Create a UML database notation diagram

You can create a UML database notation diagram in Visio to define the structure of a relational database.

While UML doesn't have specifications for data modeling, it can be a useful tool for diagraming, especially since data from databases can be used in object-oriented programming. The Visio UML database shapes are very similar to the UML class diagram shapes that are used to model object-oriented classes, and they give you a consistent notation for your entire system.

First, you open the UML Database Notation diagram, which comes with a database notation stencil that has shapes that conform to the UML 2.5 or 2.0 standard, depending on your version of Visio.

  1. Start Visio. Or if you have a file open already, click File > New.

  2. In the Search box, type UML database notation.

  3. Select the UML Database Notation template.

  4. In the dialog box, select either Metric Units or US Units.

  5. Select Create.

  6. The diagram opens. You should see the Shapes window next to the diagram. If you don’t see it, go to View > Task Panes and make sure that Shapes is selected. If you still don’t see it, click the Expand the Shapes window button on the left.

  7. On the View tab, make sure the check box next to Connection Points is selected. This will make connection points appear when you start connecting shapes.

  8. You're ready to begin drawing your diagram. Select the stencil, then drag an Entity shape from it onto your diagram to start.

    Entity shape.

  1. Open Visio for the web.

  2. In the Gallery, scroll down to the UML Database Notation row, about midway down the page.

    The first item in the row represents a blank template plus the companion stencil. The other items in the row are sample diagrams that have some shapes already drawn to help you get started quickly.

  3. Click any item to see the larger preview.

  4. When you find the diagram you want to use, click its Create button.

  5. The new diagram, with the related stencil, opens in your browser. You're ready to begin drawing your diagram. Begin adding Entity shapes to your drawing.

    Entity shape.

See Also

Specify multiplicity on an UML shape

UML diagrams in Visio

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