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A Physical Data Model can be connected and connection-less.
You can start any new PDM connection less and attach it to the current database session to make it connected.
When a PDM is connection less, you can modify all properties of the objects and design your database freely.
When a PDM has a connection, you can drag tables from your existing database to the Workspace or create new tables into the diagram. However, these will NOT be created in the database unless you extract the DDL for these tables and run it in the database.
See also: PDM to Database