Crows Foot

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3/7/13

Crow�s Foot Notation

Crow�s Foot Notation
A number of data modeling techniques are being used today. One of the most common is the entity relationship diagram (ERD). Several ERD notations are available. For the purposes of CS270 we will be using Crow�s Foot Notation[b1].

Components used in the creation of an ERD:
Entity � A person, place or thing about which we want to collect and store multiple instances of data. It has a name, which is a noun, and attributes which describe the data we are interested in storing. It also has an identifier, which uniquely identifies one instance of an entity. The attribute which acts as the identifier is marked with an asterisk. �

���������

[b2]

Relationship � Illustrates an association between two entities. It has a name which is a verb. It also has cardinality and modality. ��������

[b3]

Cardinality and Modality are the indicators of the business rules around a relationship. Cardinality refers to the maximum number of times an instance in one entity can be associated with instances in the related entity. Modality refers to the minimum number of times an instance in one entity can be associated with an instance in the related entity. Cardinality can be 1 or Many and the symbol is placed on the outside ends of the relationship line, closest to the entity, Modality can be 1 or 0 and the symbol is placed on the inside, next to the cardinality symbol. For a cardinality of 1 a straight line is drawn. For a cardinality of Many a foot with three toes is drawn. For a modality of 1 a straight line is drawn. For a modality of 0 a circle is drawn.

������� ��������

�zero or more [b4] �1 or more [b5]

www2.cs.uregina.ca/~bernatja/crowsfoot.html

1/6

3/7/13

Crow�s Foot Notation

� ��������

�1 and only 1 (exactly 1) [b6]

���������

�zero or 1 [b7]

Cardinality and modality are indicated at both ends of the relationship line. Once this has been done, the relationships are read as being

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