Welcome To The World of Databases–Part 3

Drawbacks of Database Development


In this mini series of posts about databases, we’ve already looked at the benefits they offer businesses and the different types of databases that are available.

This time round we’ll look at how they are developed and the possible drawbacks of that development.

Databases will benefit any business that needs to process and manipulate large amounts of data. Because database development tools are designed to make maintaining and managing the structure of data files easier, they impose strict parameters on developers to make sure the data retains its accuracy.

Most modern database development systems use structured query language (SQL) processing. This allows you to analyse large amounts of data and generate reports in a variety of different ways.

As with all systems, SQL will require a certain level of expertise to be used effectively so it is advantageous to obtain the necessary IT training and guidance.

The problems with database development

Relational database management system (RDBMS) technology allows the building of applications that can be tailored to your specific business requirements. But it can be expensive and time-consuming.

Unless you happen to have the specific knowledge it is unlikely you’d be able to develop your own in-house application because you’ll need:

  • An initial consultation
  • Analysis of your requirements
  • System specification
  • Database design
  • Programming
  • Testing
  • Implementation
  • Training
  • On-going maintenance

As you can see that would be a tall order for most businesses to come up with.

You must ensure your database fulfils all your needs for  the daily running of your business. The other option is to utilise an off the shelf solution which gives you the core functions you need and then build your own specific needs into it.

If you do decide to get one developed for you, here are a few questions to ask your potential suppliers:

  • How long have they been an established supplier?
  • What are all the costs involved? (e.g. set up fee, annual renewable licence etc.)
  • How much do they charge for technical support?
  • Is the system scalable?
  • Can they recommend any third-party developers that make use of their RDBMS?
  • Is there an active independent user group?
  • Can they provide references for businesses in your industry using their software?
  • Do they offer training for the RDBMS and what are the associated costs?

As you can see there’s a lot to think about when considering which database solution is right for you. Before you dive in, make sure you know precisely what you need for your business now and in the future. Once you are armed with that information you will be better placed to make sure you get the right system for your business.

Author: MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.