Relational Database Design by ER- and EER-to-Relational Mapping
This chapter discusses how to design a relational database schema based on a conceptual schema design. Figure 7.1 presented a high-level view of the database design process, and in this chapter we focus on the logical database design or data model mapping step of database design. We present the procedures to create a relational schema from an Entity-Relationship (ER) or an Enhanced ER (EER) schema. Our discussion relates the constructs of the ER and EER models, presented in Chapters 7 and 8, to the con-structs of the relational model, presented in Chapters 3 through 6. Many computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools are based on the ER or EER models, or other similar models, as we have discussed in Chapters 7 and 8. Many tools use ER or EER diagrams or variations to develop the schema graphically, and then convert it automatically into a relational database schema in the DDL of a specific relational DBMS by employing algorithms similar to the ones presented in this chapter.
We outline a seven-step algorithm in Section 9.1 to convert the basic ER model con-structs—entity types (strong and weak), binary relationships (with various structural constraints), n-ary relationships, and attributes (simple, composite, and multivalued)—into relations. Then, in Section 9.2, we continue the mapping algorithm by describing how to map EER model constructs—specialization/generalization and union types (categories)—into relations. Section 9.3 summarizes the chapter.
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