for the psychological benefit to the individual, but for the overall health of the organization. For an IT development group, play is essential for finding better ways to approach problems. Within an IT context, play involves evaluating new ways to handle old problems. Prototyping, at times, constitutes play. Prototypes can be used for more than just the practicalities of the user interface; sometimes a prototype of specific functions is necessary for comparisons in order to judge how non-obvious techniques may perform. Such prototype endeavors can involve not only new algorithms, but potentially variant data structures. Ideally, such prototypes will improve team understanding of the data structures and offer insights into potential new and innovative approaches.

Posted November 09, 2010

Embarcadero Technologies today announced the availability of ER/Studio XE, database design and data modeling tool suite. This latest version offers improvements in the user experience, enhanced scalability and performance, and expanded database management system (DBMS) support for Netezza's TwinFin appliance.

Posted November 09, 2010

Aimed at further streamlining the development of database-centric web applications, Oracle has introduced Oracle Application Express Release 4.0. The new release helps reduce the time and complexity of building opportunistic Web 2.0 applications and reports. Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a feature included at no additional cost with all editions and releases of Oracle Database 11g. The 4.0 release helps reduce the time and complexity of building opportunistic Web 2.0 applications and reports, and is available now for download from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

Posted June 29, 2010

Embarcadero Technologies has released Rapid SQL XE, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE) that enables developers and database administrators (DBAs) to produce high quality SQL code faster. Rapid SQL XE includes direct native support for heterogeneous database environments from a single user interface, and debuts support for Embarcadero InterBase and the open source Firebird database, in addition to full Unicode support.

Posted May 20, 2010

Embarcadero Technologies has released Rapid SQL XE, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE) that enables developers and database administrators (DBAs) to produce high quality SQL code faster. Rapid SQL XE includes direct native support for heterogeneous database environments from a single user interface, and debuts support for Embarcadero InterBase and the open source Firebird database, in addition to full Unicode support.

Posted May 11, 2010

It is rare to find an implemented database devoid of reference tables. Reference tables provide valid values for drop-down lists and in a slightly obtuse way, also allow for expression of a domain or user-defined data type within the database design. Nominally a reference list is but a list of values to be referenced. In practice, the implemented structure of a reference table is driven by small nuances regarding how each list is used. The signifiers may consist of a code or number that creates a short-hand way of expressing a state or value. Yet in addition to such simple codes, a "medium length" name column or even a column to contain a lengthy text description should exist in support of these codes. The names may be used in drop-down lists so that people need not memorize many code values, and the descriptions can assist help-functions by providing users with more understanding of a value's meaning or intended use. For operational applications it may be worthwhile to have an attribute expressing the order in which items should be displayed, unless alphabetical display is a preference. If codes are maintained via online screens, an indicator may be helpful in flagging values that are part of the system and not to be removed or deactivated via those online screens.

Posted May 10, 2010

Sybase reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. "We are off to a very good start this year," stated John Chen, chairman, CEO and president of Sybase, during a conference call last week. "We are very pleased to report our 10th consecutive record quarter. The highlights include historical first quarter highs in revenue, operating margin, earnings and cash flow. We also have double digit growth in total revenue as well as license growth and message revenue growth."

Posted April 29, 2010

Sybase technical experts are planning a series of Developer Days throughout the United States and Europe to showcase the latest releases of its industry-leading development software. All seminars are free and run from 8:30am - 2pm local time (timing may vary slightly by location) with breakfast and lunch included.

Posted April 29, 2010

Oracle also announced Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA) Foundation Pack 11gR1. Oracle AIA provides an open, standards-based approach for organizations to integrate cross-application business processes, leveraging a broad range of custom, Oracle or third-party applications, while gaining efficiencies, increasing competitive edge and enabling lower total cost of ownership.

Posted April 21, 2010

At COLLABORATE 10 this week, Quest Software has been showcasing a new release of Toad for Oracle that provides greater automation in Oracle development, administration, and query and reporting. Toad for Oracle 10.5 builds upon the next-generation enhancements of Toad 10, saving money for the organization and time for the end user.

Posted April 21, 2010

Sybase today announced the availability of Sybase PowerBuilder 12. The new release of Sybase's rapid application development tool enables developers to easily and cost effectively create or migrate their business applications on the Microsoft .NET Framework, for modern and visually appealing application user experiences. Sybase today announced the availability of Sybase PowerBuilder 12. The new release of Sybase's rapid application development tool enables developers to easily and cost effectively create or migrate their business applications on the Microsoft .NET Framework, for modern and visually appealing application user experiences.

