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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

ITED123

(DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS 1)

EXERCISE

1
IDENTIFYING THE MODELING APPROACH

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I. OBJECTIVES

At the end of this exercise, students must be able to:


a) Identify which models must be developed
b) Identify which modeling approach to use

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Approaches to Modeling

There are three approaches to modeling: top-down, bottom-up, and targeted. All three
approaches meet a different need, so you may be involved in projects that use different
approaches. In this course, you focus most on top-down modeling, which involves building a
model from scratch and following it through to completion.

 Top-Down modeling is used for designing a new database. It gathers information


about business requirements, and proceeds to define processes, a logical model of the
data, one or more relational models, and one or more physical models for each
relational model. The steps and information requirements can range from simple to
elaborate, depending on your needs.

 Bottom-up modeling approach modifies an existing database definition. It builds a


database design based on either metadata extracted from an existing database or a file
with DDL code that implements an existing database. The resulting database is
represented as a relational model and a physical model, and you reverse engineer the
logical model from the relational model.

 Targeted modeling approach maintains the existing models by adapting to new


requirements. Depending on the requirement, you must determine which model to
modify. If the new requirement is to add or modify a new business requirement, you
typically modify the logical data model and then forward engineer the change to the
relational model to synchronize the models. If the new requirement is to add or
modify an existing database definition, you typically modify the relational model and
reverse engineer to synchronize with the logical data model.

III. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

Starlight DVD Case Study

Starlight DVD and Games Rentals is a successful company that rents DVDs and games.
Last year’s turnover almost doubled to $6.5 million with a profile margin of just over 10%,
which is high in this type of business. The number of rentals increased 80% and the customer
base tripled to 30,000. The number of available movie titles grew by 8%, reflecting the
increase in titles coming out on DVD. The number of copies in the stores increased by 45%
to 63,000. The renting of games is still an immature business (less than 5% of turnover) and
the number of game titles is steady as new games replace those removed from the catalog.

Starlight already has an information system to track rentals, but this needs enhancement
to support proposed changes to the business. A team of business consultants has carried out a
study and produced a report outlining proposals. The following is an excerpt from the report:

 Starlight attracts new customers easily and the number of rentals is growing rapidly. The
customer base is not stable, however, which is a cause for concern. We suggest
implementing some new concepts that should attract new customers and retain existing
customers.
 The main idea is to introduce the concept of membership at Starlight. Members will pay a
membership fee (the amount to be decided) that entitles them to certain privileges that are
valid for a period of time (length to be decided). Initially, there will be three types of
membership (gold, silver, and bronze) although more may be introduced later. Bronze
membership is free and replaces the current way of handling rentals. Silver and gold
memberships incur a fee but entitle the member to privileges, such as a discount on the
usual rental price for a type of title, a free DVD after a certain number of rentals, the right
to take out more than the usual number of DVDs at the same time, and the right to take
out more “new release” titles than usual.
 In the current situation, only individuals (“customers”) can rent. It is proposed to extend
membership to companies as well.
 A membership will be of a certain type, last for a specified period, and will be renewed
periodically. The type of membership cannot be changed. If someone wants to upgrade
from a bronze to a silver membership, the bronze membership is terminated and a silver
membership is created. Members will receive an automatic renewal or upgrade offer
about a month before the membership is due to expire if they have rented a tape or game
during the previous four weeks. Bronze memberships that do not lead to a rental during
the rental period are terminated automatically. Silver and gold members receive a
membership card only after paying the appropriate fee. Members can terminate their
membership by request at any time.
 Another cause for concern is the number of “lost” DVDs. We propose some new
procedures to address this problem. Every customer seeking membership will have to
provide proof of identity as part of the registration process. A photocopy of the
identification will be stored. A membership card, containing the membership number,
type, expiration date, and a photograph of the holder, will be provided. This card will
have to be shown for every rental transaction.
 In addition, the store manager will be able to produce a weekly report identifying DVDs
that are more than two weeks overdue. Members who have the DVDs will be requested to
return them immediately. The request will be repeated until the DVDs are returned.
Members who fail to return DVDs, or who repeatedly break the rules by keeping DVDs
for two weeks or more, will have their membership terminated.
 Starlight management emphasizes that all amendments to the information system must be
flexible enough to deviate from fees and time frames in individual cases
Task

In this exercise, read the Starlight DVD case study and discuss the models that must be
developed and what modeling approach to use.

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IV. QUESTION AND ANSWER

Differentiate the approaches to modeling by giving examples.

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V. REFERENCES

Young, M. (2010). Oracle Data Modeling and Relational Database Design, Vol. 1 Student
Guide, Oracle.