Data Analysis and Data Modeling in Visio

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Lab – Data Analysis and Data Modeling in Visio


In this lab, we will learn to draw with Microsoft Visio the ERD’s we created in class.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this learning unit you should be able to:

▪ Understand the concept of data modeling

▪ Develop business rules

▪ Develop and apply good data naming conventions

▪ Construct simple data models using Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs)

▪ Develop entity relationships and define various types of attributes

Lab Goals

Our lab goals are to:

1. Learn to build conceptual models in Microsoft Visio.

2. Create the 5 ERDs from class in Microsoft Visio.

You will accomplish this by drawing the 4 diagrams from the class exercise. You will have to hand in all 4 diagrams by FTPing them to your account space on the IST-S-STUDENTS server and then pasting the url to the diagram in the text boxes for this week’s learning unit assessment.

What you will need to begin

1. A copy of Microsoft Visio 2003 (or higher)

2. The Visio Conceptual Modeling Stencil conceptual modeling.vss (should be with the other files from this week’s lesson)

3. The class exercises from this week (should also be with the other files from week’s lesson.)

Part 1: Getting Ready for Using Microsoft Visio for Conceptual Modeling


This section will explain how to use Microsoft Visio to create conceptual Entity-Relationship data models. Microsoft Visio has built-in database tools for creating logical data models (those that apply the relational database theory to your entity-relationship diagrams), and not very good at conceptual modeling. As a result, using the MS Visio database tools to create the conceptual model diagrams can sometimes feel like trying to jam a round peg into a square hole.

Since not many people are into shoving round pegs into square holes, this guide will explain how you can maximize the Visio database tools for creating conceptual models. For those of you familiar with Visio, here are the heuristics we will follow to make Visio conceptual model friendly:

• Use Database Model Diagrams

• Modify the settings to be more user-friendly

• Do not use the relationship tool – use my stencil instead

Step 1: Create New Document

The first step is to create a new document.

From the Visio Menu, choose: File ( New ( Software & Database ( Database Model Diagram [pic]

This will create your blank Visio page, and load the default database toolset.

IMPORTANT: The default Visio stencils are for logical modeling. I’ve created a custom stencil for conceptual modeling.

Step 2: Load the Conceptual Modeling Custom Stencil

Download the stencil file from our learning management system and save the conceptual modeling.vss somewhere on the local computer.

From the Shapes Bar, select Shapes ( More Shapes ( Open Stencil

Use the Open Stencil dialog to browse for the conceptual modeling.vss and open it.

You should see the following:

Step 3: Configure Default Settings

This is the most important step. In this step we will tweak the database document settings so that they are favorable to conceptual modeling. The benefits of doing this are there will be very little reworking of the document at the logical modeling step.

From the Visio Ribbon, choose: Database ( Display Options

The Database Document Options Dialog will appear. From this dialog, select Relational symbol set, and Conceptual Names visible on the diagram, as displayed in this dialog: [pic]

Next, Click on the Table tab:

From this section of the dialog, display everything except annotations and vertical lines, do not show data types, and place primary keys at top, as displayed in the following dialog:


When you’re finished click ok.

This will close the Database Document Options dialog.

NOTE: You might want to save your document at this time. Now that...
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