Article

Articulated Entity Relationship (AER) Diagram for Complete Automation of Relational Database Normalization

International Journal of Database Management Systems 01/2010; DOI: 10.5121/ijdms.2010.2206
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT In this paper an Articulated Entity Relationship (AER) diagram is proposed, which is an extension of EntityRelationship (ER) diagram to accommodate the Functional Dependency (FD) information as its integral partfor complete automation of normalization. In current relational databases (RDBMS) automation ofnormalization by top down approach is possible using ER diagram as an input, provided the FD informationis available independently, meanwhile, through user interaction. Such automation we call partial andconditional automation. To avoid this user interaction, there is a strong need to accommodate FDinformation as an element of ER diagram itself. Moreover, ER diagrams are not designed by taking intoaccount the requirements of normalization. However, for better automation of normalization it must be anintegral part of conceptual design (ER Diagram). The prime motivation behind this paper to design a systemthat need only proposed AER diagram as a sole input and normalize the database up to a given normal formin one go. This would allow more amount of automation than the current approach. Such automation we callas total and unconditional automation, which is better and complete in true sense. As the proposed AERdiagram is designed by taking in to account the normalization process, normalization up to Boyce CoddNormal Form (BCNF) becomes an integral part of conceptual design. Additional advantage of AER diagramis that any modifications (addition, deletion or updation of attributes) made to the AER diagram willautomatically be reflected in its FD information. Thus description of schema and FD information isguaranteed to be consistent. This cannot be assured in current approach using ER diagrams, as schema andFD information are provided to the system at two different times, separately.

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    ABSTRACT: AER (Articulated Entity Relationship) diagrams proposed by us, are the extension of EntityRelationship (ER) diagrams to accommodate functional dependencies (FDs) as their integral part.Accommodation of FDs in ER diagram helps to achieve total and unconditional automation of relationaldatabase normalization. In this paper we have implemented a software Integrated DevelopmentEnvironment (IDE), called AER IDE, designed by extending the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) andDraw2d plug-in functionality of Eclipse. The AER IDE helps to draw, validate, store and normalize AERdiagrams. An AER IDE has five modules. AER Editor allows creation and edition of AER diagrams usingModel View controller (MVC) approach. AER diagrams are translated and stored as an xml file. AERValidator provides the facility of AER diagram validation based on a set of proposed rules. AERNormalizer allows normalization of an AER diagram, in one go, with the help of the proposed AERnormalization rules and algorithms. Thus, it allows the total and unconditional automation of relationaldatabase normalization up to a given normal form; as an integral part of AER IDE. It also serves as avisual aid for the normalization process which is always easy to understand and interpret rather thantheoretical approach. AER-XML Bidirectional Translator provides the import and export functionality ofAER diagram, to and from an XML template making it compatible with the other toolset. AER-SQLGenerator generates DDL scripts in the SQL schema format. The AER IDE is tested with ten distinct AERdiagrams with all possible combinations of AER features and validation rules.
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