I could use some help here...
My understanding is that an entity is a subset of a node. In other words, an entity consists of fields stored in the DB, without all of the additional overhead (and associated DB fields) of a node for its display, translation, etc. Please correct me if I am misled or incorrect.
So I am building a system wherein many nodes reference, in a one-to-many or many-to-one functionality, what are essentially entities and not necessarily nodes. In other words, I do not need to display these entities by themselves. They will be displayed by views embedded in the output of their parent nodes.
I could, of course, just make every minute data storage element a node, but something tells me that this would invoke a bunch of unnecessary overhead, not only in terms of processing, but also data storage as well.
As an example: An Item (which rightly is a node) might have, say, two or three possible "modes of fabrication," each consisting of a "method" and a "quantity per operation". I would like to have the Mode (with quantity associated with it as a field) be a database entity which also has a node reference field pointing to its parent node (the item to which it pertains). I don't need the Mode to be a node, as it only provides concise data to its parent node (the Item to which it is associated by the aforementioned node reference field).
I have installed the Entity Plus and Entity UI modules, but I cannot find a way to construct an entity. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.