Conceptual Data Model

A Conceptual data model is the most abstract form of data model. It is helpful for communicating ideas to a wide range of stakeholders because of its simplicity. Therefore platform-specific information, such as data types, is omitted from a Conceptual data model. Other implementation details, such as procedures and interface definitions, are also excluded.

This is an example of a Conceptual data model, rendered using two of the notations supported by Enterprise Architect.

A Conceptual data model that uses Entity-Relationship notation

A Conceptual data model that uses Entity-Relationship notation

 

Using Entity-Relationship (ER) notation, we represent the data concepts Sales Person and Customer as Entities with a 1-to-many relationship between them. We can represent the exactly the same semantic information using UML Classes and Associations.

An equivalent model using UML Class notation

An equivalent model using UML Class notation

 

Whether you use UML or ER notation to represent data concepts in your project depends on the experience and preferences of the stakeholders involved. The detailed structure of the data concepts illustrated in a Conceptual data model is defined later by the Logical data model.

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