ERD and its Different Notations. Peter Bounds, De Montfort University, Page 1. The Entity-Relationship Diagram and its Different Notations. Contents. 1. entity-relationship diagram symbols and notation entity-relationship diagrams ( erd) are essential to modeling anything from simple to complex databases, but. The entity relationship (ER) data model has existed for over 35 years. . A null is a special symbol, independent of data type, which means either unknown or.
An attribute may be formed from smaller parts; for example, a postal address is composed of a street number, city, ZIP code, and country.
Some attributes can have multiple values for a given entity. For example, a customer could provide several telephone numbers, so the telephone number attribute is multivalued. Attributes help distinguish one entity from other entities of the same type. We could use the name attribute to distinguish between customers, but this could be an inadequate solution because several customers could have identical names.
To be able to tell them apart, we need an attribute or a minimal combination of attributes guaranteed to be unique to each individual customer. The identifying attribute or attributes form a key. In our example, we can assume that no two customers have the same email address, so the email address can be the key. However, we need to think carefully about the implications of our choices. For example, if we decide to identify customers by their email address, it would be hard to allow a customer to have multiple email addresses.
Any applications we build to use this database might treat each email address as a separate person, and it might be hard to adapt everything to allow people to have multiple email addresses. Clearly, there may be several possible keys that could be used to identify an entity; we choose one of the alternative, or candidate, keys to be our main, or primary, key. You usually make this choice based on how confident you are that the attribute will be non-empty and unique for each individual entity, and on how small the key is shorter keys are faster to maintain and use.
Attributes comprising the primary key are shown underlined. The parts of any composite attributes are drawn connected to the oval of the composite attribute, and multivalued attributes are shown as double-lined ovals.
Similarly, a product price could be a positive rational number. Attributes can be empty; for example, some customers may not provide their telephone numbers. You should think carefully when classifying an attribute as multivalued: The sales database requirements may specify that a product has a name and a price.
To distinguish between products, we can assign a unique product ID number to each item we stock; this would be the primary key.
- Data Modeling and Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)
Each product entity would have name, price, and product ID attributes. The ER diagram representation of the product entity Representing Relationships Entities can participate in relationships with other entities. For example, a customer can buy a product, a student can take a course, an artist can record an album, and so on.
Like entities, relationships can have attributes: Our database could then record each sale and tell us, for example, that at 3: For example, each customer can buy any number of products, and each product can be bought by any number of customers.
This is known as a many-to-many relationship. We can also have one-to-many relationships. 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. 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.
The Entity Relationship Model - Learning MySQL [Book]
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. 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. Entity Relationship Diagram The main value of carefully constructing an ERD is that it can readily be converted into a database structure.
There are three components in ERD.
Number of tables you need for your database. Information such as property, facts you need to describe each table. How tables are linked together.
Learning MySQL by Hugh E. Williams, Saied M.M. Tahaghoghi
Entity Entities are the basic objects of ERDs. These are the tables of your database.
Entity are nouns and the types usually fall into five classes. Concepts, location, roles, events or things. Specific example of an entity is called an instance. Each isntance becomes a record or a row in a table. For example, the student John Smith is a record in a table called students. Relationships Relationships are the associations between the entities. Verbs often describe relationships between entities.
We will use Crow's Foot Symbols to represent the relationships. Three types of relationships are discussed in this lab. If you read or hear cardinality ratios, it also refers to types of relationships.
One to One Relationship 1: Each student fills one seat and one seat is assigned to only one student.
Data Modeling and Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)
Each professor has one office space. One to Many Relationship 1: M A single entity instance in one entity class parent is related to multiple entity instances in another entity class child For example: One instructor can teach many courses, but one course can only be taught by one instructor. One instructor may teach many students in one class, but all the students have one instructor for that class. Many to Many Relationship M: