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Lesson 5Data modeling techniques
ObjectiveExplain the importance of data modeling techniques.

Data Modeling Techniques

When performing data modeling for web applications, several factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure that the database design is optimized for the unique requirements of web applications. Here are some important considerations:
  1. Scalability: Web applications often have to handle large amounts of data and user traffic. The data model should be designed with scalability in mind, to ensure that it can accommodate increasing amounts of data and users without sacrificing performance.
  2. Performance: Web applications need to be fast and responsive, with minimal latency or delays. The data model should be optimized for performance, with appropriate indexing, caching, and query optimization techniques.
  3. Security: Web applications are vulnerable to various security threats, such as SQL injection attacks and data breaches. The data model should be designed with security in mind, with appropriate access controls, encryption, and other security measures.
  4. Flexibility: Web applications often need to be flexible and adaptable to changing business requirements. The data model should be designed with flexibility in mind, with appropriate normalization, data modeling, and schema evolution techniques.
  5. Usability: Web applications need to be user-friendly and intuitive, with a clear and logical data model. The data model should be designed with usability in mind, with appropriate data organization, naming conventions, and documentation.
  6. Integration: Web applications often need to integrate with other systems, such as third-party APIs and data sources. The data model should be designed with integration in mind, with appropriate data mapping and transformation techniques.

Data modeling for web applications requires careful consideration of scalability, performance, security, flexibility, usability, and integration. By taking these factors into account, designers can create a database schema that is optimized for the unique requirements of web applications, and that provides a solid foundation for building robust and reliable web applications.

Off-the-shelf Database Software

Off-the-shelf database software is most useful if it is customized to the purpose it was purchased to serve. In order to customize and build the database, you will need to build a model of what the data relationships will look like. It is important to model data before beginning database development because database structure is based on the relationships that are to be created among data elements.

Who and why?

Data modeling is primarily the task of database developers, or system analysts, and refers to the process of organizing the hierarchy or relational structure for efficient storage and access of the data. Modeling is the most critical part of database development. Similar to an architect's layout for a new house, modeling addresses all issues for database design before construction begins. Modeling is the foundation from which the database will be built.

Create the Groupings

Modeling involves the logical grouping or assembling of information. For example, in a Human Resources system, there are a variety of data elements that can be grouped, such as names, addresses, employee benefits, compensation, and performance ratings. These data elements need to be tied together in logical groupings based on the predictable and consistent relationships that exist between them.
When grouping data, a balance must occur between the physical speed of access and its ease use (querying the database). In other words, lumping lots of data into one large table makes it extremely easy to query. But large grouped data means a huge file size, and the larger the size, the slower the system can process it. Anyone can model data, but it takes skill to strike the optimal balance between speed and ease of use.

Easy updates

Data modeling also establishes processes to update data element groupings when an individual data element is changed. For example, in the Human Resources system, changes in benefits coverage can be programmed to automatically generate payroll changes.

Customizable Code

The purpose of such modeling is to describe the information relationships and processes so that programmers can build a system that matches the data and process requirements. Some newer database applications actually generate code based on the models that are created by database developers. The code can then be modified so that the system does precisely what is desired. There are a number of software products such as Rational Software's Rational Rose that assist developers with data modeling. In the next lesson, your task is to learn the types and examples of security software options.

Data Modeling - Quiz

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Data Modeling - Quiz