That was a great presentation today at DAMA SA on “Semantics for Data Architects” with the FIB-DM model in PowerDesigner

It overran quite a lot today, but most people attending didn’t seem to mind. I’m talking about Jurgen Ziemer’s presentation for DAMA South Africa, talking about the FIB-DM data model he’s built from the FIBO ontology – you can see his presentation here. It’s a very large model, some of which is available for free – click on the Download link at to ask for the free version.

The FIB-DM makes a lot of use of inheritance hierarchies, with some multiple inheritance in there as well, so it can take a while to get to grips with the model.

For example, I might be interested in knowing how the model handles Deposit Accounts. If I right-click the entity name in the object browser, I can use the context menu to find the diagram that contains the Deposit Account entity – it’s called “FIBO Finance, Business and Commerce – Products and Services, Clients and Accounts”, and it’s three levels down inside the package hierarchy within the model. Here’s what that diagram looks like – I’ve highlighted the Deposit Account entity:

The only diagram containing the Deposit Account entity

I can see that the entity is in one of those inheritance hierarchies, and that it’s got relationships to a couple of child entities. What I can’t see here are any connections to other objects that the modeller decided NOT to include on this diagram. That could be another parent or child entity, traceability links, or other relationships. What I’d like to see is a diagram that shows me the complete context for that entity – everything in the ‘proximity’ of the entity.

I could carefully work through the dependencies the entity has, and then select them for inclusion in a diagram, but I’d like a quicker way of doing it.

That’s where the CDM LDM Productivity model extension comes in – it can create that ‘Proximity’ diagram for me with a single click (I can also refresh it with a single click to make sure it’s up to date). Here it is:

Proximity diagram for Deposit Account

There isn’t much there that isn’t on the other diagram, just an extra parent entity – Banking Product. Crikey, that changes my understanding a little bit, I didn’t know about that, and I’d like to find out more. To start with, I’d like to see the inheritance hierarchies in more detail. This is also provided by the CDM LDM Productivity model extension – with one click I can create an Inheritance diagram for the entity, which can also be refreshed whenever I want:

Inheritance diagram for Deposit Account

I’ve hidden all the child entities from the diagram, as I’m primarily interested in the entity’s parentage – I can see that the entity is a great-grandchild of Product, and also a great-grandchild of Account.

These are just two of the features provided by the CDM LDM Productivity model extension – it also includes configurable naming standards, diagram completeness, and other features to improve the productivity of anyone working with Conceptual or Logical Data Models in PowerDesigner.

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