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Conceptual data modeling in Visio

Started by ics, March 08, 2013, 11:53:45 PM

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The built-in Database/Entity Relationship stencil (in 2010 Professional) is perfectly acceptable for logical and physical data modeling, however the problem for more abstract conceptual modeling is that the entity shape always has an attribute section (i.e. a 2nd rectangle under the rectangle containing the entity name rectangle). All I want there is a box showing the entity name, as in this picture, and not waste space with an empty attribute section. I have searched and found many similar observations, but the solutions seem to be to either create a new stencil for conceptual modeling ( or to just use rectangles and crow's feet connectors. Since I want to create the conceptual model first, then refine it into the logical and physical by supplying more details (not redrawing from scratch) ... i.e., use the built-in power of foreign key relations and categories etc. ... I believe the solution instead is simply, how do I configure Visio to display the entity shape without the attrbute section?

I just learned on this board how to enter developer mode and edit the shape sheet, so I can resize a chosen entity shape (yes, I admit I'm a visio wimp) ... is this where I should go to edit the shape to have one rectangle and not two? (and hopefully to modify this at the global level for all entity shapes).

Thanks in advance!


I can't try out the stencil you mention, but here's how I would try to the solve the problem.
You want the keep the functionality of the stencil, but add a special behaviour, which is to display entities with less information than the standard solution provides. Edit these entity shapes by making sure that you don't delete any of the important fields, but add a custom property field for your case (first design/detailed), then add the geometrical behaviour showing either the original version, or the modified one depending on that field.

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