IT Architects™  Data Architecture

A Data Architecture represents a company’s organization and provision of data to the various users and user groups throughout the company. The IT Architects™  Data Architecture framework focuses on both the definition of data from a business and physical implementation perspective. It provides the organization with the methods and structure to transform its data definition from the conceptual to the logical to its physical implementation state.

The business representation, also known as a logical definition, is depicted by an Entity Relationship Diagram and organizes data based on rules minimizing duplication and optimizing data entity relationships. This perspective focuses strictly on what data supports the business activities and what information is created by those activities.

The physical representation is depicted by various types of models that link all the physical structures supporting the business data. In the world of relational technology, this data is implemented using data structures such as tables, table clusters, indexes, views and multitude of others. The physical implementation of this business data must ensure that its storage and provisioning are based on data integrity, access and performance.

Many organizations adopting object-oriented methods and practices have embraced Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a modeling technique to define its Data Architecture. The Class Diagram has been a key analysis and design diagram representing a system. In this diagram, you describe the structure of classes in the system – their identity, relationships to other classes, attributes, and operations. A class describes a set of objects with similar structure, behaviour, and relationships. A class is defined by various properties, including, most notably, attributes and methods.

Many Enterprise Architecture tools have the capability to automatically convert a Class Diagram to an Entity Relationship Diagram if there is a requirement to map back to an Information Engineering view of the data. These tools also support automatic generation and reversal of Java code from an EA repository. Thus, a Class Diagram can be automatically created from a Java file for reverse-engineering purposes.

IT Architects is committed to implementing a data architecture that represents the business and supports it’s logical data model. As a result, the physical implementation is closely coupled with an organization’s logical data definition. The data architecture’s physical implementation is based on database administration expertise and up-to-date database product understanding.