New bespoke database design
New database design is ideal for many organisations - new start-up businesses that have begun to outgrow their initial simple solutions, well-established organisations that have grown up with a legacy of now outdated solutions or a difficult-to-manage mixture of different part-solutions, as well as large organisations that are, perhaps, diversifying into new enterprises, wishing to incorporate new data facilities with existing solutions.
You have probably already examined the possibility of purchasing and using an off-the-shelf solution. Sometimes, this is exactly the right way to go, but very often, a standard solution is a Jack-of-all-trades, and therefore master of none, which means that you will quickly come up against its limitations and discover that it in order for it to be useful in the future, your organisation and processes will need to change to fit the database application, and not the "dnuora yaw rehto".
A bespoke database can be designed to perform exactly the way you want it
to. Just as importantly, it can be designed to grow and evolve in line with
the way that your organisation changes. And most important of all, local expertise
means that the fine details of design and implementation can be addressed
in real-time, and any small modifications can be accomplished easily and efficiently.
Whatever your needs, the general sequence of events is the same.
Systems Analysis phase
Just as it would be a mistake in other circumstances to begin looking for a solution before knowing what the problem is, designing a database solution before knowing what issues need to be addressed is unwise. The Systems Analysis phase is a crucial first step because it aims to specify the problem in sufficient detail that the applicability, quality and performance of the solution can be measured.
Database Solution Design phase
Working with the definition of the problem, a new database design is conceived and specified, complete with schema design, form design specification, report design specification, navigation mechanisms, filtering mechanisms and search mechanisms, as well as dealing with security issues, data protection issues, integration issues and such like. But a database can offer far more than just a suite of flexible ways of acquiring and retrieving data. It can incorporate intelligent routines that can automate many of the common tasks that are otherwise undertaken with other, often manual, processes and, in many cases, completely new ways of dealing with day-to-day tasks can be envisioned. In interactive sessions with the client, then, and where appropriate, agreed changes to business processes can be discussed and planned for.
One of the facets of the design phase is to determine the size of the solution required, since there is a world of difference between a single-user desktop database and a multi-user distributed enterprise-wide client-server solution.
Database solution implementation
Once the design specification has been agreed between designer and customer, the solution is implemented and tested on typical hardware platforms which have also been agreed.
While thorough testing is carried out at every stage of the implementation, the solution is only considered to be complete when it meets agreed acceptance test criteria. These are formulated to coincide with the requirements arrived at in the Systems Analysis phase. The acceptance testing is usually carried out on the target platform.
Additional services might also be of interest
During or after the design and implementation stages, some optional facilities may be considered.
Customers invariably already have useful, even critical, data in some form or other. Moving and transforming this data into the new database in a fully- or semi-automated way can be of significant interest in such circumstances. Often, a plan for operating the existing system and the new system side-by-side is an attractive option until familiarity with the new database has been obtained.
All databases need administration. The bigger and more complex the database, the more complex and necessary is the administration task. For those customers who are new to databases, an initial period of contract administration services may be attractive.
In order to make best use of the new database, it is common for users,
managers and administrators to be trained to use the new database.