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Re: ORM and databases

From: Scot A. Becker <scot_at_orthogonalsoftware.com>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 18:56:08 -0500
Message-ID: <VmYD8.15924$5a.776969@twister.kc.rr.com>


Hi Coen,

> I'm know a little bit about information modeling (ER, NIAM), but I'm
> not familiar with ORM but there is plenty of information about is
> (orm.net).

NIAM and FORML (the modeling language referred to at orm.net) are "dialects" of Object-Role Modeling (ORM) much like Chen, Barker, IDEF1x, IE, etc. are "dialects" of Entity-Relationship (ER) techniques. So, if you are familiar with NIAM, "ORM" (or more accurately, FORML) should be an easy transition.

> Maybe I want to use ORM for designing a MS Access Database with
> input-forms and reports. The model of the database is going to be used
> in a laboratory.
>
> Is ORM a good modelingtechnique for a certain database?

Like NIAM, ORM is focused at the conceptual level. You can then apply mapping techniques (or use a tool) to generate the logical model as well as the physical model (Access, SQL Server, some Object-Relational datastore, etc.)

So, the answer to you question is yes, you can use ORM to generate an MS Access database. Further, ORM can be used for any database and/or database platform.

However, if you are referring to tools that support ORM and which database platforms they support:

InfoModeler/VisioModeler supports most of the major database platforms out there (Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase, Informix, DB2) as well as various desktop databases (Access, FoxPro, etc.). However the code base is older so it only supports the older drivers for those databases. But, that isn't really a problem because you can always generate the DDL (in SQL) and make a few minor modifications in order to be able to run that script on the newer versions of the database.

That being said, for MS Access, VisioModeler should work fine. Plus, it's free. You can download it at:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=27489&area=search&o rdinal=13

If you want to buy the newer ORM tool, that is available with the Enterprise Architect edition of Visual Studio.Net. It is called "Visio (2002) for Enterprise Architects". This version supports the newer drivers of the major database vendors, but they have dropped support for some of the desktop database packages (e.g. FoxPro, Paradox, etc.) However, being an MS product, they still support all versions of MS Access.

> PS. At orm.net are only tutorials and comparisations with UML and ER.
> Does somebody have some examples which are used in a real situation
> and wants to share it?

I have some primers on tool usage and a few other things available at my website (URL below). Other ORM resources include the JCM (www.inconcept.com/JCM) and www.ormcentral.com.

Hope that helps,
Scot.



Scot A. Becker

Software Consultant & Founder
Orthogonal Software Corporation
http://www.orthogonalsoftware.com Received on Mon May 13 2002 - 18:56:08 CDT

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