8.3. Information Engineering Notation

The Information Engineering (IE) approach began with the work of Clive Finkelstein in Australia and CACI in the United Kingdom, and was later adapted by James Martin. Different versions of IE exist, with no single standard. In one form or other, IE is supported by many data modeling tools and is one of the most popular notations for database design.

In the IE approach, entity types are shown as named rectangles, as in Figure 8.19(a). Attributes are often displayed in a compartment below the entity type name, as in Figure 8.19(b), but are sometimes displayed separately (e.g., bubble charts). Some versions support basic constraints on attributes (e.g., Ma/Op/Unique).

Figure 8.19. Typical IE notation for (a) ...

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