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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Volume 1 of The Data Model Resource Book a pre-requisite to using Volume 2 of The Data Model Resource Book?

The Volume 2 book has attempted to provide clear, and complete and self contained descriptions of the models, allowing the models to stand on their own without too much dependency on referencing Volume 1.

While it is not absolutely necessary to have Volume 1 before purchasing Volume 2, it is recommended, since there are a great deal of references from Volume 2 to Volume 1 and many of the models in Volume 2 build upon Volume 1 constructs. The reader will therefore have a much more complete understanding of the models if they have both books.

Is The Data Model Resource CD a pre-requisite to using one of the industry electronic downloadable products?

No, The industry electronic downloadable products will work stand-alone without The Data Model Resource CD from Volume 1. However, the industry electronic downloadable products can be greatly enhanced by supplementing them with the additional generic data model constructs from volume 1.

Can one buy the Volume 1 CD-ROM or electronic products, without having the associated book?

It is recommended to buy the associated book if you are buying the electronic products. While you could theoretically buy and use the electronic products stand alone, the book provides complete documentation, descriptions, data instances, and rationale behind each model. Buying the electronic product alone is equivalent to buying a software product without the related documentation.

What if the enterprise needing data models does not neatly fit into one of the industries covered in Volume 2 of The Data Model Resource Book? Are the Volume 2 industry models still relevant?

While many of the data models in volume 2 are suited for specific industries, the concepts behind these data structures can be widely applied to many industries. Some examples of expanding these data structures for other industries include the following:

  • Using the telecommunications network constructs as the basis for developing other facilities’ management data models. For example, oil and gas companies need to monitor their facilities and charge by usage of their facilities so there are some similarities to the telecommunications constructs. While the names of entities may change, one can use many of the same constructs and ideas. This approach encourages broader thinking and can be helpful in quality assuring other models.
  • Using the manufacturing data models for distributors. Many distributors have similar notions of bill of materials, parts that they assemble (for instance, in creating bundled product packages to sell), and providing substitutability, compatibility, obsolescence, and other product association recursions.
  • Travel. Other enterprises may be involved in reservations and ticketing activities such as sports or entertainment event management. These enterprises may use many parts of the reservations and ticketing models.
  • Financial services. The model to handle the work tasks to assess risk and to target market segments may be used in many industries including insurance firms, venture and capital companies.
  • Professional services. Many enterprises may be involved in delivering services that complement the goods they sell. They may be in need of the time- and deliverable-based data models described in Chapter 7.
  • Web. Many organizations promote their products and services on the Web and could use the models contained within this chapter to maintain needs, subscriptions, and Web site visits.

Do I need a more specific industry data model for my enterprise? For example, can a property and casualty organization effectively use the insurance models, or does it need a property and casualty data model? Should there be a separate data model for airlines, train enterprises, bus companies, car reservations companies, cruise lines, and other travel enterprises?

On the surface, it may seem that a more specific data model may serve the needs of the organization better because many of the data constructs and data names may be more specific to that particular enterprise. As stated in Chapter 1 of Volume 2, there are many reasons that an enterprise might find the broader data model more useful.

To summarize these reasons, this model provides a framework that can accommodate a broader vision for that enterprise, more integration across various parts of the enterprise, more stability should changes occur in the enterprise, structures that are easier to modify for that industry because one is working from a broader perspective, and finally, these broad industry models often include specific structures, when necessary, to handle special requirements for very specific types of companies.

What is new in the Volume 1 revised edition of The Data Model Resource Book versus the 1997 first edition version?

The second edition of the Data Model Resource Book provides many enhancements and additional models beyond what was covered in the first edition (Wiley, 1997) of The Data Model Resource Book. The following points describe them at a high level.

Almost all of the data models in the original Data Model Resource Book have been significantly enhanced with additional entities, attributes, and relationships. Many of the data models have slightly different and more enhanced data structures. Based on numerous applications and implementations of these models, the models have been updated to reflect even more effective data structures.

A number of new chapters have been added to the second edition. Chapter 14 provides additional star schemas that can be used as templates for data analysis solutions. Chapter 15 provides an explanation of how to use the universal data models to create an enterprise data model, a logical data model, and physical database designs. This chapter provides examples of customizing enterprise and logical data models and several physical database design examples for implementing one of the universal data models. A great number of new universal data models have been added to the already existing comprehensive library from the first edition. Table 1.1 provides a listing of the new models.

Table 1.1 Data Models Added in Second Edition

Chapter

New data models that have been added from the first edition to the second edition

2 Parties

2b Person alternate model

2.4 Party roles

2.5 Specific party relationships

2.6 Common party relationships

2.11 Facility versus contact mechanism

2.12 Party communication event

2.13 Communication event follow up event

3 Products

3.4 Product feature

3.10a Products and parts

3.10b Products and parts alternate model

4 Orders

4.3 Sales order parties and contact mechanisms

4.4 Purchase order parties and contact mechanisms

4.6 Order adjustments

4.12 Agreement roles

5 Shipments

5.4 Shipment receipt for incoming shipments

5.5 Item issuances for outgoing shipments

5.6 Shipping documents

5.7 Shipment route segments

6 Work Efforts

6.1 Work requirement

6.2 Work requirement roles

6.12 Work effort results

7 Invoices

7.8a Invoice payments

7.8b Invoice payments alternate model

7.9 Financial accounts, withdrawals and deposits

8 Accounting

8.2 Business transactions versus accounting transactions

8.4 General ledger account associations and subsidiary ledger accounts

8.7 Budget revision

8.8 Budget review

8.9 Budget scenario

9 Human Resources

9.8 Benefits determination

9.10 Employee application

9.11 Employee skills and qualifications

9.12 Employee performance

9.13 Employee termination

12 Star Schema Designs for Sales Analysis Star Schema Designs

12.2 Transaction oriented sales data mart

14 Additional Star Schema Designs

14.1 Inventory management star schema

14.2 Purchase order star schema

14.3 Shipment aggregate star schema

14.4 Work effort star schema

14.5 Financial analysis star schema

15 Implementing Universal Data Models

15.2. Customized party contact mechanism (using different terms)

15.3 Additions to the party contact mechanism model

15.4 Detailed model for sales force (showing a customized version for a particular application)

15.6 Party roles and relationships physical design option 1

15.7 Party roles and relationships physical design option 2

15.8 Party roles and relationships physical design option 3

 

Of course, Volume 2 of the Data Model Resource Book includes completely new data model constructs for the eight industry applications that it covers.

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