I am doing a bit of custom use Magento, with a database design based on the EAV model, and that i take some good assets/lessons that explain the EAV database model. Do not provide Wikipedia like a resource... I am searching for something which shows EAV inside a friendly method for beginners.
Here you decide to go. An illustrative story: http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/
The bottom line is, EAV is enhanced to get data in, not receiving data out. But that could be a suitable trade-off. I handled a task that needed to create a general medical trial data management system. There may 't be many common data elements because each trial must collect different data. Taking data was urgent we needed to develop data entry pages pressurized. Reviews are not as easy with EAV, but they are also less urgent, with some clever thought they may be simplified a little. EAV has offered us well.
The most friendly factor that you can do for any beginner would be to train them the lower side of EAV.
The up side of EAV is really sexy that many newcomers will search a really large hole on their own before they understand it.
Hopefully the search will disclose a minimum of a few of the lower side.
You can examine this short article: The EAV/CR Model of Data Representation.
It describes EAV with Classes and Associations, a far more OO approach and not simply an ordinary reference-key-value implementation.
I discovered this informative guide to become probably the most useful for Magento: http://alanstorm.com/magento_advanced_orm_entity_attribute_value_part_1
See Dinua V, and Nadkarnia P. Recommendations for that Effective Utilization of Entity-Attribute-Value Modeling for Biomedical Databases. Int J Mediterranean Inform. 2007 76: 769–779. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2110957