View Full Version : Visio and the art of Database Design

Citizen Bleys
08-01-2002, 03:52 AM
Hi. I'm (maybe, and slowly) planning on writing up some forum software, which duplicates the things I like about vBulletin and AcmlmBoard, and leaves out the crap I don't.

If my time at CompuCollege has taught me one thing, it's that design work before coding is absolutely, positively imperative. I sat down and did all my design work for my final project for E-Commerce II, and as a result, I finished 3 days before the deadline. The girl who sits next to me just jumped into code, and ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid she's not going to have a completed project. I also used documentation to write a simplistic web forum using active server pages in under four hours.

At school, I did all my design work using Micros~1 Visio. Not just because CompuCollege is a Micros~1 lackey and made us learn Active Server Pages instead of php, but because it's the best freakin' design tool I've ever seen, Micros~1 or no.

So I get home and decide to do my design work for the forums I want to write. No problem, right? I've got Visio. Only difference is, my version of Visio came with Visual Studio .NET, not Office 2000.

To my dismay, Visio .NET does NOT seem to support templates for designing Chen ERDs (Entity Relationship Diagarams--The basis of good database design, IMO).

So...can anybody else point me out to any good database design software, preferably something intended for drawing Chen ERDs?

I need Windows software. I had Linux on my laptop, but my laptop's BIOS went poon, and therefore I am once again Linux-less. (Which sucks since I want to design this software in PHP, but that's a whole new rant)

08-01-2002, 03:56 AM
When I was working on Access, I used to use paper and pen. Because Access' sucks that ace.

Citizen Bleys
08-01-2002, 01:33 PM
I won't be using Access...But I would like something that does what Visio 2000 does, and I don't think I can put Visio 2000 on my machine, because it's already got Orifice XP and VS.NET on it.

Phoenix Aes Sedai
08-01-2002, 04:04 PM
Try importing the non native format or maybe changing the file extensions? Sometimes that will trip the program up enough to open the file and reformat it natively.

Or just format C: and install Linux. (you KNEW I was gonna say it)

At worst, you'll just have to start all over again. May I suggest using an OPEN standard, a la SQL?


Citizen Bleys
08-01-2002, 10:43 PM
Okay, I guess I'm not being clear.


I want to implement the code using php and mySQL, as any sane person was.

This thread is about design work. Nothing else. I don't want do wind up with a chaotically designed database, I want something professional caliber, in third normal form, and that means I have to design it properly, which means including a data dictionary and an Entity Relationship Diagram. Yes, there are many kinds of ERDs--I'm most comfortable with the Chen model, and I want to use the Chen model.

I'm not asking anything at all about what kind of database to use--I'm looking for software used for drawing pictures that represent the database.

EDIT: And I am not yelling. Well, the first bit was, but the rest....fweh.

Phoenix Aes Sedai
08-01-2002, 11:06 PM
MS Paint works very well when you have to draw pictures since you can't get the files open under another SS or DB app.

Search download.com or something. Maybe they'll have the DB app you want.

Unless you have a db design app that does what you want, you're stuck using Paint like I am when I try to do plot schema.


Citizen Bleys
08-02-2002, 01:43 AM
>< That's horrible *cwy*

Move an entity in a Chen ERD drawn in Paint, and it breaks all your relationships--you have to redraw all of the crowsfeet and himno.

Maybe someone did a 'doze port of Kivio.