Posted April 20, 2010

Quest Software, Inc., a Visual Studio Industry Partner and maker of Toad for Oracle, has announced the launch of Toad Extension for Visual Studio. Toad Extension for Visual Studio is a database schema provider that will support complete application lifecycle management (ALM) for Oracle in Visual Studio 2010, unifying Oracle developers with the rest of the Visual Studio development team.

Posted April 20, 2010

Far too often we all talk past one another. This cross talking, while not always drastic, remains perceived as an understood fuzziness. Much of the time we ignore these minor miscommunications because precision and clarity are not necessarily critical in all situations. If the general gist is effectively understood between those communicating, that generality may be all that is necessary. Those involved in the communication may feel comfortable that assumptions made to "fill in the gaps" will fall within an acceptable range. Although the lack of clarity in the message communicated may be acceptable, in other circumstances it may not be acceptable.

Posted April 07, 2010

Oracle has announced AutoVue 20.0, the first release of the product planned from day-one under Oracle ownership. AutoVue joined Oracle as part of the Agile acquisition in 2007 and solves one central challenge, Thierry Bonfante, director product strategy for Oracle's AutoVue solutions, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "What we provide is a way to open any files, any documents that have been generated by any applications whether it is very simple applications like Microsoft Office or TIFF [Tagged Image File Format] or JPEG [Joint Photographic Experts Group] up to the very advanced 2D and 3D CADs [computer aided designs] that are used in aerospace and defense, construction, utilities, oil and gas."

Posted April 07, 2010

IBM has announced plans to go online with its commercial cloud service for software development and testing, allowing enterprise and government clients to test and develop on an IBM Cloud.

Posted March 18, 2010

IBM has announced plans to go online with its commercial cloud service for software development and testing, allowing enterprise and government clients to test and develop on an IBM Cloud.

Posted March 18, 2010

Software AG has introduced NaturalONE, a new Eclipse-based toolset for enterprise application development. NaturalONE is an IDE that lets developers code and test applications (using the Natural language), expose Natural objects as web services, and create rich web interfaces for their applications. In this way, NaturalONE lets the developer produce applications that not only support enterprise SOA and BPM, but also appeal to business users outside the IT group.

Posted March 17, 2010

Progress Software Corporation yesterday announced the launch of a new business solution intended to enable enterprises to improve business performance. The solution, Progress Responsive Process Management suite (RPM), combines comprehensive visibility, business event processing and business process management (BPM) capabilities on a single, unified platform. "The reason we've created this suite is in response to what we have been seeing in our customer base. Our customers want to gain what we call ‘operational responsiveness.' In other words, to have a business that is highly adaptive, can anticipate opportunities and threats, and respond before they have been missed, or before it is too late," Dr. John Bates, Progress Software CTO, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Posted March 16, 2010

IBM today announced plans to go online with its commercial cloud service for software development and testing. IBM, which already delivers a test and development cloud, is now allowing enterprise and government clients to test and develop on an IBM Cloud. According to IBM, the average enterprise devotes up to 50% of its entire technology infrastructure to development and test, but typically up to 90% of it remains idle. IBM's approach to cloud is intended to complement clients' current data centers and traditional development efforts.

Posted March 16, 2010

Pegasystems Inc., a provider of business process management (BPM) software solutions, and Chordiant Software, Inc., a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software and services, have announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Pegasystems to acquire Chordiant. Under the terms of the agreement, Pegasystems will make a cash tender offer of $5.00 per share for all outstanding shares of Chordiant common stock for a total purchase price of up to approximately $161.5 million, assuming all outstanding shares are tendered. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Q2 2010.

Posted March 16, 2010

Rocket Software is planning a complimentary webcast series focused on the latest release of RocketU2 SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA). SB/XA is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) and deployment environment delivering up-to-the-minute interface design and portable reporting capabilities. Existing SB+ applications can automatically convert without requiring changes to the underlying code.

Posted March 04, 2010

Primary keys come from candidate keys. Each candidate key consists of the attribute or attributes used to label a distinct row in a table. Every candidate key should contain the fewest number of attributes possible to identify rows individually and uniquely. Every entity within a design requires at least one candidate key.

