Refining the ER Design for the COMPANY Database
We can now refine the database design in Figure 7.8 by changing the attributes that represent relationships into relationship types. The cardinality ratio and participation constraint of each relationship type are determined from the requirements listed in Section 7.2. If some cardinality ratio or dependency cannot be determined from the requirements, the users must be questioned further to determine these structural constraints. In our example, we specify the following relationship types:
? MANAGES, a 1:1 relationship type between EMPLOYEE and DEPARTMENT. EMPLOYEE participation is partial. DEPARTMENT participation is not clear from the requirements. We question the users, who say that a department must have a manager at all times, which implies total participation.13 The attribute Start_date is assigned to this relationship type.