Some Useful Tools
One of the more widely used modeling tools these days is CA ERwin from Computer Associates. ERwin supports a standard Information Engineering notation that is more or less the de facto standard for modern data modeling.
CA supports a query tool that permits you to write sql queries against the ERwin metamodel itself. This is extremely useful for anybody who is concerned with maintaining an ERwin model. It lets you ask questions and get answers about almost anything you can enter in an ERwin model. If, for example, you wish to change an abbreviation you can write a query to find all the places in the model that the abbreviation is used. The query tool is also extremely useful for providing to the point documentation that provides names and definitions for entities, attributes, tables, views and columns and any other model objects that are of interest. You can produce specificationsfor developing ETL and for integrating various modeling components with database and other implementations.
Although the query tool is useful it is very difficult to use without a reference model to write queries against. In collaberation with clients, Datamorphosis has developed a model of the ERwin metamodel. It is based partly on some of the publications from Computer Associates and mostly on tedious reverse engineering of the underlying model. The Datamorphosis ERwin metamodel is not comprehensive. It does not include the database specific components of the metamodel nor does it include components specific to release 8 of ERwin and later. But it is coherent and readable. And in most cases there are definitions for the metamodel components.
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