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Data Model for Parties, Roles and Customers   
An Access Database is available on demand.
The Specifications for the Data Model were provided as a Statement of Requirement in a question to my Web Site.

We might also design a Data Mart, which is very useful for providing data for Reports and Business Intelligence.

We would be glad to have your comments.

If you are new to Data Models, this page of my new Tutorial will help you understand the Data Model.

This is based on our Canonical Data Model.

Here we use the 'User-friendly' word Participants

ERD Data Model for Parties, Roles and Customers
When we look at the Data Model on the left, we can see that the dominant thing ("Entity") is Events.

From the Event_Types Entity (which will store Reference data in the Database), we can see that typical Events are Sales or Purchases.

Our general Entity is called a Party.
In normal English conversation, the most common use of Party is in 'Third Party' which means some external person or organisation that provides a service.

In financial or legal circles the word 'Counterparty' is commonly used to mean an organisation that is the other part of a Transaction.
For example, money can be transferred from one Bank to another and then the other Bank is called the Counterparty.

In Data Models, a Party can be a Person, an Organsation or a Group (of People or Organisations).
A Party can then play a Role in an Event.
This combination of Party and Role is a very flexible and powerful way of modelling complex situations.

In the case shown on the left, we can see that for a given Event, many Parties can be involved and they can play the same or different Role.

For example, a Taxi-driver plays the role of a Customer when he buys petrol but he is a Supplier when he gives us a ride to where we want to go.

In a similar way, an Airline plays the role of a Customer when a Flight lands at an Airport, but is a Supplier when we take a Flight to go on vacation.

Our Inheritance relationship shows that the Party is a Super-Type and People, Organisations and Groups are Sub-Types.

Barry Williams
Principal Consultant
Database Answers Ltd.
London, England
January 24th. 2014

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