ISA relationship in ERD

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Suppose I have an entity that represents a person. The person can be either academic staff or non-academic, i.e., academic and non-academic staff are subtypes of person. That is, academis “is-a” person (believe it or not ;-)).

How do I picture it with Lucidchart?


Thank you





Best answer by Micah 10 May 2024, 17:29

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Hi @abelb, thanks for this question! It sounds like you’re interested in building our your ERD manually, rather than importing from a database. Let me know if that’s not correct! In the case that you’re building this yourself, I’d like to recommend this Create an Entity Relationship Diagram in Lucidchart article from our help center, which will walk you through adding and customizing ERD shapes to meet your needs.  


Essentially, you’ll add an ERD table shape to your canvas to represent your person, then build out any relevant fields for that entity (academic, non-academic, etc.). Let me know if you have an example to share or any further questions that I can help with!

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Hi Micah, thank you for your answer.


In the course I teach I build a story, and from it I draw the ERD. No existing DB…

I did follow all the videos and articles. I did not find an answer. The issue is that the academic and not academic employees share most of the attributes, yet I cannot assign a non-academic employee to a course. I could draw two entities, “Lecturer” and “Administrative employee”, the point is that, as I said, they share many attributes. As an example, if I want to prepare a list of all employees I would need to do a “Union” between the two entities.

In the end this may be the answer, I just wanted to know if Lucidchart would let me implement the ISA relationship “out-of-the-bos”.






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Hi Abel, thanks for your response and the additional detail - it’s helpful! Unfortunately, automatic relationship creation isn’t possible out of the box (unless these relationships are indicated in the data when utilizing the upload method). For an ERD you’re building yourself, you will need to make the connection between the two entities manually - I apologize for the inconvenience! We’re always interested in feedback if this sort of capability would be impactful for you in the future - feel free to share in our Product Feedback space, and let me know if you have any additional questions!