Schema Transformation Techniques for Database Reverse Engineering

Jean-Luc Hainaut, Catherine Tonneau, Michel Joris, Muriel Chandelon

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The paper presents a DBMS-independent database reverse engineering (DBRE) methodology based on a generic process model and on transformation techniques. DBRE is proposed as a two-phase process consisting in recovering the DBMS-dependent data structures (data structure extraction) then in recovering their semantics (data structure conceptualization). The second phase, that is strongly linked with the logical design phase of current database design methodologies, can be performed by application of a selected set of standard schema restructuring techniques, or schema transformations. The paper illustrates the methodology by applying it to various DBRE processes : removing optimization structures, untranslating Relational, COBOL, CODASYL, TOTAL/IMAGE and IMS database as well as file structures, and finally conceptual normalization. A shorter version appears in the final proceedings of the conference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. of the 12th Int. Conf. on ER Approach
Place of PublicationArlington-Dallas
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • schema equivalence
  • schema transformation
  • dabase reverse engineering
  • database design


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