On Suitability of Standard UML Notation for Relational Database Schema Representation

  • Drazen BrdjaninEmail author
  • Slavko Maric
  • Zvjezdan Spasic Pavkovic
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 248)


The suitability of the standard UML notation for representation of relational database schema has been considered in this paper. Unlike the existing approaches using specialized notation (UML profiles), in this paper we propose an alternative approach for representation of relational database schema by standard UML class diagram. Apart from the analysis of the suitability of the isID (meta)attribute, we propose an alternative representation of composite keys by using class operations. The main idea of the proposed approach is based on the fact that the standardized order of operation parameters can be used to represent the order of key segments. The proposed approach is illustrated by a simple model in forward engineering of relational database.


Relational database schema UML Class diagram Profile Eclipse-topcased Forward engineering Primary key Foreign key 


  1. 1.
    Codd, E.: A relational model of data for large shared data banks. Commun. ACM 13(5), 377–387 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Martin, J.: Information Engineering. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1990)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    NIST: FIPSP 184 - Integration Definition for Information Modeling (IDEF1X). NIST, Gaithersburg (1993)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    OMG: Unified Modeling Language (OMG UML), v2.5. OMG (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    OMG: Request for Proposal Information Management Metamodel (IMM). OMG (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Naiburg, E., Maksimchuk, R.: UML for Database Design. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Li, L., Zhao, X.: UML specification of relational database. J. Object Technol. 2(5), 87–100 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ambler, S.W.: Agile Database Techniques. John Wiley and Sons, Indianapolis (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lo, C.M., Hung, H.Y.: Towards a UML profile to relational database modeling. Appl. Math. Inf. Sci. 8(2), 733–743 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marcos, E., Vela, B., Cavero, J.M.: A methodological approach for object-relational database design using UML. Softw. Syst. Model. 2, 59–72 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tomic, I., Brdjanin, D., Maric, S.: A novel UML profile for representation of a relational database schema. In: Proceedings of EUROCON 2015, pp. 1–6. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Muller, R.J.: Database Design for Smarties: Using UML for Data Modeling. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco (1999)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Armonas, A., Nemuraite, L.: Pattern based generation of full-fledged relational schemas from UML/OCL models. Inf. Technol. Control 35(1), 27–33 (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lo, C.M., Huang, S.J.: MDA-based rapid application framework. Int. J. Advancements Comp. Tech. 4(8), 307–314 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    OMG: Unified Modeling Language: Infrastructure, v2.4. OMG (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    OMG: Unified Modeling Language: Infrastructure, v2.4.1. OMG (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    ISO, IEC: ISO/IEC FDIS 9075–1 Information technology - Database languages - SQL - Part 1: Framework (SQL/Framework). ISO/IEC (2011)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
    OMG: MOF 2.0/XMI Mapping Specification, v2.1. OMG (2007)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    OMG: MOF 2 XMI Mapping Specification, v2.1.1. OMG (2007)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    OMG: OMG MOF 2 XMI Mapping Specification, v2.4.1. OMG (2013)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    OMG: XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) Specification, v2.5.1. OMG (2015)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    ISO: Information technology - Object Management Group Object Constraint Language (OCL). ISO/IEC 19507: 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Heidenreich, F., Wende, C., Demuth, B.: A framework for generating query language code from OCL invariants. ECEASST 9, 1–10 (2008)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Embley, D.W., Mok, W.Y.: Mapping conceptual models to database schemas. In: Embley, D.W., Thalheim. B., (eds.) Handbook of Conceptual Modeling, pp. 123–163. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    TOPCASED Project: Toolkit in OPen-source for Critical Application & SystEms Development, v5.3.1.
  27. 27.
    Brdjanin, D., Maric, S., Gunjic, D.: ADBdesign: an approach to automated initial conceptual database design based on business activity diagrams. In: Catania, B., Ivanović, M., Thalheim, B. (eds.) ADBIS 2010. LNCS, vol. 6295, pp. 117–131. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Brdjanin, D., Maric, S.: An approach to automated conceptual database design based on the UML activity diagram. Comput. Sci. Inf. Syst. 9(1), 249–283 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drazen Brdjanin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Slavko Maric
    • 1
  • Zvjezdan Spasic Pavkovic
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Banja LukaBanja LukaBosnia and Herzegovina
  2. 2.RT-RK InstituteBanja LukaBosnia and Herzegovina

Personalised recommendations