Using High-Level Conceptual Data Models for Database Design




Using High-Level Conceptual Data Models for Database Design

This is a simplified overview of the database design process. The first step shown is requirements collection and analysis. During this step, the database designers interview prospective database users to understand and document their data requirements. The result of this step is a concisely written set of users’ requirements. These requirements should be specified in as detailed and complete a form as possible. In parallel with specifying the data requirements, it is useful to specify the known functional requirements of the application. These consist of the userdefined operations (or transactions) that will be applied to the database, including both retrievals and updates. In software design, it is common to use data flow diagrams, sequence diagrams, scenarios, and other techniques to specify functional requirements. We will not discuss any of these techniques here; they are usually described in detail in software engineering .

Once the requirements have been collected and analyzed, the next step is to create a conceptual schema for the database, using a high-level conceptual data model. This step is called conceptual design. The conceptual schema is a concise description of the data requirements of the users and includes detailed descriptions of the entity types, relationships, and constraints; these are expressed using the concepts provided by the high-level data model. Because these concepts do not include implementation details, they are usually easier to understand and can be used to communicate with nontechnical users. The high-level conceptual schema can also be used as a reference to ensure that all users’ data requirements are met and that the requirements do not conflict. This approach enables database designers to concentrate on specifying the properties of the data, without being concerned with storage and implementation details. This makes it is easier to create a good conceptual database design.

During or after the conceptual schema design, the basic data model operations can be used to specify the high-level user queries and operations identified during functional analysis. This also serves to confirm that the conceptual schema meets all the identified functional requirements. Modifications to the conceptual schema can be introduced if some functional requirements cannot be specified using the initial schema.

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The next stelp in database design is the actual implementation of the database, using a commercial DBMS. Most current commercial DBMSs use an implementation data model—such as the relational or the object-relational database model—so the conceptual schema is transformed from the high-level data model into the implementation data model. This step is called logical design or data model mapping; its result is a database schema in the implementation data model of the DBMS. Data model mapping is often automated or semiautomated within the database design tools.

The last step is the physical design phase, during which the internal storage structures, file organizations, indexes, access paths, and physical design parameters for the database files are specified. In parallel with these activities, application programs are designed and implemented as database transactions corresponding to the highlevel transaction specifications

 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Ans: In this section we discuss the concepts of concurrent execution of transactions and recovery from transaction failures. view more..
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Ans: Several types of locks are used in concurrency control. To introduce locking concepts gradually, first we discuss binary locks, which are simple, but are also too restrictive for database concurrency control purposes, and so are not used in practice. Then shared/exclusive locks - also known as read/write locks - which provide more general locking capabilities and are used in practical database locking systems. view more..
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Ans: Recovery from transaction failures usually means that the database is restored to the most recent consistent state just before the time of failure. To do this, the system must keep information about the changes that were applied to data items by the various transactions. view more..
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Ans: Conceptual modeling is a very important phase in designing a successful database application. Generally, the term database application refers to a particular database and the associated programs that implement the database queries and updates. view more..
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Ans: Data is converted into information, and information is then evaluated and organised so that it can be used purposefully as knowledge. view more..
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Ans: A database system is a collection of interrelated data and a set of programs that allow users to access and modify these data. A major purpose of a database system is to provide users with an abstract view of the data. That is, the system hides certain details of how the data are stored and maintained. view more..
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Ans: In this section we discuss the concepts of concurrent execution of transactions and recovery from transaction failures view more..
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Ans: This chapter discusses techniques for securing databases against a variety of threats. It also presents schemes of providing access privileges to authorized users. view more..
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Ans: A database system provides a data-definition language to specify the database schema and a data-manipulation language to express database queries and updates. view more..
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Ans: Database design mainly involves the design of the database schema. The design of a complete database application environment that meets the needs of the enterprise being modelled requires attention to a broader set of issues. view more..
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Ans: A relational database is based on the relational model and uses a collection of tables to represent both data and the relationships among those data. view more..
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Ans: A relational database is based on the relational model and uses a collection of tables to represent both data and the relationships among those data. view more..
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Ans: A relational database is based on the relational model and uses a collection of tables to represent both data and the relationships among those data. view more..
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Ans: A database system is partitioned into modules that deal with each of the responsibilities of the overall system. The functional components of a database system can be broadly divided into the storage manager and the query processor components. view more..
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Ans: A transaction is a collection of operations that performs a single logical function in a database application. view more..
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Ans: The architecture of a database system is greatly influenced by the underlying computer system on which the database system runs. Database systems can be centralized, or client-server, where one server machine executes work on behalf of multiple client machines. view more..
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Ans: The term data mining refers loosely to the process of semi-automatically analysing large databases to find useful patterns. view more..
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Ans: Researchers have developed several data-models to deal with these application domains, including object-based data models and semi-structured data models. view more..




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