Physical Data Model

The Physical data model visually represents the structure of the data as implemented by a relational database schema.

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Benefit

In addition to providing a visual abstraction of the database structure, an important benefit of defining a Physical data model is that you can automatically derive the database schema from the model; this is possible due to the richness of meta-data captured by a Physical data model and its close mapping to aspects of the database schema, such as tables, columns, primary and foreign keys

 

Example

The following is an example of a Physical data model that could be used to automatically generate a database schema

Each table is represented by a UML Class; columns, including Primary and Foreign Keys, are modeled using UML Attributes and Operations

A Physical data model defined using a UML Profile and the Information Engineering notation

A Physical data model defined using a UML Profile and the Information Engineering notation

The above model is defined using Enterprise Architect's UML Profile for Data Modeling; the relationship between the tables uses the Information Engineering notation

Information Engineering is one of three notations that Enterprise Architect supports to help Data Modelers distinguish cardinality in relationships

 

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