Database Design Process
The process of creating the right custom database involves many steps and requires the participation of all users to make sure you are getting the intuitive product you need. Several phases go into the production of a custom database:
Systems analysis involves an intense review of your current computer systems and office procedures in order to improve upon your current database or design a new one from scratch. When building a new system, everyone who will be using the system-from secretaries to CEO's, is interviewed to insure that your application will be accessible, accurate and easy to understand for all users. If transferring from another system, the retrieval and use of your previous data will make a big impact on the design of your system. Any reports that need to be created, input forms and documents that have relevance to the database topic should be gathered and presented at this time.
Based on your current computer system, and budget, a detailed design for your database is created. You will be able to select color preferences, form designs with your logos, and decide what style of menu automation works best for you. If security is of concern, a security package will be designed at this time as well. Existing database solutions are available at a lower cost, with an hourly rate for customization. You will be asked to review the design and make changes before the production phase, although changes to the design can be made at any time for an hourly rate.
According to the above design, a database will be created using tables, forms, queries, modules and reports for user-interaction. You will be asked to closely follow the design of the database during this phase, through email or in person. The more involved you are in this process, the more intuitive your database becomes.
Testing can be the most trying of all phases as we phase out old systems and get your new database on-line. Bugs and automation errors will be worked out as the system is put to use. Since this is a custom system, you are the Beta tester! Tracey Hughes Consulting offers 24 hour support and most problems are solved within hours of detection. During this time you should be running your old system and the new database simultaneously
Once your new system is working smoothly, you are ready to use your custom application exclusively. As you use the system more and more, you might find that there are certain reports you need to have designed. Changes, included new functionalities and reports, can be done at any time! A manual will be created for you at this time.