Data modelling

Refers to the development of a theoretical framework - based on abstract models that describe how data is represented and accessed - by which information is structured for the use in a database system.

There are several different types of data modelling, including:

Relational: Describes a database as a collection of predicates (properties of, or relationships between objects) for a finite set of variables, as well as constraints on the possible values and combination of values. The content of the database at any given time is a finite (logical) model of the database. A request for information from the database (i.e. a database query) is also a predicate.

Object-oriented: (Also known as an ‘object database’) A database model in which information is represented in the form of objects, in one or more object-oriented programming languages. Most also offer some sort of query language. Access to data can be faster as objects are retrieved by following pointers, rather than searching.

Flat: Encoding a database model (usually a table) as a plain text or mixed text and binary file. Usually this contains one record per line, which consists of fields that are separated by commas or have a fixed length. There are no structural relationships between the records.

Network: A database model that allows a natural modelling of relationships between entities – for example, each record can have multiple parent and child records – as opposed to the more traditional hierarchical model, where one parent record has many child records, but each child has only one parent.

Related methods include: Searching and querying.

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