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As asserted by Coronel & Morris (2016), a proper and correct designed database provides the users or the stakeholders with access to accurate and up-to-date information. Appropriate design is critical to attaining the individuals or organizational objectives in working with a database. By doing this, the database can provide the required information on time and enhance the operational characteristics. Various principles guide the process of database design. The first one is the information duplicate, also termed as data redundancy, and organizations through the IT specialists avoid it. The second aspect is the completeness and correctness of the information. Nevertheless, there is a standard design process that outlines steps that make the database design efficient.
One of the steps is to determine the objective or the purpose of the data. The idea with this stage is to establish a well-thought and developed mission statement, which an individual can refer throughout the design process. The next phase is to find and organize the required information. The IT specialists must gather all the type of the data they want to record in the database, and it might include the order number, product name, and the employees’ registration number (Coronel & Morris, 2016). The third pace is to divide the information into tables form. One has to choose the essential subjects or entities for filling in the tables. Then, turn the information items into columns. At this level, a person has to decide on what information required in every table. Therefore, each piece turns to be a field, and hence, displayed as a column within the table. For instance, a table of workers might comprise fields such as Hire date, date of birth, and the first name.
The fifth step is to specify/choose the primary keys. The primary keys refer to the column that users use to identify every row uniquely, and this might be an Order or a Product ID. Setting up the table relationships is the sixth strategy, where one has to keenly look at each table and decide how data relates from one table to the other (Hogan, 2018). Furthermore, creating new tables or fields is vital to certify the relationships. The seventh level is to analyze the database design error. That is, creating new tables and add some records of sample data to see whether it is possible to obtain the results required. If one is not satisfied, they can make some adjustments.
The last step is applying the rule of normalization, which is an essential aspect of the process of improving database design. According to Coronel & Morris (2016), normalization is a procedure of applying a set of principles to database design, with the aim of achieving minimum redundancy in the data. There are three primary steps of data normalization, which are also referred to as normal forms. They include the first normal form (1NF), the second normal form (2NF), and the third normal form (3NF). Each subsequent normalization step depends on standard form taken in the previous phase (Hogan, 2018).
For the 1NF, the primary objective is to classify the base data into logical units called tables, which comprises columns and rows. Every row characterizes a specific instance of that attribute or sub-object and must be unique in some ways from other rows (there should have no duplicate rows). Then each column resembles a characteristic represented by the entire table. The information must be broken into logical units, each containing a primary key and no repeated sub-object or attributes in any of the tables to attain the 1NF.
The 2NF demands that each non-key column is entirely dependent on the entire primary keys. The principle applies when the organization or the person have a primary key with more than one column (Hogan, 2018). For instance, in a table that has three columns; the product sold, the customer ID, and the price, the price will act as the function of the client identification who is entitled a given discount and the specific product. For 3NF, every non-key column must be independent of each other. That is, each non-key column must rely on the primary key only. For example, using a customer table with the product, price, and customer’s ID, removing a row that describes the consumer purchase because of a return automatically eliminates the fact that the given product has a particular price. And therefore, in 3NF, tables must be divided into two to enable a separate tracking of the product price.
Improving the database design has numerous benefits such as control of data redundancy. That is, the solid selection ensures that each data gets stored once within the database, and this reduces the storage space. Data sharing is another merit where employees and other authorized stakeholders share the information and this increases efficiency. Also, users acquire the ability to generate more information from a given amount of data. The third advantage is information security where the IT professional limits certain parts of the data to various users; hence, ensuring confidentiality and the safety of data. Other merits are quick access to data, consistency of information, the flexibility of data design, and ability to store a significant amount of information (Hogan, 2018).
The procedure of designing a successful database has several impacts on individuals. One, it increases the practical skills and expertise of a person. The entire process of improving database design is more of practice rather than theory, and this sharpens the competence of a professional. Again, it increases productivity in an organization or individuals work. In any business setting, information is an integral aspect, which has a significant influence on the success of the enterprise. Lastly, it encourages an IT specialist to continue with more field research to establish a successful data design.
Coronel, C., & Morris, S. (2016). Database systems: design, implementation, & management. Cengage Learning.
Hogan, R. (2018). A Practical Guide to Database Design. Chapman and Hall/CRC.
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