Designing a custom database is a creative process. Big things have small beginnings. Complex enterprise resource management systems often evolve from a few Excel files.
Stage I. Understanding workflows
Database systems are used to acquire, store and manage information. Therefore, it is important to understand these processes from start to finish. We work closely with stakeholders and future database users to understand their routines. We then identify routines that can be simplified and automated using technology and include them in the new database design as ‘system functions’.
Stage II. Defining datasets and objects
If a database was a building, a dataset would be a building block. Every entity in the database such as a customer profile or sales order, consists of data fields that are grouped in datasets. For example, a customer profile would typically contain fields such as customer name, address, phone number. Grouping various fields into datasets and characterising entities is an integral part of Access Database Design.
Stage III. Designing links between database objects
In any data management process it is important to make sure that datasets and objects are linked correctly. For example, a customer profile could be linked to sales orders and sales orders, in turn, will be linked to invoices. During the database design process we make sure that information is properly structured and objects are linked correctly.
Stage IV. User interface design
Graphical user interface (GUI) is what most users call a ‘database’. This is an application that runs on user desktops. Its look, feel and usability is what makes a custom database a perfect business tool. The benefit of having a custom database is that it can be designed to meet user functional requirements, preference and habits. Some users like using keyboard shortcuts to work with data, some prefer mouse based navigation; some want to have switchboard menus others prefer tabs. Every customer is unique and so is their custom database. Designing Database interfaces is one of the most important stages of custom database development. Initially we show users various samples from our project portfolio, to determine their preferences. We then prepare mock-ups showing what user forms will look like. Once the mock-ups are approved, we start the development work.
Stage V. Programming
Programming is the most complex and laborious part of the access database design process. During this stage developers use a programming language to write custom code that will breathe life into the database. Code is a set of instructions that your database should perform when you click on a button or enter data into a field.
Speak to our project manager Jeff Das on 0207 394 3050 to find out more about Access database design process.