Category Archives: Data Modeling

Revised ERwin model after DBRE

A Database Reverse Engineering Case Study

In a blog last year we discussed database archaeology, which is another name for database reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is the inverse to normal development. We start with an application and work backwards to understand the software and infer its content.

This month we’ll take a further look at database reverse engineering, from the perspective of a simple case study. We’ll reverse engineer the database beneath WordPress and populated with a snapshot of the data for this website. The case study illustrates mechanics and the kinds of insights that reverse engineering can provide.

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Runners as a metaphor for agile

Agile Techniques Are Helpful with Databases

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I’ve been practicing agile database techniques for about twenty years now. My use of agile techniques didn’t start as an explicit plan. Rather it evolved over time as I was working on consulting projects. It made sense to look for ways of working faster and better and with greater customer interaction.

I can think of at least three kinds of agile database techniques.

  • For data modeling.
  • For data warehouse development.
  • For database reverse engineering.

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Focus on Quality

Operational Model Quality

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Quality is an underappreciated aspect of data models. The purpose of a model is not just to capture the business requirements, but also to represent them well. A high quality model lessens the complexity of development, reduces the likelihood of bugs, and enhances the ability of a database to evolve. There are both qualitative and quantitative measures of quality.

This is the first of a two-part series. This blog discusses quality for day-to-day operational applications. Next month’s blog will discuss data warehouses.

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data model

Ten Reasons Why Developers Ignore Data Models

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Why do some developers think they can dive in and build a database application without first constructing a data model? They are violating the whole premise of software engineering which is to think before acting. Data modeling provides a means for focusing the mind and is necessary for a systematic, repeatable approach to development.

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