What is an Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD)? - Definition from Techopedia
An entity is a real-world item or concept that exists on its own. Entities are equivalent to database tables in a relational database, with each row of the table . An entity–relationship model (ER model for short) describes interrelated things of interest in a An ER model is typically implemented as a database. In a simple relational database implementation, each row of a table represents one instance . CS Home Data Modeling ERD Entities Relationships Attributes Example kd8mq.info Software Lab Assignment Entities: Number of tables you need for your database. kd8mq.info
For example, a Building has one-or-more Rooms, that hold zero-or-more Computers. One would expect to be able to query the model to see all the Computers in the Building. However, Computers not currently assigned to a Room because they are under repair or somewhere else are not shown on the list.
Another relation between Building and Computers is needed to capture all the computers in the building.
Entity–relationship model - Wikipedia
This last modelling issue is the result of a failure to capture all the relationships that exist in the real world in the model. See Entity-Relationship Modelling 2 for details. Entity—relationships and semantic modeling[ edit ] Semantic model[ edit ] A semantic model is a model of concepts, it is sometimes called a "platform independent model".
It is an intensional model. At the latest since Carnapit is well known that: The first part comprises the embedding of a concept in the world of concepts as a whole, i. The second part establishes the referential meaning of the concept, i.
Extension model[ edit ] An extensional model is one that maps to the elements of a particular methodology or technology, and is thus a "platform specific model". The UML specification explicitly states that associations in class models are extensional and this is in fact self-evident by considering the extensive array of additional "adornments" provided by the specification over and above those provided by any of the prior candidate "semantic modelling languages".
It incorporates some of the important semantic information about the real world. Plato himself associates knowledge with the apprehension of unchanging Forms The forms, according to Socrates, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types of things, and properties and their relationships to one another.
Limitations[ edit ] ER assume information content that can readily be represented in a relational database. They describe only a relational structure for this information. They are inadequate for systems in which the information cannot readily be represented in relational form[ citation needed ], such as with semi-structured data. For many systems, possible changes to information contained are nontrivial and important enough to warrant explicit specification.
An alternative is to model change separately, using a process modeling technique. Additional techniques can be used for other aspects of systems. For instance, ER models roughly correspond to just 1 of the 14 different modeling techniques offered by UML. Even where it is suitable in principle, ER modeling is rarely used as a separate activity.
Such an initial model can also be evolved into physical database model that aids the creation of relational database, or aids in the creation of process map and data flow model.
In this section we will go through the ERD symbols in detail. Studentobject e. Invoiceconcept e. Profile or event e. In ERD, the term "entity" is often used instead of "table", but they are the same. When determining entities, think of them as nouns. In ER models, an entity is shown as a rounded rectangle, with its name on top and its attributes listed in the body of the entity shape.
Entity Attributes Also known as column, an attribute is a property or characteristic of the entity that holds it. An attribute has a name that describes the property and a type that describes the kind of attribute it is, such as varchar for a string, and int for integer.
The ER diagram example below shows an entity with some attributes in it. Primary Key Also known as PK, a primary key is a special kind of entity attribute that uniquely defines a record in a database table.
In other words, there must not be two or more records that share the same value for the primary key attribute. The ERD example below shows an entity 'Product' with a primary key attribute 'ID', and a preview of table records in database.
Foreign Key Also known as FK, a foreign key is a reference to a primary key in table. It is used to identify the relationships between entities. Note that foreign keys need not to be unique. Multiple records can share the same values. The ER Diagram example below shows an entity with some columns, among which a foreign key is used in referencing another entity.
Relationship A relationship between two entities signifies that the two entities are associated with each other somehow. For example, student might enroll into a course. The entity Student is therefore related with Course, and the relationships is presented as a connector connecting between them.
Cardinality Cardinality defines the possible number of occurrence in one entity which are associated to the number of occurrences in another. When present in an ERD, the entities Team and Player are inter-connected with a one-to-many relationship. In an ER diagram, cardinality is represented as a crow's foot at the connector's ends. The three common cardinal relationships are one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. One-to-One cardinality example A one-to-one relationship is mostly used to split an entity in two to provide information concisely and make it more understandable.
The figure below shows an example of one-to-one relationship.
One-to-Many cardinality example A one-to-many relationship refers to the relationship between two entities X and Y in which an instance of X may be linked to many instances of Y, but an instance of Y is linked to only one instance of X.
The figure below shows an example of one-to-many relationship.