Object Name Rules

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Naming entities and attributes deserves serious attention. Long after you implement a system, the names you give to entities and attributes persist. You should not sacrifice clarity for brevity. Names should be descriptive yet general enough to represent all members. Several naming rules should be followed in order to ensure that your design is as clear as possible. Consider the following naming rules:

  • Singular Form: Entity and attribute names should be singular (for example, Customer, not Customers), even though they can have many members.
  • Name Length: The IDEF1X methodology permits name lengths of up to 65 characters, which is more than adequate for naming objects properly. However, most databases support maximum table and column name lengths of only 18 or 30 characters. While you can enter longer names, the Validate Logical or Physical Models function will check length violations before DDL generation.
  • Case: When naming your objects, you have the choice of using upper, lower or mixed case. Perhaps the easiest format for people to read and understand is mixed case, capitalizing the first letter of every word (for example, CustomerAddress).

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