We need a forum topic on how to promote non-record-based data modeling schemes, such as ORM or FOM. I remember that we had an extended discussion about this at the Portugal workshop (2007). The question before us: What is the vision for ORM/FOM and how can we make the world aware of this clearly superior scheme for capturing and representing the conceptual model of a business. Some people were going to work on this and report back but I don't recall that anything came out of this. We need a sales strategy, an elevator speech, examples of how we can promote/sell what we have. The forum could be a place to post ideas, suggestions, successes,etc. We lament the fact that most data modelers don't know about ORM and the support tools available. If they have heard of it, their information is usually incomplete and incorrect. Most practicing data architect/modeling professionals think they are doing a good job. They think that relational, or maybe the broader ER is the way to go. They don't even conceive of there being a much better way to do data modeling, or should we say, to model a business IN DATA, and all its business rules. I despair when I try to convince data modelers that there is a better way, than what is currently practiced around most of the world. We fall into the trap of modeling for our current DBMSs (which are predominantly relational). The world cries for a simplified, high-level, enterprise conceptual model, thinking that a conceptual model is simply an abstract relational model with the detail hidden. Nothing could be further from the truth. Terry has is right in calling ORM a conceptual model. The conceptual model needs to model the world as the business users see it, still in all its detail. If that is too big and complex, then you present abstractions of it. The difference is one of presentation, not of modeling.
Well we have all probably heard this before, but we need to get serious about it. I am rolling out my ORM course to the world but that is just one effort. If I can get a data modeling person for a few hours at the beginning of the class, they become convinced. All my students get it right. We need a place to share ideas and do something to promote ORM/FOM.