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Issue: 14.1 (January/February 2016)
Author: Craig Boyd
Author Bio: Craig Boyd is currently a data architect and senior consultant for a growing business intelligence consultancy. But in his 19 years of IT experience, he has been everything from a PC Technician, iSeries System Administrator, iSeries Programmer, Sr. Technical Lead, Data Modeler, Data Architect and Oracle DBA. He lives in the great state of Texas with his wife and two kids.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 7,272
Starting Page Number: 78
Article Number: 14111
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

As a quick reminder, we are talking about database design patterns. In particular the Party Role model. In the first article, we talked about the concept of Party and how it could be sub-typed into either Person or Organization. We then spent a bit of time talking about the concept of Person. In this column we are going to continue the discussion by digging into Organization and Role.


An Organization is a group of People with a common purpose that sometimes needs to be treated as a single person (for example, as a customer), but also needs to be treated as a collective of individuals (like a department or user group) or as a legal entity. Let's take a look at Figure 1.

Here we see like last time that an Organization is a sub-type of Party. Next an Organization can either be a Legal Organization or an Informal Organization. If it is a Legal Organization type, then it can be one of any number of types of Legal Organizations: Corporation, Partnership, Government Agency, etc... If it is an Informal Organization, then it can be any sort of group of individuals.

Let me take a moment to again drive home the point that the business and, to a lesser degree, the technical requirements should be the ultimate driver for a logical data model. Is this the best way to model an Organization? Maybe, depending on the requirements. Is this the only way? Absolutely not. This is a way to model these concepts. What you should be getting out of this is the pattern of the design. Take a concept and break it down to its most logical and smallest units and associate them or relate them in a way that makes sense.


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