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The Data Model Resource Book, Vol. 1: A Library of Universal Data Models for All Enterprises 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471380238
ISBN-10: 0471380237
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Editorial Reviews


"I thought the models in the books were well thought out and adequately explained" (Computer Shopper February 2002)


"The Data Model Resource Book, Revised Edition, Volume 1 is the best book I?ve seen on data architecture. It does not merely address the top levels of a data architecture (Zachman Framework row one or two); it provides both common and industry-specific logical models as well as data designs that may be customized to meet your requirements. The end result is a is a rich framework whose models span the higher and lower levels of a data architecture, including high-level models, logical models, warehouse designs, star schemas, and SQL scripts. You can use the data models, designs, and scripts as templates or starting points for your own modeling, an introduction to subject areas you might not be familiar with, a reference to validate your existing models, and a help to building an enterprise data architecture. The book provides techniques to transform models from one level to another, as well as tips and techniques for getting the appropriate levels of abstraction in the models. Instance tables (sample data) help bring the models to life. I have customized and used the models from the first edition on many projects in the last two years?it is an invaluable resource to me."
--Van Scott, President, Sonata Consulting, Inc.

"Len Silverston has produced an enormously useful two-volume compendium of generic (but not too generic) data models for an extensive set of typical enterprise subject areas, and for various industries that any data modeler will likely encounter at some point in his or her career. The material is clearly written, well organized, and goes below the obvious to some of the more perverse and difficult information requirements in an enterprise. This is an invaluable resource for doing one's homework before diving into any modeling session; if you can't find it here, there is certainly a very similar template that you can use for just about any situation with which you might be faced."
--William G. Smith, President, William G. Smith & Associates

"In today's fast-paced e-oriented world, it is no longer acceptable to bury business constraints in hard-to-change data structures. Data architects must comprehend complex requirements and recast them into data architecture with vision for unforeseen futures. Len's models provide an outstanding starting point for novice and advanced data architects for delivering flexible data models. These models position an organization for the business rule age. Their proper implementation and customization allows the organization to externalize and manage business policies and rules so that the business can proactively change itself. In this way, the data architecture, based on Len's models and procedures for customizing them, becomes by design the foundation for business change."
--Barbara von Halle, Founder, Knowledge Partners, Inc., Co-author of Handbook of Relational Database Design

"These books are long overdue and a must for any company implementing universal data models. They contain practical insights and templates for implementing universal data models and can help all enterprises regardless of their level of experience. Most books address the needs for data models but give little in the way of practical advice. These books fill in that void and should be utilized by all enterprises."
--Ron Powell, Publisher, DM Review

"Businesses across the world are demanding quality systems that are built faster by IT shops. This book provides a foundation of patterns for data modelers to expand upon and can cut days, if not weeks, off a project schedule. I have found The Data Model Resource Book, Revised Edition, Volume 1 valuable as a resource for my modeling efforts at L.L. Bean, Inc. and feel it is an essential component in any modelers toolkit."
--Susan T. Oliver, Enterprise Data Architect, L.L. Bean, Inc.

"I was first introduced to The Data Model Resource Book three years ago when I was hired by a firm who wanted an enterprise data model. This company did not believe the dictum that ?all companies are basically the same;? they felt they were somehow unique. After a little analysis with Len Silverston's help, we found that we were actually quite a bit the same: we had customers, accounts, employees, benefits, and all the things you'd find in any corporation. All we had to do was adapt the product component of Len's book and we were ready to move ahead with a great framework for all of our data. A CD-ROM that accompanies the book provided scripts to build the model in Oracle very quickly. We then began mapping all of our detailed data types to the enterprise model and, voila, we could find a place for all of those various spellings and misspellings of Account Number.
Volume 2 of this revised edition provided even more exciting features: models of industry-specific data. I began to see interesting patterns that permeated this volume. For example, a reservation is a reservation, whether you're an airline, a restaurant, or a hotel. (We even have something similar in the oil industry--the allocation.)
Another concept from the book that has changed my thinking and vocabulary is the word "party." I recently managed a project in which an employee could also function as a customer and as an on-line computer user. The team was in disagreement regarding a name for this entity; but after checking The Data Model Resource Book, we realized that here we had a party playing three roles.
Whether your job is to jump-start a data warehouse project or borrow ideas for any subject area in your next operational database, I highly recommend The Data Model Resource Books, Revised Edition, Volumes 1 and 2 as your bible for design."
--Ted Kowalski, Equilon Enterprises LLC, Author of Opening Doors: A Facilitator's Handbook


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471380237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471380238
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an analyst for a large manufacturing company's ERP implementation, I was responsible for a very complex and critical area called Classifications. Classifications was the place where all products, vendors, or customers were grouped into buckets based on similar behavior. For example, if this company manufactured vehicles, there could be classifications for hybrids, sports cars, SUVs, minivans, etc. To better understand classifications, I dived into screens, help files, and actual database tables and after several weeks, completed a classifications data model. The model I produced was very similar to the data model that appears on page 224 of "The Data Model Resource Book Volume 3: Universal Patterns for Data Modeling" by Len Silverston and Paul Agnew.

