Basic concepts in data modeling
Understanding the key components of the Pega Platform data model helps you define, manage, and reuse high quality data assets in your applications.
Data objects are reusable building blocks that organize fields, data pages, views, and other elements that your application needs to access data at the right time. Data objects can also reference other data objects to facilitate the reuse of existing field groupings.
A sample Customer data object can define fields with records that describe the customer, and views that consistently display the fields to the user throughout the application.
By default, each data object that you create in App Studio has a unique pyGUID property key that identifies the data records within that data object.
The following figure shows where you can manage data objects in App Studio:
For more information, see Configuring a basic data object.
Data records constitute values for fields in data objects. To facilitate reuse of data records, these instances of data can be stored outside cases. You can control how users provide these data records, for example, with picklists in fields, to decrease the number of errors during case processing.
Data records are unique instances in the Pega database for the data object. Each field that you define for a data object captures information for these unique instances. For example, data records for a Customer data object, which defines fields for a customer's name and email address, provide unique instances of these records: Jane Smith, [email protected].
The following figure shows where you can manage data records for a data object in App Studio:
Fields are properties that store and model data in your application. While data objects act as containers that group related data, fields serve as components that hold necessary data elements for your application.
With fields, you can collect data from users and display relevant case information to users during case processing. Pega Platform provides you with a number of field types that the system automatically pairs with a UI control.
For example, you can use the Email field type to capture the email address of a customer during case processing. The system automatically renders this particular field type as an Email control in the UI. Additionally, at run time, the use of the Email field type validates the user's input to ensure that it matches a proper email format.
The following figure shows where you can manage fields for a data object in App Studio:
For more information, see Fields as building blocks for data objects.
Data pages are single page or list page structures that contain the fields defined by the data object. The source for the data page defines the logic for populating the required information into the fields. Data pages increase the effectiveness of your application by preloading data and caching data for future use. For example, a data page can retrieve information about a customer's mortgage history from a REST endpoint or a database, and then cache that information to ensure that the application processes future requests faster and at a lower cost.
Pega Platform can use data pages to access data that is sourced from other applications or systems of records. Data pages help your application retrieve relevant data by mapping records outside your application and associating that data with data objects. With data pages handling how your application retrieves and maps data, you can focus on the business process without worrying about any source data updates or integration details.
In App Studio, for each new data object in a system of record, Pega Platform creates three default data pages for use in different scenarios.
The following figure shows where you can manage data pages for a data object in App Studio:
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