An Adventure in Data Modeling: The Entity-Attribute-Value Model

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B301


A case study on the trials of Emma's performance when implementing the Entity-Attribute-Value data model on their PostgreSQL database systems.


Emma, Inc. is an email marketing company that provides a Web based application for managing email lists and marketing campaigns. This is a tale about Emma’s experience with a database schema design refactor that is now using the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) data model on the members in email lists. We will briefly describe the previous data model and why we had to move to a new one. This is followed by all the places where Emma stumbled and recovered in implementing the EAV data model and rebuilding the application around it. Finally we will touch on where Emma might go next with respect to the data.


Postgres, PostgreSQL, data models, eav, entity-attribute-value, data modeling, schema design

Speaking experience

Ottawa Linux Symposium, Linux World Expo, PGCon, PostgreSQL Conferences, Portland State University guest lecture series. Talk is scheduled to be given at PDXPUG, PGConf NYC, PGCon, and a PSU class.