Here are some of the most common technical questions people have asked us. If you do not find your question here, please send us an e-mail.


Data Model / Database Schema

Does Examiner processes ERwin subject areas?

Yes. When you create a new project from an ERwin file, Examiner will detect the subject areas and at this time, you may select to process one subject area or none. Each subject area will create a sub model, associated to the main model.

Can I add knowledge about my specific model to Examiner?

Yes. There are several things you can do. You can define synonyms, define homonyms, and qualify columns, tables and relationships. Synonyms allow the user to define that two or more columns have different names but have the same meaning and therefore should be treated as the same. Homonyms are the opposite of Synonyms. Homonyms are when two or more columns have the same name, but they have different meanings and therefore should be treated differently.

Can I change a line to a connector box and vice-versa?
Yes. If you have a connector box, right-click on the connector box and select Change to Line. If you have a line, right-click on the line and select Change to Connector.
What kind of data models can I validate with Examiner?

Examiner can validate data models manually created or generated by any modeling tool; modeling tools can generate SQL/DDL scripts to create the database schema; Examiner will read these DDL scripts and produce the diagnostics.

Can I drop a table from Examiner analysis, without dropping the table from the database model?

Yes. You can do this in several ways. One way is to go to User definitions, Table Processing. Another way is to right-click on the table on the Table tree and select Drop Table. A third way is to right-click on the tree on the ER diagram and select Drop Table.

Are there any limits to the number of tables in the model?

No. There are no limits other than the ones imposed by your machine (for example, memory and speed). We have processed models with well over 2000 tables. In this case, we suggest that the model be processed initially with the FKs Only option. Later you may want to run the model again using the ALL relationships instead of the FKs Only option. This procedure will save you time.


Diagnostics

Are there any user-defined diagnostics?

Yes. Examiner provides some user-defined diagnostics. You must go to Tools → Preferences and in the Diagnostics TAB, click the Select Individual Diagnostics button. Then go to, for example, the Index and Constraint Diagnostics TAB. You may select the user-defined diagnostics you want and set the corresponding thresholds.

Can I see the diagnostics by any other criteria than by category?

Right-click on the diagnostics tree and select Order by Severity. If you want to change back to diagnostics by category, right-click on the diagnostics tree and select Order by Category. The reports will be produced in the same order as the diagnostics.

Can I customize the diagnostics?

Examiner allows the user to select which diagnostics to run and assign a severity level to each diagnostic. This is saved on a profile that can be associated with a project, department, or company.

Can I select which diagnostics to run so I can define a quality standard for my department?

Yes. Examiner allows the user to define (a) which diagnostics to run and (b) the severity level associated with each diagnostic. You must go to Tools → Preferences and in the Diagnostics TAB, click the Select Individual Diagnostics button. You can make the changes for a specific run or you can save them as a profile that can be associated with any model.

Can I print the diagnostic reports?

Yes. You can print not only the diagnostic reports, but you can also print several other reports produced by Examiner. Go to Reports and select what you want. In the TRIAL version, reports cannot be printed or exported to PDF

Can I play “What If…” scenarios?
Yes. Create a New Project from a database model. Then select File, Merge and select a script file with the proposed SQL/DDL. Examiner will merge the database model with the proposed DDL script and analyze this new combined model.
Can I synchronize the diagnostic message with the ER diagram to better understand the diagnostic?

Yes. First the Diagnostics diagram must be open on the left side of the screen. Then you select any diagnostic and click on the specific table related to the diagnostic; then right-click on the table and select Scroll to Table in Model.


Entity Relationships (ER) diagram

How can I display lines instead of connector boxes in the ER diagram?

Examiner can draw the diagram using connector boxes only, lines only and a combination of lines and connector boxes. To display lines only, unclick the Use Connector Boxes in the Tools, Preferences, and Model Display Settings. To display connector boxes only, click the Use Connector Boxes in the Tools, Preferences, Model Display Settings and set to zero (0) the Connector Distance. To display lines to all adjacent tables and connector boxes in all other relationships, click the Use Connector Boxes in the Tools, Preferences, Model Display Settings then set to one (1) the Connector Distance. This change will only take place after you go to View, Auto Arrange and select one of the options.

Can I change the display of the Entity Relationship (ER) diagram?

Yes. Choose Tools, Preferences, Model Display Settings and select the options you want. You may select to display the table and all its columns (All Columns), the table name and the PK name (Table Name Only) or the table and all its indexes (All Indexes). You may also select to display the data types (Show Data Types) and the user defined data types (Show User Define Data Types).

Can I navigate through the ER diagram?

Yes. If you have a connector box, just click on it and Examiner will take you to the table pointed by the connector box. If there is a line representing the relationship, click on the line and select where you want to go (to the parent or the child table), by selecting Scroll to Related Table. You can also right-click on any table and select Scroll to Related Table.


Implied Relationships

I do not have a good naming convention. Can I take advantage of the implied relationships detection?

Examiner allows you to define synonyms for the attributes. If in one table you use column Cli_ID and in another table Cli#, you can define these as synonyms. Go to User Definitions and select Synonyms. This way Examiner will consider these two as the same.

Do I have any overhead using implied relationships?

There is always some overhead detecting implied relationships, but this is only noticeable in very large models. Examiner must compare every key attribute in every table with all the attributes in every other table/

Can I detect relationships that are not defined using the Foreign Key mechanism?

Yes. Examiner will infer implied relationships if requested, based on same name attributes. For example, if in table CLIENT there is a PK based on column Cli_ID and in the ORDERS table there is a non-key column attribute Cli_ID, Examiner will detect this relationships as being a one-to-many (1:N) from CLIENT to ORDERS. It is a 1:N because on the CLIENT side the column is unique (it is a PK) and on the ORDERS side the column in non-unique (non-key attribute).

What do I have to do to make Examiner detect implied relationships?

For Examiner to detect implied relationships, you must go to Tools, Preferences, and Model Settings and select the proper option for Relationship Processing. The option Foreign Keys Only indicates that no implied relationships will be detected. The option ALL indicates that implied relationships will be detected.

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