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Wiley Data Model Resource

February 22, 2010

Earlier this year an iSchool PhD student requested a book for the collection that was really a collection of data models related to e-commerce scenarios from Wiley. In support of her request she sent the following description of how she planned to use it. After she had time to work with it she also sent the review that follows. This sort of purchase pushed the limits of what we typically collect - machine readable files instead of text. But with a good business case and a faculty recommendation for a topic that is actively taught here in several disciplines, we were willing to go the extra mile. The collection is housed on a CD on Reserve for INFO607. If you have an interest in the logical design of databases, please take a look at this great resource (LINK) and let me know what you think!

Best, Tim Siftar
PS - Want to use it but are not on campus? Want to recommend or review other resources for this blog? Please get in touch!



The main contribution of this research is to provide effective and efficient solution approaches that can improve the designer's performance in conceptual data modeling.

With the Wiley tools models I plan to:

- construct EIP's (Entity Instance Pattern) and RIP's (Relationship Instance Pattern) as new type of reusable artifacts for conceptual model design automatically, which can be used as the patterns to create database conceptual design.

- develop KBS (Knowledge-based systems) with EIP and RIP repositories for case studies to explore that a proposed methodology is effective and help the expert/novice designers develop database designs.

- validate proposed methods; that they are sufficient to create correct conceptual models;

- demonstrate the usefulness of KBS (Knowledge-based system) by human subject experiments.

Also, professors can use this e-commerce resource developing many projects and course assignments. Students can use this resource as a case study to help understand their courses. The students who have ideas but lacks domain knowledge and technical programming knowledge can use this resource to see the overall scope of this domain (this resource also provides the domain diagrams ) and link the available SQL codes stored in this resource to develop a Web application.


Review of Wiley Data Modeling Resources
I have found that the models provided are re-usable, and of high quality. Actually, translating the database design models from abstract concepts into real-world applications is not always easy. These data model resources provide a logical perspective view that is important for a database implementation. However, these resources are not meant to be exactly right straight out the box for a given problem statement; they are meant to be customized. I think the reason is that the authors want to make their data model resources flexible in order to be used widely. The usage of these data model resources can provide 3 major advantages:

1. High quality and accurate data models.
These modeling resources are developed and tested by knowledgeable and well-known data modelers based on their experiences. Actually they represent practical data modeling resources.

2. Decreasing implementation times and costs for the database design.
The time required to design and implement a data model can be reduced by using these data model resources. These resources contain physical database designs (SQL codes) that are ready to implement. They include entities, keys (primary and foreign), relationships, attributes, and indexes that help increasing the performance of the database design. The SQL schemas are also well organized, so it is convenient for database reverse engineering.

3. Providing dimensional (star schema) models for data warehouse design.
Since these data model resources are in e-commerce domain, students, who have business ideas but lack of either domain knowledge or database programming languages, can use these data modeling resources to see the overall scope of this domain business, and to promote their products and services on the Web by maintaining needs, subscriptions, payment, Web site visits, etc.

The properties of these data model resources (e-commerce domain):

1. The total numbers of entities (tables) in this domain are 97 and the total numbers of attributes are 357.

2. Relationships are connected to the highest level entity type in a hierarchy that makes sense. All supertype/subtype relationships follow the specialization. Relationships can be renamed and eliminated as need for the specific problem statement. All relationships are 1:M, and there is an entity type in which to store intersection data. Intersection data are often dates, showing over what span of time the relationship was valid. So, these data model resources are designed to allow tracking of relationships over time.