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Database Design

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Database Design
Our database design consultants will analyse your business requirements and process flows so they can design a database that simplifies the way you work with your data. Our goal is to design a solution that will boost your performance and save you time by automating routine tasks.
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Inventica specialise in designing database solutions to meet our customers’ needs.

Although we take a structured and pragmatic approach to getting the job done our real goal is to deliver systems that will give you competitive advantage and even revolutionise your business.

By saving your employees’ time when undertaking routine tasks, simplifying the process of data acquisition, storage, management, reporting, and automating various processes such as enquiries tracking, order processing, and invoicing we’ll aim to find those small wins which save your team time and increase their efficiency.

We believe in taking a collaborative approach to database design but we’re happy to take the lead. We never forget that our professionals are there to guide you towards making the right choices:

  • Choosing the right technology to create your new database using best in class technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server
  • Correctly assessing data storage and bandwidth requirements
  • Projecting growth in number of concurrent users and data volumes
  • Considering data protection and security requirements
  • Researching database integration with third party systems and services
  • Choosing the right data reporting tools
  • Analysing data import and export requirements

All of our database design specialists have many years of experience working with Microsoft database platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access.

We can demonstrate similar projects from our extensive portfolio to help you visualise what your database will look like and how it will function. You can ask us for non-binding cost and timescale estimates as well at this stage to help you make informed choices based on your requirements and their potential cost.

Key stages of the database design process:

  • Identify user requirements
  • Choose an appropriate database technology
  • Create wireframes and process flow diagrams
  • Create data tables structure
  • Create user interface visuals
  • Create database prototype
  • Finalise functional and non-functional requirements with stakeholders
  • Finalise reporting requirements
  • Agree delivery programme and timescales
  • Commence development

What our customers are saying

Why Inventica?

All our work comes with a lifetime code warranty
User training and video tutorials included in the price
Competitive rates and no commitments
Pioneers in Microsoft Azure SQL cloud database development

Database design facts in a nutshell

What is a database? A database consists of related entities that may interact with each other in a workflow. Example of a database entity:

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Each database entity can have a number of properties for example; a customer entity could have properties such as customer name, address, and phone number. Some of these properties may have to be unique to allow the database to identify the correct record as requested by a user. Unique properties could be a customer ID or an order number. Sometimes, when there are no obvious unique identifiers, a database designer must introduce a new property, such as an auto ID field to make records unique.

Entities may have relationships. For example, a contact record can be linked to a customer record and an invoice record would be linked to an order record.

Entities may also interact with each other in a workflow. For instance, an enquiry could be transformed into an order and an order would be transformed into an invoice.

The database design process typically involves two people – a business analyst and a database designer.

  1. The business analyst works with business stakeholders to identify present and possibly future database entities, their respective properties, and workflows. The analyst will also study existing workflow management tools, such as Microsoft Excel or third party systems, to analyse how data is currently collected, processed, stored, and reported upon. Analysing existing reporting requirements is key to understanding how stakeholders expect to receive information from the database and ensures that the database designer captures and presents all the relevant data stored within the database.
  2. The designer will request data samples to identify the properties of each entity. Typically, each property will have a corresponding field in the database. For example, a product may have fields for colour, weight, or price. Each field value should have a correct field type in order for the database to be able to process data correctly. Field types can be numeric, text, date, etc. Establishing the correct data types is essential, allowing the database to manipulate the data accurately.

The database design process also involves the selection of an appropriate technology, such as Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server.

Database designers need to take into account a variety of factors, including:

  • The amount of data that the customer is going to store in the foreseeable, as well as the very distant future
  • The number of concurrent users and anticipated growth rate
  • How users are expecting to access their data, for example using web browsers, desktops, or handhelds
  • Where the database must reside, i.e. office server, cloud etc.

The database designer should also ensure the security of the customer’s data. This involves establishing access levels and defining user permissions for different user groups in the organisation. Database access can be restricted by IP address, so that only specific endpoints can gain access to the database. The customer may also wish to safeguard some of their most sensitive data by using encryption to reduce the risk of their data ending up in the wrong hands, as well as to comply with the data protection laws and regulations.

Choosing the right database disaster recovery strategy and an appropriate maintenance plan is your insurance policy, the importance of which must not be understated. Is your business prepared to lose data? How much downtime can you afford?

Our database specialists will help you choose an appropriate database backup plan that meets your business requirements. This includes choosing backup frequency, retention policy, deciding if real-time and geo-redundant replication is required, and making sure that backups are copied offsite, checked regularly, and can be restored at any time.

The database design stage forms the basis for your bespoke database’s future. We will aim to make sure that its future is a bright one.