Our Database Expertise
Database technology is a strange animal. Each tool has its own quirks and unique
behaviors. It really does take years of real-world experience before
you can call yourself an expert. That's why we focus on a small set of database
technologies we know very well. We build client/server Web and Desktop database
solutions using the following technologies:
- SQL Server Development
- MySQL Development
- Microsoft Access Solutions(now called Microsoft Office Access)
- Visual FoxPro Solutions
It's not the longest list in the world, but if you need help with one or more of
them, we can help you.
What's a Database Solution?
A database solution is a program (or set of programs) that is database-centric,
and helps you store, manage and process information. So what does it take
to create professional database solutions? Let's take a look
at the major areas we focus on to create the typical database management system.
As you might imagine your typical database management system is going to have at
least one database. Each database will have one or more entities, called
tables. Once we understand your requirements and have created the proper
user interface, we are going to need to create these entities. Each entity/table
will have one or more fields, each of which will have properties. For example, we'll
define if the field is required, if it has to be unique, and if we need to index
or sort on it. All of this information usually goes into a Database Dictionary.
Here's a sample Database Dictionary (in Excel) to help you visualize it. You can
also download other cool software stuff.
Define Entity Relationships
Once we've created our tables, we need to graphically draw the relationships between
them. This helps everyone understand how information in one table relates to information
in another. See the image below for a better understanding (I know, pretty ugly).
Define Business Rules
Database management systems operate under a set of clearly defined business rules.
These rules are a logical representation of your organization's own business rules. For
example, a business rule may define that an Order cannot exist unless it is linked
to a customer. Or it may define that each customer must have one and only one customer
type. Another example is that a customer balance cannot be negative. Business rules
are used to maintain the integrity of the database, making sure that only good
data is stored within it. The phrase "garbage in, garbage out" must have
been coined by a database developer.
Build User Interface (UI)
The next step is to map the databases, fields, business rules and other entities
of the database to the user interface (UI). Although you may think that each module
within the system will relate to one or more tables, in reality the user interface
and database structure are totally independent. We design our user interfaces to
match your business process. The application's user interface is designed to provide
maximum efficiency. The database is designed for speed, integrity and security.
Create Output (Reports)
When building a database solution, usually (but not always) the
last step is to create the reporting, or output portion of the system. Actually,
when designing a database system we like to review the current or desired reports/output
There's a lot more to building a professional database management system, but this
should give you a good idea of the tasks involved.