Key concepts: Entity, attribute, and entity type
Depending on your implementation style, the concepts of entity, attribute, and entity type reflect the technical capabilities of virtual and physical MDM.
- A single unique object in the real world that is being mastered. Examples of an entity are a single person, single product, or single organization.
- Entity type
- A person, organization, object type, or concept about which information is stored. Describes the type of the information that is being mastered. An entity type typically corresponds to one or several related tables in database.
- A characteristic or trait of an entity type that describes the entity, for example, the Person entity type has the Date of Birth attribute.
- The storage representation of a row of data.
- Member record
- The representation of the entity as it is stored in individual source systems. Information for each member record is stored as a single record or a group of records across related database tables.
- Golden record: primarily for general, nontechnical use
- Aggregate record: specific use in physical MDM
- Party: specific use in physical MDM
- Various IDs: entity ID, record ID, account ID, and product ID
For example, an entity in virtual MDM is assembled dynamically based on the member records by using linkages and then is stored in the MDM database. Conversely, an entity in physical MDM is based on matching records from the source systems that are merged to form the single entity.
The following diagrams are visual representations of the MDM concepts. The diagrams show how the concepts relate to the registry and centralized implementation styles.