The NORMA (Natural Object-Role Modeling Architect) tool has long supported a single-page view of the generated relational model. This view automatically shows one shape per table. Unfortunately, as the number of tables and foreign keys grows, this single-page approach becomes impractical. Therefore, for advanced users wishing to display readable relational models, it is necessary to move beyond this single-page approach.
The NORMA multi-page relational view was created to address these concerns by allowing multiple relational diagrams in the same model. However, the multi-page environment has inherent issues that do not occur with a single-page approach.
This paper discusses how we handle shape creation for tables and foreign keys with no corresponding display shape, how we display foreign keys when the referenced table is not on the diagram, and how column associations are displayed for foreign keys. We also discuss the display options used to balance explicit display of column information and complexity of the connecting lines. The result is a flexible system for rapid population of targeted relational diagrams that scales seamlessly for large models.
Matthew Curland: ORM Solutions (USA)