If managing complex hierarchies is one of your modelling concerns (for example, if you’re using the FIBO CDM or LDM), help is at hand. A model extension is available from Metadata Matters that provides a set of useful new properties (known in PowerDesigner as Extended Attributes) to help you manage your hierarchies, as well as the menu options to ensure that they stay up to date.
Here’s part of an inheritance hierarchy in the FIBO Conceptual Data Model (thanks to Jurgen Ziemer for allowing me to use the model for illustration). Let’s focus on the entity Deposit Account:
The model extension provides a new Parentage tab that provides information about how an entity fits into inheritance hierarchies. Deposit Account has two parents and two grandparents – notice that one of the parents (and the hierarchy above it) are not visible on my diagram:
Most of the information on this form is up-to-date and reliable, because it’s computed every time it’s viewed; only the Ultimate Parents property has to be manually refreshed (because of the potential processing overhead from automatically refreshing it every time it is displayed, which could be noticeable in a model with many entities and many inheritance levels).
Everything on this form (apart from the list of parent entities) is available in a List Report. Here’s a fragment of a List Report that has been filtered to only include entities whose name ends with “Account”:
The extension provides menu options to:
- refresh a single entity
- refresh an entity and all its dependent entities
- refresh every parent and child entity in the model
- in the FIBO CDM it takes about 30 seconds to update this information for over 1000 entities and 406 inheritances
For example, the contextual menu for the model now includes an option to refresh the list of Ultimate Parent entities for every parent and child entity in the model
You can access this menu by right-clicking the model in the Browser or right-clicking a diagram background.
Please see the contact page if you’re interested in acquiring the extension.
Here’s a quick demonstration for you –