What is an Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD)? - Definition from Techopedia
An entity-relationship diagram (ERD) is a data modeling technique that hence there can be a one-to-many relationship, defined between department and. Learn Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD). Read this ERD guide for everything you need to know about data modeling and database design with ERD. The Entity Relationship Model At a basic level, databases store information about distinct objects, or entities, and Attributes describe the entity they belong to.
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. For example, one person can have several credit cards, but each credit card belongs to just one person. Looking at it the other way, a one-to-many relationship becomes a many-to-one relationship; for example, many credit cards belong to a single person. Finally, the serial number on a car engine is an example of a one-to-one relationship; each engine has just one serial number, and each serial number belongs to just one engine.
We often use the shorthand terms 1: N for one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships, respectively. The number of entities on either side of a relationship the cardinality of the relationship define the key constraints of the relationship. There are many relationships that may at first seem to be one-to-one, but turn out to be more complex.
For example, people sometimes change their names; in some applications, such as police databases, this is of particular interest, and so it may be necessary to model a many-to-many relationship between a person entity and a name entity.
Redesigning a database can be time-consuming if you assume a relationship is simpler than it really is. In an ER diagram, we represent a relationship set with a named diamond.
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The cardinality of the relationship is often indicated alongside the relationship diamond; this is the style we use in this book. The ER diagram representation of the customer and product entities, and the sale relationship between them. Partial and Total Participation Relationships between entities can be optional or compulsory. In our example, we could decide that a person is considered to be a customer only if they have bought a product.
- What is Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)?
On the other hand, we could say that a customer is a person whom we know about and whom we hope might buy something—that is, we can have people listed as customers in our database who never buy a product.
These are referred to as the participation constraints of the relationship. In an ER diagram, we indicate total participation with a double line between the entity box and the relationship diamond. From time to time, we encounter cases where we wonder whether an item should be an attribute or an entity on its own.
For example, an email address could be modeled as an entity in its own right. When in doubt, consider these rules of thumb: Is the item of direct interest to the database?
Objects of direct interest should be entities, and information that describes them should be stored in attributes. Our inventory and sales database is really interested in customers, and not their email addresses, so the email address would be best modeled as an attribute of the customer entity.
Does the item have components of its own? If so, we must find a way of representing these components; a separate entity might be the best solution. In the student grades example at the start of the chapter, we stored the course name, year, and semester for each course that a student takes. Can the object have multiple instances?Lecture 11 ER Diagram in DBMS Hindi
If so, we must find a way to store data on each instance. The cleanest way to do this is to represent the object as a separate entity. In our sales example, we must ask whether customers are allowed to have more than one email address; if they are, we should model the email address as a separate entity.
Is the object often nonexistent or unknown? 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.
Profile or event e. In ERD, the term "entity" is often used instead of "table", but they are the same.
What is Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)?
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.