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Is an Account a Party?

When modeling data, do you think an account is the same as a party? Many folks believe it is. If I am playing the role of a Supplier in an OAGIS transaction of a Purchase Order, I'll create an account for each Customer. From the Supplier's perspective, an identifier for the Customer's account may seem like the same as the identifier for the Customer themselves. So they conclude that an account is the same as a party. However I don't think this is the case.

A key question to ask is: can I have more than one account for each Customer? If so, then this will cause you to view the Customer ID and the account ID as different, because the account ID is no longer the only unique identifier with respect to the Customer.

An account reflects a relationship between a Customer and a Supplier. The Customer can have many relationships in the form of many accounts. So the concepts are separate.

Conclusion: an account is not a party, but reflects a relationship between parties.
© Copyright Paul Kiel.

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