In The Know… Database Development

Across the Board

While many of us think of databases as merely a computerized storage facility for names, addresses, and telephone numbers, the opposite is true. Today, more and more databases are being built not only to store, but to also analyze information.  No longer are they restricted to large company’s and government facilities, databases are used by online schools, commerce retailers, neighborhood salons, restaurants and a bevy of industries. As a matter of fact, databases are one of the fastest growing segments in development.

This segment of development will continue to grow, because the need to know customers will never go away. For instance, databases can contain information about a customer’s likes, dislikes, shopping patterns, family size, age groups, and much more. This can assist a retailer with target marketing and product recommendations based on age and favorites. This also can help a retailer understand any number of important factors for a customer’s satisfactory shopping experience.
But, what other advantages can a detailed database offer? Let us talk about online education, a rapidly growing industry. More and more people are turning to online courses, because they are convenient and affordable. Online education databases offer a full list of courses, course descriptions, schedules, etc. Now, online education databases offer course recommendations and on campus suggestions for courses unavailable online.

What to Do

You have decided your business will benefit from a database, now what? Very few of us know how time consuming and rigorous creating a database can be. According to an online article, “It is not wise to dive directly into a physical design without first conducting an in-depth examination of the data needs of the business.”  Furthermore, “a proper database design cannot be thrown together quickly by novices.  A practiced and formal approach to gathering data requirements and modeling data is needed.” At times the wealth of information that will be stored on a database can be overwhelming. Precision and careful attention to every single field is due; otherwise the results can be horrific.

Therefore, when approaching a development company with a database project it is imperative to have all of the information you wish to have in your database available from the beginning.  It is NEVER a good idea to leak information to your developers while the project is in progress – this can severely delay your project and frustrate all parties concerned. So, DO give all of the correct information to your development providers at the start of your project.

With the growing number of information maintained on databases there is the need for tighter security.  How many of us hesitate to put our social security number or home address on an online application? The truth is database development is becoming more secure as technological advancements occur. However, the threat to database security is very much a concern for many of us. So, PLEASE ask your development provider about security measures and precautions.   Inquiring about the security and vulnerabilities of your database is a sign you care about protecting your customers. Your project developer will understand and appreciate your concern.

*Did You Know – Web Development is the larger picture where Web Designing is just a small part of it.  Not taking away the credit from a good designed website, it cannot really answer important queries and does not provide the interactive functionalities that a good website, which is developed using the right technology can.

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