[R] Has anyone created diagrammatic representations of Access/ODBC databases using R?

Chris Evans chrishold at psyctc.org
Wed Mar 8 15:37:04 CET 2017

I have been on a fair old learning curve handling a fairly complex Access database with my beloved, if sometimes tantaslising, R. I've been using RODBC to do this and, despite the database not being all that well designed, the power of R and RODBC has been fantastic (of course). Huge thanks to R team and the RODBC team. 

Now I'd really like to generate some diagrammatic representations of the data structure: entity relationship models, UML representation ... anything like that would be wonderful. I can see three ways of approaching this and any one, two or three would be a huge help for me: 
1) something that reads the tables and any queries from an Access DB through RODBC and generates a map of them where the queries indicate the relationships between the tables 
2) something that reads through the global environment and any merge() commands in my code to see and map the data frames and how one was created by merges of others 
3) something that I use to spell out the structure textually and it takes this and maps it. 

I have done some searching around with Rseek and raw google and found two things. My #3 above is done by the CityPlot package but the mix of CSV and text files used to create the maps looks tough to learn. I suspect I ought to be able to use the package data.tree to do something along the lines I want and perhaps more easily than by learning the data structures behind CityPlot. Those are the only things I've found However, both those options look like learning curves that will take me time I can't justify for the plots. I'd love to have the plots but I know I can get on with the real work without them. 

However, it occurred to me that there may be someone on the list who may already have done something like this and might be willing to share their tools, tricks, experiences: hence this post! 



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