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View Integration and Implementation Compromises. Chapter 10. Chapter Learning Objectives. Identify the steps needed to integrate multiple business process level REA models Complete an integration of two or more business process level REA conceptual models

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Chapter Learning Objectives

  • Identify the steps needed to integrate multiple business process level REA models

  • Complete an integration of two or more business process level REA conceptual models

  • Identify and create common conceptual level, logical level, and physical level implementation compromises

  • Explain common reasons for compromising implementations

  • Identify information needs that require information from multiple tables in multiple business processes

  • Create queries to satisfy information needs that require information from multiple business processes

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View Modeling and View Integration

  • Recall that one reason we use models in designing information systems is to reduce complexity and to simplify the reality into manageable pieces.

  • The separate modeling of each transaction cycle is called “view modeling”.

  • Combining the models together to form a complete whole is called “view integration”.

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View Integration

  • Step 1: Identify the common entities in two conceptual level views

    • Each pair of cycles that is connected in the value chain shares at least one common resource.

    • Many cycles have at least one agent in common.

    • Cash receipt events and Cash disbursement events exist in multiple cycles.

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View Integration

  • Step 2: Merge the common entities, resolving entity and attribute conflicts

    • Entity name conflicts

      • Synonyms: two or more different entity names used to represent the same entity

      • Homonyms: one entity name used to represent two or more different entities

    • Attribute conflicts

      • Different attributes used to describe the same entity in various views

      • Include all attributes needed for all transaction cycles as attributes for the entity in the integrated model

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View Integration

  • Step 3: Resolve relationship conflicts, including name conflicts and structural conflicts

    • Ensure each relationship has a unique name

    • Ensure cardinalities are appropriate for relationships once common entities are merged

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Resolve Relationship Name Conflicts

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Implementation Compromises

  • Conceptual Level Compromises

    • Exclusion of an entity (usually a resource) because of inadequate measurement tools

      • E.g. labor and use of fixed assets, supplies, and services in non-conversion processes

    • Exclusion of a relationship because of inadequate traceability or because no decision information is needed regarding that relationship

      • Caution should be exercised because decision information may be needed at a later point in time

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Implementation Compromises

  • Conceptual Level Compromises

    • Consolidate conceptually congruent entities

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Implementation Compromises

  • Logical Level Compromises

    • Load considerations

      • A “pure” relational database should never include a null value.

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Implementation Compromises

  • Logical Level Compromises

    • Posting keys of similar entities in combination to avoid null values OR Combination of similar entities without a generalization relationship

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Implementation Compromises

  • Physical Level Compromises

    • Storage of derivable attributes

      • Static derivable attribute storage is advised if it facilitates querying; volatile derivable attribute storage should be done only if software is capable of triggers (stored formulae rather than stored data values for the volatile derivable attributes)

    • Event History Roll-up

      • A benefit of databases is the “virtual close” – that is, the ability to produce financial statements without actually closing the books.

      • The disadvantage of this is that the database can get too large to allow efficient processing

      • Solution: once event data is no longer needed in disaggregated format, “roll” it up into a single event.

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Multiple Cycle Information Needs

  • Many information needs combine data from multiple transaction cycles

    • Cash balance

    • Quantity on Hand of Inventory Types

    • Inventory total cost value

    • Cost of Goods Sold

    • Many others

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  • To reduce complexity, in practice separate conceptual models are often constructed based on different views (views may be separated by transaction cycle or by some other delineation)

  • Once each view is modeled, the views must be integrated to form a complete conceptual model and then converted to the logical level

  • Compromises often must be made to the “theoretic ideal” conceptual, logical, or physical level models based on insufficient measurement techniques, practical considerations and other constraints

  • Queries often require integration of data from different transaction cycles; an integrated database supports such complex queries