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By: Gregory Keller
Abstract: Using Schema Examiner to examine data model quality
Q: What can Schema Examiner do for you?
A: Your corporate databases are one of the most valuable assets of your company. The database professionals that design and maintain them must protect this data vigorously. This cannot be easily done without Embarcadero Schema Examiner. Schema Examiner will ensure you have an error-free data model. It checks your data model against a relational theory knowledge-based repository and reports on any deviations. With Schema Examiner, you can be assured that the information that is disseminated throughout the company is reliable.
Q: Why should Schema Examiner be used?
A: Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) are based on the Relational Theory. To get the most out of them, you need to define objects that adhere to the relational standards. One of the greatest paradoxes of an RDBMS is that it is possible to define a non-relational object and still be able to store and retrieve data from it.
It is important to adhere to relational standards because an RDBMS offers powerful commands that work well on relational objects, but they do not work well, or at all, on non-relational structures. The consequences of having a non-relational object in an RDBMS are: more complex source code, increased system complexity, and manual manipulation of integrity. In fewer words: systems that are more expensive and vulnerable.
Q: Isn’t ER/Studio sufficient?
A: Although ER/Studio is an invaluable aid in the database development cycle, there are no guarantees that the model you design will conform to relational standards. ER/Studio creates the structures you tell it to create, whether they follow relational theory or not. Schema Examiner interfaces directly with ER/Studio models to validate these database designs.
Q: Why must I use Schema Examiner every time I modify my database structure?
A: Every time your model is modified, it must be checked for compliance with relational standards. That may take a lot of time, especially if you decide to do it after the system is in production. The hours spent manually checking the model is time that could be used to do more productive things.
Q: Can't I manually validate my model?
A: Schema Examiner verifies the structure of your system against a set of rules, in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same job manually. It instructs you on the theoretical principles applied to verify your system, and automatically generates the corrections to necessary improve your structure.
Q: What is the Teach Me Facility within Schema Examiner?
A: Schema Examiner’s Teach Me facility will assist you in understanding why an issue was reported, what its consequences are, and what your course of action should be. All of these issues are illustrated by examples. The correction facility will generate, if appropriate, scripts to solve the problems.
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