All database objects are listed under the appropriate data dictionary object button on the Project explorer. This chapter lists and gives a brief explanation about the main objects on a project.
Tables are the basic elements of a project. They can be imported from an existing database or be easily created in a TMS Data Modeler project and later implemented in the database.
All tables in the project are listed under Tables on the Project eEplorer, and can also be visualized in a diagram.
Double-clicking on a table from the list opens the Table editor, where you can view and update all of its properties including fields and indexes.
Using TMS Data Modeler you may also create Constraints, which are restrictions/rules applied to a table, and Triggers, which are procedures executed every time an update / insert / delete is executed in a given table.
Relationships are connections between tables. A relationship is shown in diagrams as a line between the child and parent table, or around a single table in the case of a self-relationship. TMS Data Modeler uses a key from the parent table to manipulate relationships, therefore previous creation of a key, such as a primary key or other exclusive index, is mandatory. By selecting a field on the parent key you are able to select all compatible fields on the child table.
The supported relationship types are:
Non-identifying relationship: it's the most usual type of relationship. It represents a weak connection, a relationship between parent and child table that does not involve a key field, such as the relationship between tables "Products" and "Categories", for example.
Identifying relationship: a relationship where the related fields from the child table are part of the key which identifies a unique record in this table. It indicates a strong connection, such as the relationship between tables "Order details" and "Products", for example. There are no "Order details" without a related "Product", and the "Product" is part of the key of the "Order details" table.
All relationships present in the project are listed under Relationships on the Project explorer, and can also be visualized in a diagram.
Double-clicking on a relationship from the list opens the Relationship editor, where you can view and update all of its properties and settings.
In TMS Data Modeler a diagram acts as a view from the system or part of the system, unlike most database tools where diagrams are the main element of the project, defining all tables and structures.
Several different diagrams can be created, each of them with selected tables so you can better examine and edit their properties and relationships. Diagrams show all relationships between the inserted tables automatically, and allows full edition of the database structure. It is possible to update and remove objects, create new tables and relationships and so on.
All diagrams created in the project are listed under Diagrams on the Project explorer. Double-clicking on a diagram opens the Diagrams editor where you can view and update all of its tables and settings.
Besides the main elements tables and relationships, you may also create and edit extra objects: generic database objects that do not present a strong connection with the tables in a TMS Data Modeler project. Note that not all target DBMS support all project objects, such as procedures, generators and views.
Procedures (or "stored procedures") are functions programmed into the database, like triggers. Through TMS Data modeler, you can edit and create procedures as shortcuts to regularly executed actions, and store them for future use.
All procedures created in the project are listed under Procedures on the Project explorer. Double-clicking on a procedure opens the Procedures editor, where you can view and update all of its properties and settings.
Generators are a resource to generate number sequences. You are able to specify an initial number and the desired increment, and each time a value is selected in this Generator, a new number is generated. It is an useful tool to fill sequential fields, automatically numbering them. Some DBMS such as SQL Server have automatic auto-increment options (available on the fields editor when selecting Int(identity) as logic type).
All Generators created in the project are listed under Generators on the Project explorer. Double-clicking on a Generator opens the Generators editor, where you can view and update all of its properties and settings.
Views are a stored queries into databases. By creating a view, you are able to select frequently used query processes and save them for future use. For example, you can create a view called AlphabeticalList using the structure:
create view "AlphabeticalList" AS
SELECT Products.*, Categories.CategoryName
FROM Categories INNER JOIN Products ON Categories.CategoryID = Products.CategoryID
This will list all products on the database in alphabetical order.
All views created in the project are listed under Views on the Project explorer. Double-clicking on a view the Views editor, where you can view and update all of its properties and settings.
Domains are resources that allow you to define a special type of field and reuse efficiently these definitions in various fields in the database. Selecting Domains on the Create Tab on the Home Ribbon, it is possible to create a domain called "ZIPCODE" for example and define its properties in the Domains editor, such as: data type text, size 5, default value "00000" and so on.
Afterwards, when creating a zip code field in a table, you are able to select the domain ZIPCODE and import all of these settings. Specifying all field properties again becomes unnecessary, which is extremely useful not only to avoid reworking when creating fields but also for maintenance and consistency. If it ever becomes necessary to increase the field size, for example, instead of making this change field by field, table by table, you just need to adjust a single domain.
The Project Files
TMS Data Modeler works with a model that represents the physical database. Through this model, scripts can be generated to implement changes in an existing physical database or to create a physical database from scratch.
Creating a project will generate the following files:
•A single .dgp file is created for each project, containing project settings and the structure of all data dictionary objects. You may select the file directory and name when saving your project.
•Conversion maps created by users are saved in the Application Data folder, inside TMS Software\Data Modeler\Conversions subdirectory. Data Modeler's default conversion maps are located in the application directory.
•Connections are saved on the file UsrConnections.bin, located in the Application Data folder inside TMS Software\Data modeler subdirectory.
•Different project versions are saved by default in the subdirectory \versions inside the project directory (%projectdir%). This working directory can be changed on the General settings dialog. To open this dialog, select Settings on the Project tab on the Tools ribbon, and click on the Version control tab, as shown below.
Each new version file is saved under the project file name with its extension corresponding to the version number, e.g. demo.1, demo.2 etc.