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IT 29 Database Management


February 2017

A hierarchical database is a
design that uses a one-to-
many relationship for data
elements. Hierarchical
database models use a tree
structure that links a number
of disparate elements to one
"owner," or "parent," primary

The idea behind hierarchical

database models is useful for
a certain type of data storage,
but it is not extremely
versatile. Its limitations mean
Hierarchical Model that it is confined to some
very specific uses. For example, where each individual person in a company may report to a
given department, the department can be used as a parent record and the individual
employees will represent secondary records, each of which links back to that one parent
record in a hierarchical structure.
Hierarchical databases were popular in early database design, in the era of mainframe
computers. While some IBM and Microsoft models are still in use, many other types of
business databases use more flexible models to accommodate more sophisticated types of
data management. Hierarchical models make the most sense where the primary focus of
information gathering is on a concrete hierarchy such as a list of business departments,
assets or people that will all be associated with specific higher-level primary data elements.


A network database is a type of

database model wherein multiple
member records or files can be
linked to multiple owner files and
vice versa. The model can be
viewed as an upside-down tree
where each member information is
the branch linked to the owner,
which is the bottom of the tree.
Essentially, relationships are in a
net-like form where a single
element can point to multiple data
elements and can itself be pointed
to by multiple data elements.
Network Model The network database model
allows each record to have multiple parent and multiple child records, which, when
visualized, form a web-like structure of networked records. In contrast, a hierarchical model
data member can only have a single parent record but can have many child records.

This property of having multiple links applies in two ways: the schema and the database itself
can be seen as a generalized graph of record types that are connected by relationship types.
The main advantage of a network database is that it allows for a more natural modeling of
relationships between records or entities, as opposed to the hierarchical model. However,
the relational database model has started to win over both the network and the hierarchical
models because its added flexibility and productivity has become more evident as hardware
technology has become faster



A relational database management system (RDBMS) is a database engine/system based on

the relational model specified by Edgar F. Codd--the father of modern relational database
design--in 1970.
Most modern commercial and open-source database applications are relational in nature.
The most important relational database features include an ability to use tables for data
storage while maintaining and enforcing certain data relationships.

In 1970, Edgar F. Codd, a British computer scientist with IBM, published A Relational Model
of Data for Large Shared Data Banks. At the time, the renowned paper attracted little
interest, and few understood how Codds groundbreaking work would define the basic rules
for relational data storage, which can be simplified as:

1. Data must be stored and presented as relations, i.e., tables that have relationships
with each other, e.g., primary/foreign keys.
2. To manipulate the data stored in tables, a system should provide relational operators
- code that enables the relationship to be tested between two entities. A good
example is the WHERE clause of a SELECT statement, i.e., the SQL statement
Smith will query the CUSTOMER_MASTER table and return all customers with a
surname of Smith.
Codd later published another paper that outlined the 12 rules that all databases must follow
to qualify as relational. Many modern database systems do not follow all 12 rules, but these
systems are considered relational because they conform to at least two of the 12 rules.

Most modern commercial and open-source database systems are relational in nature and
include well-known applications, e.g., Oracle DB (Oracle Corporation); SQL Server
(Microsoft) and MySQL and Postgres (open source).


An entity-
model (ERM) is
a theoretical
and conceptual
way of showing
relationships in
Entity-Relationship Model
ERM is a
database modeling technique that generates an abstract diagram or visual representation of
a systems data that can be helpful in designing a relational database. These diagrams are
known as entity-relationship diagrams, ER diagrams or ERDs.

Entity-relationship patterns were first proposed by Peter Pin-Shan Chen of the

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1976.

The first step in information system design dictates that the requirements analysis models
illustrate the type of data or information that needs to be collected. The data modeling
method may be used to illustrate a specific interest areas ontology. Like the relational
model, abstract data is converted to a logical data model when the design of an information
system is built on a database. Likewise, this is converted to a physical model when it is
physically designed.

The building blocks of an ERD are entities, relationships and attributes. Entities have entity
types, which are known as instances of the corresponding entities. Each entity type can exist
independently of another; for example, the entity "vehicle" can have the entity types "car"
and "bus". Relationship is the property that links the entity types together. For example, the
entity type husband is related to the entity type wife by a relationship known as "is-married-
to." Attributes are properties that belong to the entity types as well as to the relationships.

There are a number of ER diagramming tools available on the market. The most common
ones are MySQL Workbench and OpenModelSphere.

A star schema is a
data warehousing
architecture model
where one fact table
references multiple
dimension tables,
which, when viewed as
a diagram, looks like a
star with the fact table
in the center and the
dimension tables
radiating from it. It is
the simplest among
the data warehousing
schemas and is
currently in wide use.

The star schema is the

simplest form of a
dimensional model
used in business
intelligence and data
warehousing wherein
data is arranged in
Star Schema dimensions and facts.
In the star schema,
there is a single fact table, which is usually expressed in the third normal form (3NF), and
multiple de-normalized dimension tables connected to it, radiating out like the points of a
star. The star schema has been optimized for querying large data sets and is generally used
in data marts and warehouses in order to support OLAP cubes, ad hoc queries, analytic
applications and business intelligence.

The fact tables in a star schema usually have two columns: the first is for the foreign keys
pointing to the dimension tables, and the second is for the measures that contain numeric
facts, hence, the name fact table. The dimension tables are actually structures that are
usually composed of multiple hierarchies that categorize data.

Advantages Advantages Advantages Advantages Advantages
represents one-to-many less redundant [than allows any file to be related exceptional conceptual Easy to understand. Reflects
relationships well heirarchial model] to any other means of simplicity how users think. This makes
much efficient because there represents relationships in common field it easy for them to query and
visual representation analyze the data
is not much need for terms of sets rather than complexity is greatly
redundant data heirarchy effective communication optimizes navigation
reduced because changes
able to support many-to- could be made to the enhances query extraction
many relationships database schema without integrated with the
more flexible [than affecting the system's ability relational database model rapid aggregational actions
heirarchical] to access data
new relations between files
could easily be added

Disadvantages Disadvantages Disadvantages Disadvantages Disadvantages

problems with many-to- difficult to implement and forces developers to limited constraint
poor data integrity
many relationships maintain recreate logic, to find representation
Not all relations can be solutions to mismatches limited relationship long time loading dimension
not flexible between applications and
satisfied by assigning representation table
developing the applications another owner, and the their database system, to no data manipulation
are complex because the retrofit or debug the existing additional processing
programmer still has to language
programmer needs to know understand the data databse because of time and
the data structure well in structure well in order to money already invested and loss of information content harder complex queries
order to traverse the model make the model efficient to work with a very complex
to access the needed data system no many-to-many
still creates repetition of
data within database