Steps recommended for creating ER diagrams

Now, you can either continue with pen and paper or you can use a graph drawing program called "dia":

Example 1

A database is to be designed for a Car Rental Co. (CRC). The information required includes a description of cars, subcontractors (i.e. garages), company expenditures, company revenues and customers. Cars are to be described by such data as: make, model, year of production, engine size, fuel type, number of passengers, registration number, purchase price, purchase date, rent price and insurance details. It is the company policy not to keep any car for a period exceeding one year. All major repairs and maintenance are done by subcontractors (i.e. franchised garages), with whom CRC has long-term agreements. Therefore the data about garages to be kept in the database includes garage names, addressees, range of services and the like. Some garages require payments immediately after a repair has been made; with others CRC has made arrangements for credit facilities. Company expenditures are to be registered for all outgoings connected with purchases, repairs, maintenance, insurance etc. Similarly the cash inflow coming from all sources - car hire, car sales, insurance claims - must be kept of file.CRC maintains a reasonably stable client base. For this privileged category of customers special credit card facilities are provided. These customers may also book in advance a particular car. These reservations can be made for any period of time up to one month. Casual customers must pay a deposit for an estimated time of rental, unless they wish to pay by credit card. All major credit cards care accepted. Personal details (such as name, address, telephone number, driving licence, number) about each customer are kept in the database.

Example 2

A database is to be designed for a college to monitor students' progress throughout their course of study. The students are reading for a degree (such as BA, BA(Hons) MSc, etc) within the framework of the modular system. The college provides a number of module, each being characterised by its code , title, credit value, module leader, teaching staff and the department they come from. A module is co-ordinated by a module leader who shares teaching duties with one or more lecturers. A lecturer may teach (and be a module leader for) more than one module. Students are free to choose any module they wish but the following rules must be observed: some modules require pre-requisites modules and some degree programmes have compulsory modules. The database is also to contain some information about students including their numbers, names, addresses, degrees they read for, and their past performance (i.e. modules taken and examination results).

Example 3

A relational database is to be designed for a medium sized Company dealing with industrial applications of computers. The Company delivers various products to its customers ranging from a single application program through to complete installation of hardware with customized software. The Company employs various experts, consultants and supporting staff. All personnel are employed on long-term basis, i.e. there are no short-term or temporary staff. Although the Company is somehow structured for administrative purposes (that is, it is divided into departments headed by department managers) all projects are carried out in an inter-disciplinary way. For each project a project team is selected, grouping employees from different departments, and a Project Manager (also an employee of the Company) is appointed who is entirely and exclusively responsible for the control of the project, quite independently of the Company's hierarchy. The following is a brief statement of some facts and policies adopted by the Company.

Once you are finished you can check your answers against the model answer