Database Model


Wikipedia says the following about the definition of a Database Model: “A database model is a type of data model that determines the logical structure of a database and fundamentally determines in which manner data can be stored, organized and manipulated. The most popular example of a database model is the relational model, which uses a table-based format.”

Wikipedia says: “A given database management system may provide one or more models. The optimal structure depends on the natural organization of the application’s data, and on the application’s requirements, which include transaction rate (speed), reliability, maintainability, scalability, and cost. Most database management systems are built around one particular data model, although it is possible for products to offer support for more than one model.”

Wikipedia on the topic of database models goes on to say: “A model is not just a way of structuring data: it also defines a set of operations that can be performed on the data. The relational model, for example, defines operations such as select (project) and join. Although these operations may not be explicit in a particular query language, they provide the foundation on which a query language is built.”

Early Data Models

  • Flat model
  • Hierarchical model
  • Network model

Relational Model Models

  • Relational model
  • Dimensional model

Post-relational database models

  • Graph model
  • Multivalue model
  • Object-oriented database models

Relational Model

Wikipedia describes a relational model as follows: “The relational model was introduced by E.F. Codd in 1970 as a way to make database management systems more independent of any particular application. It is a mathematical model defined in terms of predicate logic and set theory, and systems implementing it have been used by mainframe, midrange and microcomputer systems.”

Wikipedia goes on to say: “Three key terms are used extensively in relational database models: relations, attributes, and domains. A relation is a table with columns and rows. The named columns of the relation are called attributes, and the domain is the set of values the attributes are allowed to take.”

Wikipedia goes on to say: “The basic data structure of the relational model is the table, where information about a particular entity (say, an employee) is represented in rows (also called tuples) and columns. Thus, the “relation” in “relational database” refers to the various tables in the database; a relation is a set of tuples. The columns enumerate the various attributes of the entity (the employee’s name, address or phone number, for example), and a row is an actual instance of the entity (a specific employee) that is represented by the relation. As a result, each tuple of the employee table represents various attributes of a single employee.”

Wikipedia goes on to say: “All relations (and, thus, tables) in a relational database have to adhere to some basic rules to qualify as relations. First, the ordering of columns is immaterial in a table. Second, there can’t be identical tuples or rows in a table. And third, each tuple will contain a single value for each of its attributes.”

Dimensional Model

Wikipedia says: “The dimensional model is a specialized adaptation of the relational model used to represent data in data warehouses in a way that data can be easily summarized using online analytical processing, or OLAP queries. In the dimensional model, a database schema consists of a single large table of facts that are described using dimensions and measures. A dimension provides the context of a fact (such as who participated, when and where it happened, and its type) and is used in queries to group related facts together.”

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