Database Design And Development

Written by Jill Morrison
Bookmark and Share

Database development is considered to be a necessary technique for companies to grow and compete with other companies in their market. Databases allow companies to collect and effectively manage business data online. They are much more efficient than traditional data storage methods, such as text files, paper storage files, or spreadsheets. Unlike these storage methods, databases allow users to retrieve, modify, or ask questions about specific business information.

Benefits of Databases

Databases are simply storage tables with rows and columns. They look very similar to spreadsheets, but can perform much more complicated actions with data. For instance, databases allow users to cross-reference data groups, receive powerful information protection, and ask questions or queries about information. Databases can also provide online interaction capabilities and they automatically update tables as necessary.

Databases offer numerous benefits to employees as well as customers. Although actual database designs can be difficult to construct, databases are generally very easy to work with after they have been put into place. Databases are valuable to customers and product vendors because they provide them with up-to-date information as well as the ability to view product options and the status of orders. Databases are beneficial to companies because they allow sales reps to view orders and shipments and they allow managers to get detailed summary reports at any time.

Database Design Options

Before constructing databases, companies should consider the various database design options available. As each company has different needs, different database programs are available to help with specific types of data management. Databases generally work with information such as employee records, sales orders, inventory lists, and client information. However, depending on the company, unique types of information may need to be managed online. Companies should choose database programs carefully. Otherwise, they could do more harm than good with data management programs.

To avoid choosing the wrong database program, companies should initially develop a conceptual database design. A conceptual design refers to a model of information that is separate from all physical considerations for database construction. This model should be developed according to company needs, goals, and current infrastructure. This model can then be tested by companies before it is implemented through database construction. Companies can save a lot of time and money by creating conceptual database designs before making decisions on database programs. Consultants are available to provide assistance during this process.

Types of Databases

There are a few different types of databases to choose from in business. Desktop and server databases are the two main options. Desktop databases are more affordable than server databases, but they are not as functional. Desktop databases are best utilized for non-interactive web actions or single-user applications. Microsoft Access, FileMaker Pro, and the Lotus Approach are popular types of desktop databases. Though server databases provide more options for users, desktop databases can be used for companies to save money while publishing databases online.

Server databases allow for more heavy-duty applications for data management. They are commonly chosen by companies that have e-commerce sites or focus on multi-user applications. Server databases are the best option for companies that depend on web interaction. Popular server database brands include Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. Because these brands are so popular, they are generally the most expensive options as well.

Relational Database Designs

Relational databases are the most common form of all database designs. Relational databases only store information in tables, and all actions result in tables as well. Other types of databases use alternative methods to tables. For example, object databases use graphs for storing information. Some people decide to use other methods besides databases for data collections altogether. However, relational databases offer the most mature and beneficial approach for data storage, organization, and management.

Bookmark and Share