This book contains a collection of patterns, which are general building blocks that could be used as the basis for just about any type of data modeling within any industry. Classifications is one example, and there are a collection of others such as roles, statuses, and contact mechanisms. Whereas Volumes 1 and 2 in The Data Model Resource Book series contained models for common business processes or industries, this volume contains patterns that cross through all processes and industries. Consistent with the series however, the purpose of this text is to save the modeler time so instead of starting from scratch, the modeler can start from a reliable and proven foundation. Realizing these patterns exist and making them work for your particular modeling assignment can result in a higher quality data model and a greater level of consistency within your organization.

A majority of the book is dedicated to chapters which describe how to model a pattern at different levels of generalization.
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Unlike the world of Object Oriented programming, there are very few pattern books devoted to data modeling. This is unfortunate because most business applications suffer from over-specialization & inflexibility in the data model, where change is very expensive. The few data model patterns books that do exist do not explore the depths of subject to the extent that this book does.

Based on their many years of experience, Silverston & Agnew chose to focus on the most common areas of interest (Parties, Roles, Relationships, Statuses, Classifications, Contact Mechanisms, & Rules) and offer a set of data model pattens for each. Each area has a set of "pattern levels" ranging from specific to general, listing benefits, drawbacks, & usage guidelines for each. The modeler can choose which pattern level best suites the enterprise based on perceived needs.

This book can be thought of as the "gang of four" book for data modeling. I would recommend this book for anyone engaging in any form of data modeling. You may not use the exact patterns, but it will at least serve as a catalyst for future thought.
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The text of this book was generally good - although it seemed padded out with a massive listing of model metadata. The book comes with a CD. The first surprise was, the CD does not include the Data Definition Language (DDL) for its sample models... there's an extra cost for that. My question to the publisher would be, what good is the CD you provide for free?

The second surprise is the illustrations. There are plenty of them, but they look like they were done in a primitive graphics package - not in an enterprise modeling tool. They author seems to have invented his own wierd set of conventions, including "foreign keys do not appear in the entities... that is duplicate information". Before you buy this book, take a look at the illustrations of the models. If you can live with the notation, maybe consider buying it.
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Format: Paperback
I got both the volumes 2 years back. I found the concepts really useful and have applied the modeling constructs to actual engagements in supply chain, corporate banking and travel industry. Especially the "party-role-transaction" construct . It is truly a liberating data modeling construct to apply across industry. The models are also at the right level of abstraction. It elegantly positioned in between 2 modeling extremes ... It is neither too abstract/conceptual nor too specific and detailed to one implementation ... a balance which is typically very difficult to maintain . One word of caution on expectation ... the objective is to treat these models as a starting point for your specific projects. It need not be the only way to model a business scenario. But the book opens the modelers mind upto possibilities which one typically tends to ignore and that is the key! Because often times these "outlier scenarios" tend to come and haunt the architecture once realized physically on a database and is often a painful process to modify. Lens varied experience highlights some specific "land mines" to watch for in modeling these scenarios which has helped me in my projects. In a nut shell I have found the book to express in a concise manner the essential elements of modeling to watch out for
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Format: Paperback
The Data Model Resource Book is as important to a data modeler or application developer as a dictionary is to a writer: you're not at your best without it. Where I've worked, this material has helped me create the architecture for an enterprise data model of our company. Aided by the Resource Book, we build a framework of major tables containing subject areas and the result is a business model to which we can map all of our application databases and data warehouses.
This book is basically rather simple to use; you find the data or subject of interest and then check to see if there are any attributes or relationships in the book that are relevant to your specific application database. This type of a check helps add quality and completeness to your logical and physical model.
But using the book just scratches the surface of its value; it's the author who's responsible for its quality and completeness. I've personally worked with Mr. Silverston who participated in consulting engagements at our firm and I`ve also seen him perform in the classroom setting. He seems to have an uncanny ability to analyze a given business situation-no matter how seemingly bizarre-and to create a model structure that will accommodate any situation.
I highly recommend the Resource Book to business analysts, application developers, programmers, and data warehouse designers.
Ted Kowalski Data Architect, Equilon Enterprises, Houston and author of "Opening Doors--A Facilitator's Handbook."
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