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NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence by Pramod J. Sadalage, Martin Fowler

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Chapter 2. Aggregate Data Models

A data model is the model through which we perceive and manipulate our data. For people using a database, the data model describes how we interact with the data in the database. This is distinct from a storage model, which describes how the database stores and manipulates the data internally. In an ideal world, we should be ignorant of the storage model, but in practice we need at least some inkling of it—primarily to achieve decent performance.

In conversation, the term “data model” often means the model of the specific data in an application. A developer might point to an entity-relationship diagram of their database and refer to that as their data model containing customers, orders, products, and the like. ...

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