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Re: [xml-dev] XML Schema as a data modeling tool

On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM, Peter Hunsberger <peter.hunsberger@gmail.com> wrote:

Well yes, that was hyperbole, in the e-mail prior to this I pointed out you'll never get to that point.  However, I  think you miss the point; this can be domain specific.  If you're a phone company then it is quite likely that your Enterprise data model pretty much encapsulates everything you need to know about phones in order to do business with the phone company and build applications dealing with phone related data.... 

I work on data models and document models for $EMPLOYER.  There are now about 300 data models and about 150-200 schemas (highly modularized; I'm not sure how many modules there are, but more than 500) that are "enterprise" in the sense that they are not specific to individual business units.  I figure the job is about half done, though it may never be finished completely (eventually the cost of modeling exceeds the benefits: we don't and never will have a model of every asteroid in the solar system, even though the underlying physics is fairly simple)  Though they have common factors and inter-model links aplenty, merging them into a single data model would be insane.  (We do have a single ontology with about 1000 classes and maybe 300 properties, but it does not go down to the same detail as the schemas do by any means.)

But no, the point of a good model is not to simplify things so that a single brain can grasp it.  A good model will be able to provide both summaries simple enough for a single brain to cope with and simultaneously hold the detail that drives a development department of 1000+ people (not uncommon at a phone company).

Yes, maybe a single model for a department is plausible, depending on what the thousand people do and how many of them are doing unique work (having 10,000 ditchdiggers is not equivalent to having 10,000 C*Os).  But not an enterprise of typical size and complexity.  ($EMPLOYER and its corporate parent together have about 30,000 employees, almost all knowledge workers.)

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