The semantic database model as a basis for an automated database design tool
The automatic database design system is a design aid for network database creation. It obtains a requirements specification from a user and generates a prototype database. This database is compatible with the Data Definition Language of DMS 1100, the database system on the Univac 1108 at the University of Cape Town. The user interface has been constructed in such a way that a computer-naive user can submit a description of his organisation to the system. Thus it constitutes a powerful database design tool, which should greatly alleviate the designer's tasks of communicating with users, and of creating an initial database definition. The requirements are formulated using the semantic database model, and semantic information in this model is incorporated into the database as integrity constraints. A relation scheme is also generated from the specification. As a result of this research, insight has been gained into the advantages and shortcomings of the semantic database model, and some principles for 'good' data models and database design methodologies have emerged.