Data Modeling is the process of developing a data model for storing data in a database. It conceptually represents data objects, data object associations, business rules, regulatory compliances, and government policies on the data. Data Models ensure consistency in naming conventions, default values, semantics, security, and data quality.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio is frequently created using sophisticated tools such as ER/Studio or ERWIN. But these are not required. You will see how to create data model in SQL in other ways in the blog. We’ll also cover the details of Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and leave you with no doubts regarding this concept!

What is Data Modeling in SQL?

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Data Modeling Image
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Data Modeling is the practice of evaluating data objects and their relationships to other things. It is used to investigate the data requirements for business processes. The Data Models are intended to be used to store data in a database. The Data Model focuses on what data is needed and how data is organized, rather than what actions must be taken.

A Data Model is similar to a blueprint for a building designed by an architect. It is a method of documenting complex software system designs in the form of a simple graphic. The diagram will be created using text and symbols to describe how the data will flow. It is frequently referred to as a blueprint for creating new software or reengineering existing applications.

A data model in SQL Server is an abstract representation of data that you have stored in a relational database or any other data source.

There are SQL database data items,  SQL database data types, and SQL database data sources in the SQL data modeling. 

  • SQL database data sources: It is a relational database or any other data source that you can access through SQL database DSA. 
  • SQL database data types: It is a table of relational databases or sets of data having similar structures. For example, a row list in a text file that is comma-delimited or Oracle view while data modeling in Oracle SQL developer.
  • SQL database data items: It represents a row in a relational database table or any other data set. 
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Key Features of Data Modeling

Here are some characteristics of Data Modeling:

  • Savings on Costs: Data Models enable you to create apps at a lower cost. Data modeling typically consumes less than 10% of a project’s budget and has the potential to reduce the 70% of the budget typically allocated to programming.
  • Broader Horizons: A Data Model is a focal point for determining scope. It offers something practical to assist corporate sponsors and developers in reaching an agreement on what is and is not included with the product.
  • Documentation has been Improved: By documenting fundamental concepts and language, models serve as a foundation for long-term maintenance. Even if your staff changes, the documentation will be useful to you.
  • Management of Risk: A Data Model can be used to quantify software complexity and gain insight into project risk and development effort.
  • A Good Place to Begin with Data Mining: The documentation for a model serves as a starting point for analytical data mining. Daily company data can be loaded into a dedicated database known as a “Data Warehouse.”
  • Reduced Time to Market: You can also build software faster by detecting errors early on. A Data Model can also be used to automate some processes.

What is SQL Server Management Studio?

SQL Server Management
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SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a software application that was introduced with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and is used to configure, manage, and administer all components of Microsoft SQL Server. It is the replacement for the Enterprise Manager in SQL 2000 or earlier.

SSMS is one of the SQL Server management tools used for designing queries and managing databases and data warehouses via personal computer or cloud, regardless of your location. In reality, SSMS is a unified environment that includes tools for configuring, monitoring, and managing SQL Server instances and databases.

The Object Explorer is a key feature of SSMS, allowing the user to browse, select, and act on any object on the server. It also included a free Express edition, but recent versions of SSMS are fully capable of connecting to and managing any SQL Server Express instance. Microsoft also included backward compatibility for older SQL Server versions, allowing a newer version of SSMS to connect to older SQL Server instances.

Key Features of SQL Server Management Studio

Features of SQL Server Management Studio are as follows:

  • Polybase: Polybase is included as part of the SQL module in SQL Server, allowing users to run fast and parallel T-SQL queries and even connect to external storage.
  • Data Recoverability: SQL Server supports ADR (Accelerated Data Recovery), a novel technique for recovering a database in the event of a system or transaction rollback.
  • Construction of a Resumable Index: SQL Server has the ability to pause index construction and resume it later.
  • Support for Cloud Databases: Microsoft SQL Server has editions with built-in security and manageability that can be integrated with Microsoft cloud or Azure SQL.
  • Complete Business Data Solutions: SQL Server is primarily intended for commercial use, and it provides end-to-end business data solutions. Microsoft SQL Server includes tools for Data Administration, ETL solutions, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), and Data Mining.

How Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio is Carried?

This blog will demonstrate Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio and create a simple Data Model of a limited number of tables in the database using Microsoft’s SQL Server Data Modeling WideWorldImporters.

The steps for Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio are as follows:

Step 1: Create a new SQL Server Management Studio Data Model

Right-click “Database Diagrams” under the database WideWorldImporters in SSMS and select “New Database Diagram.”

