Discussion Forum

Workbase Schema Designer vs. ORM

Where can I find an explanation of the complete capabilities and usage of the TypeDB Schema Designer? The only reference I’ve found so far is a statement in the doc that it isn’t working yet in version 2 and has been disabled. In my quest to find an approach to TypeDB logical schema design I need to see how much the TypeDB schema designer contributes to that effort.

On the same topic, Halpin’s object-role modeling uses a graphical notation and semantics that seems to be virtually isomorphic to TypeDB schemas. This was discussed in this forum back in 2019 and 2020. While the goal of ORM is to ultimately build relational databases, something that is irrelevant in the TypeDB context, it appears to me that the ORM NORMA tool could be used to graphically design TypeDB schemas, ignoring the rest of the ORM implementation process. Of course that still leaves the requirement of manually translating an ORM diagram to a physical TypeDB schema, but that would be a relatively straightforward process.

As I muse on that, it occurs to me that if one follows the full ORM methodology you could end up with a relational database that is functionally equivalent to a TypeDB graph, but it would be missing TypeQL (instead requiring the use of SQL and possibly the invention of a DSL) and the TypeDB rule language (but there are many possible approaches to implementing reasoning externally against a relational store). It just leaves me pondering the actual utility/uniqueness of TypeDB. The real differentiator is that TypeDB uses hypergraphs rather than relations. But TypeDB doesn’t expose the underlying hypergraph. There are other models that can be built over hypergraphs, such as conceptual graphs, and I’m beginning to think they may be more expressive in, at least, the arena of knowledge management (my true interest).

Thanks for listening to the ramblings of an old man…