Data Architecture Reference Model

First things first: what is a reference model? From Wikipedia, a reference model is a model in systems, enterprise, and software engineering is an abstract framework or domain-specific ontology consisting of an interlinked set of clearly defined concepts produced by an expert or body of experts in order to encourage clear communication.

Given that, the Whitemarsh Data Architecture Reference Model is in the area of data engineering and serves as a framework for understanding the scope and interrelationships among clearly definable sets of component models that address data. Accomplished, such a model enhances clear communication among deployed instances of the data architecture model’s contained components.

After many years of evolution of understanding data from its natural conception through its deployment via databases, and business information systems, Whitemarsh has posited that a data architecture consists of four distinct technology independent models and then two technology-dependent interface models. The models are depicted below.

 The four main models are:

  • Data Element Model
  • Concepts Model (Specified)
  • Logical Database Model (Implemented)
  • Physical Database Model (Operational)

The two technology dependent interface models are:

  • SQL View Model
  • XML Schema Model

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