Len Silverston has been a proponent of universal data models (also called generic data models, or data model patterns) for as long as I have known him. I have other friends that argue the case for “specific models” as opposed to “generic models.” I am sure that there are trade-offs on both sides of the argument, as you would find trade-offs with any complex engineering solution.
However, when it comes to Len’s most recent book, The Data Model Resource Book, Revised Edition, Volume 2, this generic model argument is not even an issue! It doesn’t make any difference how you come down on the argument, and it doesn’t make any difference if you consider Len’s models to be generic or specific in nature. Any way you look at it, it is a lot easier and faster to start with something somebody else has already put down on paper than to have to start with a blank sheet of paper and create something from scratch yourself!
Len has made a major contribution to us in publishing the set of industry models in this book. It is clear that he has done a lot of research in preparing to write the book, and it is also clear that he has capitalized on his vast experience in implementing the universal models. He has created enterprise-wide models for eight different industries, which in various combinations and permutations may well satisfy the bulk of what is needed by any specific Enterprise in virtually any industry!
Now, let’s get pragmatic. Starting with a universal data model does not absolve ...