IDEF1X Information Modeling

[methodology] Submitted on 1 January, 2010 - 09:17
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Keywords attribute data modelling domain entity foreign key IDEF IDEF1 IDEF1X information information modelling integration definition key Logical Database Design Technique (LDDT) primary key software engineering
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IDEFIX (Integration Definition for Information Modeling) is a data modeling language for the developing of semantic data models. IDEF1X is used to produce a graphical information model which represents the structure and semantics of information within an environment or system.

Use of the IDEF1X permits the construction of semantic data models which may serve to support the management of data as a resource, the integration of information systems, and the building of computer databases. This standard is part of the IDEF family of modeling languages in the field of software engineering.

In 1983, the U.S. Air Force initiated the Integrated Information Support System (I2S2) project under the ICAM program. The objective of this project was to provide the enabling technology to logically and physically integrate a network of heterogeneous computer hardware and software. As a result of this project, and industry experience, the need for an enhanced technique for information modeling was recognized.

From the point of view of the contract administrators of the Air Force IDEF program, IDEF1X was a result of the ICAM IISS-6201 project and was further extended by the IISS-6202 project. To satisfy the data modeling enhancement requirements that were identified in the IISS-6202 project, a sub-contractor, DACOM, obtained a license to the Logical Database Design Technique (LDDT) and its supporting software (ADAM). From the point of view of the technical content of the modeling technique, IDEF1X is a renaming of LDDT.

LDDT had been developed in 1982 by Robert G. Brown of The Database Design Group entirely outside the IDEF program and with no knowledge of IDEF1. Nevertheless, the central goal of IDEF1 and LDDT was the same: to produce a database neutral model of the persistent information needed by an enterprise by modeling the real-world entities involved. LDDT combined elements of the relational data model, the E-R model, and data generalization in a way specifically intended to support data modeling and the transformation of the data models into database designs

The graphic syntax of LDDT differed from that of IDEF1 and, more importantly, LDDT contained interrelated modeling concepts not present in IDEF1. Therefore, instead of extending IDEF1, Mary E. Loomis of DACOM wrote a concise summary of the syntax and semantics of a substantial subset of LDDT, using terminology compatible with IDEF1 wherever possible. DACOM labeled the result IDEF1X and supplied it to the ICAM program, which published it in 1985.

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