Ever wondered where your entities came from? Entities may exist in your source code, databases, business glossaries, and in your data models themselves?

Entities from thin air

These entities have names and exist because someone named them such. This naming is usually done by data modelers who communicate with a domain experts. Now, the interesting part of this activity of naming entities is the process itself. It requires a real dialog to find them, name them, and refine them. For a large part, this communication exists in the form of interviews or stand-ups, where the expert speaks and the modeler listens.


Data models consist of entities, and the entities are than extended with properties, relationships and identifications, to tie the entities together. The process of listening, and drawing is done in the mind of the modeler who then comes up with the drawing.

This process requires an experienced modeler, but still the chances of the business expert understanding these drawings are slim. So here's the dilemma: both parties (modeler and expert) have a hard time understanding and validating each other's way of communicating. Modelers build a drawing from what they hear, and the expert has to validate what is being drawn.

What if?

Would it not be great if modelers could write down the actual facts which are stated by the expert, in the language of the expert, with concrete examples? Would it not be priceless if the experts are able to validate everything the modeler writes down, again in his own natural language? Wouldn't it be absolutely great, if the entities are not simply drawn by the modelers hand, but be an integral part of the communication?

The modeler does not have to do any of the manual cerebral work and come up with a representative drawing, but could simply derive drawings from the communication itself. Datavault entities such as hubs, links and satellites would arise from the business communication itself.

Tables and classes would be directly generated out of this communication. Naming entities would no longer be an isolated activity, making them appear out of thin air, but a verifiable, integral, and joined effort of the modeler with the business experts.


The accompanied picture shows fact expressions from the business experts, and derived Datavault coloring, terms as a business glossary, and even highlighted terms which end up as entities in databases and software.

This integrated list of entities no longer comes out of seemingly thin air, but flows directly from the communication with the business expert itself. The communication itself is directly creating the entities.

 Expression Datavault Entities


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