IDEF1X and Relational Notation Diagrams

There are many different ways to display cardinality in ER diagrams. DeZign for Databases supports the two most popular methods: IDEF1X and Relational (Crow's feet). Relational notation is selected by default when you create a new ER diagram. You can set and change the notation for each subdiagram in your data model.


The IDEF1X notation displays entities as rectangles with squared or rounded corners. Rounded corners are used for dependent entities. Relationships are shown as lines between the entities. Solid lines for identifying relationships and dashed lines for non-identifying relationships. Each relationship has an associated cardinality (displayed with circles and diamonds) that specifies the number of instances of the dependent entity that are related to an instance of the independent entity.

ER Diagram with IDEF1X notation
ER Diagram with IDEF1X notation

Relational with Crow's Feet

The Relational notation displays entities as rectangles with rounded corners and relationships are displayed as lines between the entities. For identifying relationships solid lines are used. For non-identifying relationships dashed lines are used. The ends of the relationship lines are shaped (crow's feet) to represent the cardinality of the relationship.

ER Diagram with Relational with Crow's Feet notation
ER Diagram with Relational, Crow's Feet notation

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