Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

20.3.7b The Reidentification Key and the Object-Oriented Notation

Intended learning outcomes: Explain the Representation of associations in an object-oriented form, as well as the concept of the reidentification key.

Continuation from previous subsection (20.3.7)

In addition, Figure, like Figure, shows the phenomenon of reidentification specifically for classes that were introduced to break up an n-to-n association.

A reidentification key is a primary key that consists of one single attribute and is equivalent in meaning to a primary key composed of more than one attribute.

The reidentification is usually already expressed in the name of the class, and it is indicated in the list of attributes by the symbol “≡ .” The original primary key attributes are placed in parentheses. 

Figure shows the breaking up of a many-to-many (n-to-n) association using object-oriented notation in accordance with UML (see [UML13]), and complemented by the notation for the primary and secondary keys and the re-identification. As mentioned above, because of the splitting, the single-valued roles can be named “belongs to.”

Fig. Representation of associations: object-oriented form.

It is typical of the association class that is formed by breaking up an n-to-n association that a possible primary key is always the set union of the primary keys of the classes that generated it, which in the example are customer ID and item ID. In practice, this primary key is often reidentified by a single attribute, in this case order position ID. On their own, both customer ID and item ID are secondary keys. Via customer ID, all items ordered by a customer can be obtained. Via item ID, all customers that have ordered that item can be identified. Furthermore, In Figure, the two attributes mentioned in Figure, order quantity and delivery due date, have also been added.

Course section 20.3: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 20.3 Modeling Information Systems in the Data View and Object View

    Intended learning outcomes: Present terms such as object, attribute, object class, view, primary and secondary keys. Explain basic concepts such as association, association role and type. Describe the breaking up of an n-to-n association – in particular a reflexive one – and the association class. Disclose the use of the hierarchical constructs for developing a company-wide generic object model.

  • 20.3.1 Object, Attribute, and Object Class

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between entity, object, and data record. Differentiate between attribute and data field. Differentiate between object class, file, and table. Explain the class customer as a table in the relational database model.

  • 20.3.2 View and Primary and Secondary Keys

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the view on a class. Differentiate between primary key and secondary key. Describe characteristics for a “good” primary key. Explain the representation of a class in an object-oriented approach (with example) and the representation of an object.

  • 20.3.3 Association and (Association) Role

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between binary association and reflexive association. Explain Abrial’s access function and the example of the association of the classes “book” and “customer” in library systems. Identify the (association) role.