The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Relational Database

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At Ndagani High School

The existing system of operation has several modules like admission, schedule, registration and grading currently running manually and very much dependent on paper work. Normally manual system takes more time and man power too. With this, accuracy is not maintained due to lack of an automated system and several errors may be committed in the manual calculations. To keep record of a large number of students is more difficult using this traditional method. The School does not have an efficient way of maintaining records as it will enjoy if it makes good use of relational database which enables modularization of sub operations and then linking them all to come up with the whole operation process (Reinsch 372). Because of several disadvantages there is need of new computerized system.

Process and Planned Improvement

In the automated examination system, major emphasis is on examination. There are so many calculations required for the tutors to come up with the student’s grades. This involves summing individual assignment marks (rather herein referred to as CAT, Continuous Assessment Test) and the final examination mark. The tests account for 40% and 60% respectively. The improvement to this problem is the creation of an automated system to carry out these computations and have the results stored in a database. A relational database is essential since it will show the various relationships between the several attributes of each table involved in the computations (Teorey 37). The plan to have this process automated is to be able to accurately determine the individual grades for the student via a simple backend calculation method that involves retrieval of scores entered in the database for a certain student and auto generation of that student’s report for the specific semester.

Competitive advantage of database use

The use of a relational database in the process attracts several advantages. First, it offers room for modularization of events. For instance, the time when the students undertake their Assessment test is not the same as when they take their final exam. With a database, once the scores have been determined, they are stored in the database and await the examination time when they will be summed to have the grade. Secondly, a database ensures that the student data is secured. Only users with access privileges to the database are able to retrieve an manipulate the scores stored in the database. There is no scenario where a student can alter a student’s score for a subject they are not tutors (Codd 383). There is also the added advantage of increased accuracy and efficiency. A human mind can error in its operations especially in times of fatigue or when working under immense pressure. For a computer run application using a database as a resource source for its data, there is no room for this error as the process is pretty much reduced to a retrieve analyze and present event. There is also the improvement of storage. Digital data is much easier to save and requires less volume of space to occupy as opposed to file cabinets used when records are stored on hard copy files in record rooms.

Snapshot of Database tables

Admission table

Assessment test table

Examination table

ERD Diagram

Works Cited

Codd, E. F. (1970). "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data ".383 : 377–387.

Reinsch, R. (1988). "Distributed database for SAA". IBM Systems Journal. 372: 362–389.

Teorey, T.; Lightstone, S. and Nadeau, T. (2005) “Database Modeling & Design: Logical Design”.  Morgan Kaufmann Press. 37: 23-57

September 11, 2023
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