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Information Modeling and Relational Databases

Full title: Information Modeling and Relational Databases, Second Edition

Author(s): Terry Halpin, Tony Morgan

Year: 2008

Keywords: Information model, semantics, natural language, fact-based modelling

Reading this book provides a solid and timeless foundation for every professional who is working with or will be working with:
• Describing business processes and information ‘in concert’;
• Structured and understandable documentation of business rules;
• Drawing up a conceptual (sometimes also called: logical) (data)model of an information system;
• Writing functional designs / specifications.

The great tome of nearly 950 pages describes in an excellent way how to devise a conceptual model of a (business) domain. Object-Role Modeling is primarily applied for this. ORM is an approach within the fact-based modelling world. Based on natural language facts are describes that people record and consult, for example at performing business processes.

The authors describe how you model those facts, including all kinds of constraints (also: business rules) that apply. The steps to be performed are formalized in the Conceptual Schema Design Procedure (CSDP).

Applying ORM results in an information model that can be represented both graphically (in the form of a diagram) as well as textually as two sides of the same coin. The book contains a lot of diagrams, with regard to a plethora of domains. In a lot of examples the verbalization (the textual representation) of the diagrams is given. The book supports professionals in modelling complex situations.

Besides ORM the book also discusses the approaches Entity-Relationship modelling (ER) and class diagramming within the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The authors clarify how situations are modelled in ORM on the one hand and ER or UML on the other hand.

A selection of other topics:
• SQL;
• Normalization;
• Process modelling;
• Activity diagrams (UML);
• Data Warehousing and OLAP;
• Semantic Web.