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Creating Database Diagram
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Step 2: From the Data Model, Choose a table

Scroll down and select the Invoice table from the Database Diagrams tool dialogue. Add is followed by Close.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Choosing table
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Step 3: Add Related Tables from the Data Model

Select “Add Related Tables” from the context menu of the Invoices table. This adds tables that are linked to the Invoices table via Foreign Keys, of which the Invoices table is a foreign key.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Adding related table
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Step 4: Remove any unnecessary tables from the Model

Right-click on any table that you believe is unnecessary and will clog the diagram and select “Remove From Diagram.”

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Removing Table
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Step 5: Auto Arrange Tables from the Data Model

Select “Arrange Tables” from the menu that appears when you right-click the Invoices table. This keeps the tables from overlapping.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Arranging Table
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  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and map it to the destination schema.
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Step 6: From the Data Model, Adjust the Layout

You have the option for Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio, following are:

  • To see your tables, right-click and choose a Zoom level.
  • Drag a table to change its position.
  • To resize the table layout, click a table and move the cursor to the edge.

Step 7: From the Data Model, select Auto Size All Tables

To select all tables, press CTRL + A. Select “Autosize Selected Tables” by right-clicking any highlighted table. To rearrange the connector lines, select and drag them.

Step 8: Copy to Clipboard from the Data Model

Once the Diagram has been sized and arranged to your liking, click Save and give it a name for the SQL Server Data Modeling. Then, on any white space in the Diagram, right-click and select “Copy Diagram to Clipboard.

Step 9: Copy and Paste the model into Microsoft Word

Launch Microsoft Word. Insert a single-cell table and paste it into the SQL Server Data Modeling.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio - Word doc
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Step 10: Adjust and Maximize the image of the Data Model

Optimize the database diagram image in the Word document. Change the margins to 0.5 inches, then upload the image and resize it to enlarge it. A database diagram from a Word document is shown below.

Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio- Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio
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Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio

Here are some execution examples of data modeling in SQL Server Management Studio:

Drop a database

To drop a database named igneous in the below example, you can execute the following command:

drop database igneous; 

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On successful execution of the command, you will see that the igneous database disappears from the list on the right pane.

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Transaction

It is a group of commands you give to change data stored in a database

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The age of the employee with the name Sam has been updated from 45 to 50. 

2.1 To roll back the change

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You can see the age has been changed back to 45 from 50 in the above example. 

   2.2 The Commit transaction commits the changes made permanently. 

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Limitations of Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio

Even those with access to similar solutions who work with Microsoft SQL Server use SQL Server’s Management Studio (SSMS). SSMS is well-known among database professionals, and it is a useful tool. It does, however, Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio has limitations, they are:

  • Performance Monitoring: Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio displays Availability and Performance metrics but is insufficient for Comprehensive Performance Management.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio can give Views and Manage User Activity, but User Access to Databases is not suitable for Extensive Auditing
  • Security Monitoring: Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio displays User Activity and Manages User Access to Databases, but is insufficient for State Security Management.
  • Inventory Management: Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio Automatically discovers instances and provides basic Instance Management but is not suitable for Extensive Inventory Management
  • Backup Management: Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio can help you Start and Stop backups and restores, as well as display backup settings and status; however, it is not suitable for Extensive Backup and Restore Management.

Conclusion

This is an efficient method for creating a simple, limited option for Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio. A good way to document a Database is to create partial Data Models around logical groups of tables.

Other options for SQL Server Data Modeling include only displaying the Table Names and Relationships or only displaying the Key Columns, which may allow for more tables to be added to the Data Model while still fitting in a Word document.

To become more efficient in managing your databases, it is preferable to integrate them with a solution that can perform Data Integration and Management procedures for you without much difficulty, which is where Hevo Data, a Cloud-based ETL Tool, comes in.

To become more efficient in handling your Databases, it is preferable to integrate them with a solution that can carry out Data Integration and Management procedures for you without much ado and that is where Hevo Data, a Cloud-based ETL Tool, comes in. Hevo Data supports 150+ Data Sources and helps you transfer your data from these sources to Data Warehouses in a matter of minutes, all without writing any code!

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Share your experience of Data Modeling in SQL Server Management Studio in the comments section below!

mm
Former Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Davor is a data analyst at heart with a passion for data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He has experience writing more than 100 articles on data integration and infrastructure.

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