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Brief Intro to Data Modeling


What is a data model?

A data model is an organized overview of the data you need to keep track of, like a blueprint for your application. When you create a data model, you decide which "things" you want to store information about, and which information about those things is important.

Why model data?

Mapping out a data model before you start building your database will help you build a more efficient system. Data modeling is not required to build a Qrimp app.


Let's say I have a grocery store. When I think about my information, I decide that I want to track the following "things":

- Employees
- Stock
- Suppliers

Information in a database is stored in tables. So in my database application, I will have three tables: Employees, Stock, and Suppliers. In each table, I enter further details about the things you want to keep track of.

In the grocery store example, I would create a table for each of these "things". I would also want to track certain information about each item, so I would add several columns in each table. For example, I would want to track my employees names and hire dates, so I'd add columns for those.

In a database, it's best to break down column names into the most detail possible. Rather than tracking "EmployeeName: Jane Doe" it's best to track "FirstName: Jane" and "LastName: Doe".

In other words...
What you have to do is think of the tables you'd like to create and decide which information you want to store. The tables will be the things we want to keep information about (ie: Books), and the columns will be specifics about that thing (ie: Author). Remember - Qrimp allows for Adding Columns if you think of something else you want to track later.

You create a table by navigating to Develop > Create Tables.

Once you have a basic set of data tables, you can manage your application by Adding Columns to existing tables and by creating more tables. You can also Import Data if you already have your information in spreadsheets or .csv files. Most applications, including Quickbooks, MS Outlook, banking websites and more allow for .csv export of data.

Here are some good links to help you get started with the concept of data modeling:

Table (database)
Relational Database
Data modeling (wiki)
Database normalization
Database normalization discussion.