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Designing an ERD diagram

I require to design the ERD diagram for a relational database in SQL Server. This database is being developed for a Web search engine. I would like to know which is the best approach to follow for designing the ERD. By approach, I mean:

  • Chen
  • Bachman
  • Martin
  • UML
But if there is any other better approach, please let me know. In either case I would like to know why that specific approach.

Secondly I would like to know what is the best tool to design the ERDs. A few that I know are:

  • Erwin
  • Visio
  • SmartDraw

Which approach? All of them and none of them. I design databases by putting the data where it belongs. That's it. I don't use any specific "method". I figure out what the business rules are and come up with structures to store them, in other words, I stick the data where it makes sense. I use ER/Studio for database design. But, that is my preference.


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