UNIT 9.3 Modeling Biology Using Relational Databases

  1. Robert M. Peitzsch

Published Online: 1 FEB 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471250953.bi0903s00

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Peitzsch, R. M. 2003. Modeling Biology Using Relational Databases. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. 00:9.3:9.3.1–9.3.28.

Author Information

  1. Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2003
  2. Published Print: JAN 2003


There are several different methodologies that can be used for designing a database schema; no one is the best for all occasions. This unit demonstrates two different techniques for designing relational tables and discusses when each should be used. These two techniques presented are (1) traditional Entity-Relationship (E-R) modeling and (2) a hybrid method that combines aspects of data warehousing and E-R modeling. The method of choice depends on (1) how well the information and all its inherent relationships are understood, (2) what types of questions will be asked, (3) how many different types of data will be included, and (4) how much data exists.