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What is a Data Entity?

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A data entity is an object in a data model. Data is typically designed by breaking things down into their smallest parts that are useful for representing data relationships. These parts are known as data entities.


A customer may include a list of contacts. Each contact may contain an address. All three objects: customer, contact and address are considered data entities.


Attributes aren't data entities. Data entities are things. Attributes aren't things but rather describe things. For example, fields such as street, apartment number and telephone number are attributes of address. These aren't considered data entities.


In a relational database, data entities are roughly equivalent to tables.
In an object-oriented data model, a data entity is roughly equivalent to an object.
Overview: Data Entity
Definition (1)
An object in a data model.
Definition (2)
A thing that is represented in a database.
Definition (3)
The conceptual equivalent of a table in a relational database.
Definition (4)
The conceptual equivalent of an object in an object-oriented data model.
Related Concepts
Next: Data Attribute
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Unstructured Data
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