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The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 3: Universal Patterns for Data Modeling by Len Silverston, Paul Agnew

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Chapter 7. Contact Mechanisms: How to Get in Touch

A colleague of ours has two cell phones, one work phone, one home phone, three different email addresses, a homepage, a MySpace account, a BlackBerry, a home address, a work address, a holiday home address, and finally a fax number. Our colleague also has quite a few old numbers, addresses, and email accounts! Each of the different contact mechanisms mentioned may have one or more different purposes, such as the work address being used as a 'Bill to' address or the home phone number being used for a secondary office number. It is not okay to contact this person at his holiday home, as some of his suppliers found out to their detriment. Is this person all that unusual? Maybe 20 years ago this person would be, but now this type of highly connected individual can be seen using his PDA as he takes the ski lift up to the top of the slopes. Imagine now how many contact points enterprises have if an individual can have so many. This chapter addresses the need to capture and manage the different ways a person or an organization can be contacted, what we refer to as contact mechanisms.

What Is the Significance of This Type of Pattern?

A major pre-occupation with many businesses is how to track information about addresses, phone numbers, and other forms of contact information. For example, sales applications capture 'Bill to' addresses, stock trading applications maintain counter party information, and marketing applications use address information ...

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