Posted March 04, 2010

BlueFinity International, part of the Mpower1 group of companies, has announced that support for Microsoft Silverlight within mv.NET Solution Objects will be available with the formal release of Visual Studio 2010, which has been scheduled by Microsoft for April 2010.

Posted February 24, 2010

Rocket Software has announced that a new version of the SystemBuilder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA) Personal Edition is available for customers now using Personal Editions of UniData or UniVerse. This new version incorporates all the features and benefits provided in SB/XA 6.0.1. SB/XA 6.0.1, released in November 2009, is designed to maximize its customers' investments in U2 technology. SB/XA is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) and deployment environment that delivers up-to-the-minute interface design and portable reporting capabilities. Existing SB+ applications can automatically convert without requiring changes to the underlying code.

Posted February 09, 2010

There are still a few exhibitor opportunities available for the 2010 Users Conference, which will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., April 27-30. Exhibitors have the opportunity to book a booth or table top and sponsorships include admission for one attendee with a second attendee free, as well as additional amenities.

Posted February 09, 2010

Designing a data model that supports the reporting and analytical functions is no different, initially, than any other modeling effort. Understanding the data is crucial. The data architect or modeler needs to feel comfortable with dimensional modeling techniques and needs to obtain a working knowledge of the universe of discourse for the subject-at-hand. A good start in gathering this knowledge begins by reviewing the operational data structures containing the identified source elements. The challenge in designing analytical solutions is found in applying best practices for analytics simply and effectively.

Posted February 09, 2010

Progress Software Corporation, a provider of enterprise operations software, announced yesterday at its Global Field Operations Conference the acquisition of Savvion Inc., a privately held business enterprise software company based in Santa Clara, Calif., for approximately $49 million, net of cash acquired.

Posted January 12, 2010

The process for designing a database that supports the operational functions of an organization begins with simple understanding. The data architect or modeler needs to obtain a working knowledge of the language comprising the universe of discourse for the solution. This awareness is gathered through many activities, such as talking with the people currently doing the work, sitting with them and watching how they do their tasks, reading over existing training manuals or standard operation procedures. The designer is best served when figuratively walking a mile in the shoes of the future application users. The more that the designer knows about the user needs and goals, the better able the designer is to definitively craft a data model supporting user tasks.

Posted January 11, 2010

To further enhance developer productivity and simplify Oracle Database development, Oracle announced the availability of Oracle SQL Developer Release 2.1, the latest release of the free database development and migration tool. Oracle SQL Developer Release 2.1 introduces two key capabilities—PL/SQL Unit Testing and Data Modeler Viewer — in addition to enhancements to the software overall.

Posted January 06, 2010

Looking for an easier way to develop and test applications? Join IBM on Thursday, December 17, 2009, at 12pm ET to hear how Linux and IBM software can expedite the development and test of applications in the cloud More than just a presentation, this webcast will take you from the theory of cloud computing to practice in a few simple steps and give you the confidence to explore cloud computing further with the IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud.

Posted December 16, 2009

In composing a data model, the structures are put together thoughtfully and with intention. Data structures emerge from the application of semantics germane to the universe-of-discourse and filtered through the rules of normalization. Each table expresses meaning, with columns that are self-evident. The best models reduce the data items within the covered subject area into obvious arrangements. However, this simplicity often confuses observers, persuading many that modeling itself must therefore be a simple task. DBMS tools often incorporate wizards that facilitate the quick definition of tables which are then immediately created within the chosen database. These tools enable the developer to build tables in the blink of an eye. At times some prototypes are approached in this fashion, and while this provides for placeholders, such slapped-up table structures are insufficient for an industrial strength solution. Under these instant-table setups, developers often have no problem reworking large sections of code for minor changes, or misusing data elements to mean many things while making the determination of meanings at a specific point-in-time less clear. Unaware of these less-than-stellar consequences, users become confused; they often wonder why modeling tasks should ever need to be done because the proof of concept worked, didn't it?

Posted December 14, 2009

Underlining the value of a leveraged development model and a growing appreciation of the fact that it is not necessary for all applications and products to be built from the ground up, a new study finds that businesses and organizations implementing multi-source development with open source software benefit from significant cost savings and improved application development efficiencies. The survey of enterprise development organizations was conducted by Black Duck Software, a global provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source software.

Posted November 18, 2009

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