Using a database management system (DBMS) is a wise decision for any business that plans to implement the use of a database as part of their IT infrastructure. A database management system, also referred to as a database manager (Rouse, 2005), allows one or many computers to create, query, and manipulate data in the database (Rouse, 2005). The database management system also manages request from users and applications, making the database much more user friendly, since the users nor the applications have to know where the data is physically located for the database (Rouse, 2005).
Where multi-user systems are being utilized the database management system does not allow the current user to see who else is accessing the information. The database contains data that needs to be protected from intentional or accidental misuse (Ricardo, 2012). The database management system is instrumental to securing the database; and that system allows the database administrator to setup security restrictions and enforce them on multiple levels, making sure only those with the proper credential have access to the data (Ricardo, 2012).
The DBMS also adds to the overall security by having the functionality to encrypt the data before it is stored in the database (Ricardo, 2012). The database management system also helps to ensure database integrity, making sure data is readily accessible and is organized as intended by the database administrator (Rouse, 2005). The DBMS also allows the database administrator to define integrity constraints, which are consistency rules that the database must obey (Ricardo, 2012).
Many small businesses are storing their data in programs such as Microsoft Works or Microsoft’s spreadsheet application Excel. These systems can be very difficult for new staff to pickup on and can over complicate and greatly delay the day to day business operations (“db net solutions,”). A database management system like Microsoft Access will give a small to medium sized business the ability to manage their data in an organized and professional manner (“db net solutions,”).
Utilizing the features of a database management system the database administrator has the ability to design a user interface with built in reporting and querying functions, these functions make the database easier and more intuitive for new users (“db net solutions,” ). Data will be available to multiple users at the same time, allowing for simultaneous adding, editing and updating of the data (“db net solutions,”). A database is going to be way more efficient when dealing with relational data, than applications like Microsoft Word, or Excel (“db net solutions,” ).
The database administrator is able to ensure data integrity and quality by using constraints and relationships, which should reduce errors and redundant data (“db net solutions,” ). Databases allow for quick access to your data allowing for accurate and timely analysis of your data (“db net solutions,”). When a business grows and along with it its data needs, a database such as Access can be integrated and link to other database infrastructures, which will allow cross system reporting and querying capabilities (“db net solutions,” ).
To create a functional database that accurately represents the enterprise that plans to use it information must be gathered documenting the requirements of the new database. One way to do this would be to interview the end users of the purposed database. This can be done by one on one interviews where the users are asked what requirements they deem necessary in the database, or a questionnaire could be handed out with tailored questions (Davis, 1982).
The questions could be multiple-choice, or open ended, depending if the analyst has knowledge of the possible responses (Davis, 1982). This method is called the asking methodology and also includes brainstorming, guided brainstorming, and using group consensus (Davis, 1982). Another method that could be used is deriving requirements from and existing information system (Davis, 1982). If an organization has an existing information system that was implemented in the past and has an operational history, it can be used to derive requirements for the new database (Davis, 1982).
A third method to obtain requirements for the new system is through synthesis from characteristics of the utilizing system (Davis, 1982). “Information systems provide information services that facilitate the operations of systems (object systems) that utilize the information. The requirements for information thus stem from the activities of the object system. This suggests that the most logical and complete methodology for obtaining information requirements is to develop them from and analysis of the characteristics of the utilizing system. “(Davis, 1982).
References Ricardo, C. (2012). Databases illuminated. (Second ed. , pp. 7-11, 13). Sandbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, LLC. Rouse, M. (2005, September 25). Searchsql. com. Retrieved from http://searchsqlserver. techtarget. com/definition/database-management-system db net solutions. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. dbnetsolutions. co. uk/Articles/ManagingData. aspx Davis, G. B. (1982). Strategies for information requirements determination. 21(1), 13-15. Retrieved from http://zonecours. hec. ca/documents/A2009-1-2145780. Davis-1982. pdf