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How to generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio?

Last post 01-10-2014 2:02 by Matthew Curland. 3 replies.
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  • 01-09-2014 16:05

    How to generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio?

    Hello, Could you please let me know how can I generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio? I cannot find it in the user interface. Thank you in advance.
  • 01-09-2014 21:18 In reply to

    Re: How to generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio?

    For a first-time user, it's pretty well-hidden! Select your project in Solution Explorer. At the bottom of the Properties page is an item called "ORM Generator Settings". Select it, then click the "..." button at the right. A dialog opens where you can select which generators to run.
  • 01-10-2014 1:46 In reply to

    Re: How to generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio?

    Hi Clifford,

    NORMA currently does not have any generators to produce ER files, so the ORM Generator Settings dialog will not help you.

    Generator settings generate additional files from the .ORM file. All evidence of an ER model is currently inside the .orm file itself, so no additional file is generated. The directions for getting to the generator settings are a little loose here. To do it:

    1. Include a .ORM file in a VB or C# project (copy in, don't reference it).
    2. You should see an ORMGeneratorSettings property for the .ORM file.
    3. Open the dialog and choose the file types to generate.
    4. If you're in a VB project, the default setting is to hide secondary files. You can adjust this by selecting the project node and fiddling with the file display buttons on the Solution Explorer toolbar (sorry, I don't remember the exact button name right now).

    -Matt

  • 01-10-2014 2:02 In reply to

    Re: How to generate an Entity relationship Model from the ORM using Visual Studio?

    Hello Elona,

    First a question back to you, then a status of where we are with ER in NORMA.

    The question back is what kind of ER model do you want generated from ORM? There are several flavors of ER. Are you just trying to view an ER model, or are you trying to use NORMA to output something you can pull into another specific tool?

     

    I'm afraid you'll be somewhat disappointed in generated an ER model from ORM right now. The tool includes extensions to generate a basic Barker ER model, but the result is still somewhat rudimentary and will likely have issues staying in sync with the ORM model. To see Barker ER settings in the ORM Model Browser, open the Extension Manager dialog from the ORM designer context menu and select 'Map to Barker ER Model'. Also selecting 'Barker ER View' will give you a diagram as well as a presence in the model browser.

    Unfortunately, the Barker mapping is still pretty basic. I invested some time last year getting an updated version working (the current one was undergraduate work by a Neumont student who also did a Master's project in the same area, but we never got it 100% integrated, so it got out of date). The new version has much better ER generation, including Euler diagrams for subtyping. Unfortunately I had a limited window to try this and had to drop the attempt before checking in because of major performance issues with the diagram--medium sized models (around 100 tables) were taking two or three hours to layout the diagram. We also had initial versions of an EDMX (Microsoft's ER designer) generator when it was still in beta, but MS changed the final product enough by release time that we weren't able to push this project.

    Making ORM models understandable to ER folks is enhanced slightly by the Entity Relationship Learning Mode display options (available in the ORM Designer tab of the Tools/Options dialog in VS). The Binary Fact Type Multiplicity Display option here allows you to decorate role player lines on binary fact types with various styles of ER markup (crows feet, dashed lines, etc).

    -Matt

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