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Standard data model

A standard data model is a data model that is widely applied in some industry, and shared amongst competitors to some degree. They are often defined by database vendors[?] or operating system vendors[?] and thus used by default whether suitable for a given purpose or not.

When in use, they tend to constrain software architecture significantly, as it becomes impossible to make decisions that require data distinctions not made in the standard model, without substantial effort in changing data gathering and building a so-called data warehouse.

The more effective standard models have developed in the banking, insurance, drug and automotive[?] industries, to reflect the stringent standards applied to customer information gathering, customer privacy, consumer safety[?], or just in time manufacturing[?].

Typically these use the popular relational model of database management, but some use the hierarchical model, especially those used in manufacturing or mandated by governments, e.g. the DIN codes specified by Germany. Management consultant[?] firms are often heavy users of standard models, providing "cookie cutter solutions" to many customers. These are however rarely as simple as off-the-shelf solutions[?], and may require customizations costing tens of millions of US$ and years to complete.

The most complex data models known are in military use, and consortia such as NATO tend to require strict standards of their members' equipment and supply databases. However, they typically do not share these with non-NATO competitors, and so calling these 'standard' in the same sense as commercial software[?] is probably not very appropriate.

An emerging area of standard data model is in the identity card[?] arena, where a vast number of security engineering solutions for public spaces, e.g. airports, other public transport, hospitals, are expected soon to rely on a standard data model for identifying the card holder/user of the facility. This may contain biometric[?] information or other data that would be standardized across an entire trade bloc, e.g. the EU or NAFTA. This raises many privacy and carceral state concerns. These are discussed more deeply in an article on standard user models.

See also: standard object model[?], standard document object model[?]

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