Database Design and Implementation applies to whatever industry you are in. Databases are increasingly critical for the medtech / life sciences sector.
Here is a step by step approach to designing and implementing a database in your organization, using specific data from a sweet shop case study. By the end of this tutorial, you will know about databases, advantages of databases system over the regular file system, the steps of a database design process, software development lifecycle, qualities of a well-built database, relations and relationships, data integrity, and more.
Background of Databases
The database system approach to data management overcomes many of the shortcomings of the traditional file system approach. One of the critical features of a database system is that data is stored as a single logical unit. What this means is that although the data may be spread across multiple physical files, the database conveys the data as being located in a single data repository. Organizing data in single logical repository allows for easy manipulation and querying of the data, in contrast with traditional file systems where the programmer must specify what and how the data retrieval is done.
With database systems, it need only be specified what must be done, the DBMS (Database Management System) does the rest. Another advantage of the database approach is that, because data is located in one single database, data in different physical locations need not be duplicated. The database software can interact with all the data in the database. Nonduplication of data is one way of maintaining the integrity of the data. When data is allowed to be duplicated, errors can happen if one instance of the data is altered and another instance remains the same. When data is allowed to be duplicated, more maintenance and system resources are required to ensure that data is always integral.
One of the most significant benefits of databases is that data can be shared or secured among users or applications. There are more control and accountability over how the data is managed because the data all resides in one database.
If there are shortcomings to database systems, its that much more powerful and sophisticated software is needed to control the database and designing the software and database can be extremely time-consuming. More extensive knowledge of how to use the database is required, thus making the database system less user-friendly than traditional file systems. Since the database is one logical repository, even a small error can damage the entire database and reduce the integrity of the data. One benchmark of a good database is one which is complete, integral, simple, understandable, flexible and implementable. Batini et al. say that database modeling strives for a “nonredundant, unified representation of all data managed in an organization.” By following the database/software development lifecycle methodology, and by using the data models, the database design goals are fulfilled and will minimize the disadvantages.