1.4. ER diagrams

In this lecture we look at...
[Section notes PDF 75Kb].

1.4.01. ER Diagrams and Relational mapping

  • Design communication techniques
    • ER diagrams
    • ER to relational mapping
  • Entities to Objects
  • Type Inheritance
    • EER diagrams
    • UML
  • Web DB Integration

1.4.03. Design in the modern context

  • Team based development
  • Documentation
    • Value of design over description
  • DB sketching (left hand side)
    • Concept more important than perfection
    • Design iteration
  • Mini-world as approximation
    • Categorisation to create entities
    • Verb’ing to create actions/relationships

1.4.04. Database Left:right divide

  • Design
    • Catalog, Meta-data, Intension, or Database schema
    • Entity type
    • Relationship type
  • State
    • Set of occurences/instances, Extension, snapshot
    • Entity set
    • Relationship set

Entity and Relationship, types and set in the context of the database design and data divide

1.4.05. Basic ER diagram

  • Typically part of a system
  • (Strong) Entities
    • Product
    • Customer
    • Payment
  • Relationships
    • Sale

simple entity-relationalship (ER) diagram

1.4.06. Mapping ER to Relation DB tables

  • Intuitive mapping
    • Entities as tables
    • Attributes as columns
  • Relationships are more difficult
  • Key sharing mechanism
    • Foreign key references primary key
  • Where to put the foreign key forms the intuitive guide to the rest of
    the mapping

1.4.07. ER to Relational mapping

  • Step-by-step approach
  1. Strong entities
    • Create relation including (simplified) attributes
  2. Weak entities
    • Create relation inc. attr, foreign/pri key of owner
  3. Binary relationship S:T, 1:1
    • Choose relation, say S (with total participation) and inc. foreign/pri
      key of T
    • inc. relationship attributes

1.4.08. Cardinality

  • Specifies number of relationship instances a single entity can participate in
  • S:T (1:1)
  • An entity from table S can is related to one, and only one entity from table T
  • 1:1, 1:N, N:M

1.4.09. ER to Relational mapping

  1. Binary relationship 1:N
    • Choose relation T (N-side) inc. foreign/pri key of S
  2. Binary relationship M:N
    • Create relation, inc. foreign/pri keys of S&T
  3. Multivalued
    • For each mv_attr, create new relation, inc. foreign/pri key of parent
  4. n-ary relationship
    • Create new relation, inc. all foreign/pri keys of participating

1.4.10. Participation

  • Participation constraints
  • Existence of an entity dependant upon
    • being related to another entity
    • via relationship type (left hand/design)
  • Total (")/Existence
    dependency (double line)
    • Every student must be in a faculty
    • For every entity in the total set of students
  • Partial ($) (single line)
    • Some students are student_representatives
    • There exists some entity(s) within the set of all…

1.4.11. Library example

  • Library example
  • Entities: Person, Book, Librarian
  • Time-perspective implications

Library example ER diagram