Title: ER modelling – a zoom in and zoom out approach

Authors: Xiong Wang

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, California State University, Fullerton, P.O. Box 6870, Fullerton, CA 92834-6870, USA

Abstract: Entity-relationship modelling is an effective design method for relational databases. It is covered in almost every textbook on database systems. Yet, there is not a single book that gives a systematic process on building an entity-relationship model step-by-step from the requirement specifications. In this paper, a zoom in and zoom out approach for such a process is introduced. A toolkit called ERZoom has been developed to assist the designer in the zoom in and zoom out design process. ERZoom provides a unique feature that enables the designer to view a selected subset of the entities and their attributes, while hiding the rest of the entity-relationship model. This is especially useful in distributed database design where vertical fragmentation is a major issue. ERZoom is developed as an open source package using Java. The zoom in and zoom out approach has been taught to beginners for several years and was well-received by the audience.

Keywords: entity-relationship modelling; conceptual modelling; relational database design; data modelling; distributed database design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDMMM.2009.029031

International Journal of Data Mining, Modelling and Management, 2009 Vol.1 No.4, pp.357 - 374

Published online: 29 Oct 2009 *

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