Questions on database planning

Last Post 16 Nov 2006 09:31 AM by GoldenGal. 3 Replies.
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lmaurer
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07 Nov 2006 07:37 AM
The IT department where I work is trying to grow our database development services. We use both Access 2002 and 2003 and we are starting to use SQL Server 2000. Does anyone have any thoughts of the best way to develop a project plan for a database design? For example, one way I work is to think about what the purpose is and how I or our users want the data to function. Then I literally draw out the design of the database and then I build the tables and the relationships, etc. electronically. Also, if anyone out there sells their databases to clients, how do you justify the value of a database or "data management"? How do you fund database development? How do you measure the return on investment for a database? If anyone has been faced with these issues (I imagine plenty of people have), I would appreciate any feedback on my questions. If this is not the correct forum, I would appreciate being directed to the appropriate one.
SQLUSA
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12 Nov 2006 10:28 AM
You need an expert db designer to begin with. A small database (50 tables ballpark) takes around a month. A 50 tables addition to a 3,000 tables database on the other hand may take 6-12 months.

Beside the expert db designer, excellent systems analyst is very very helpful.

Funding and ROI is just like any other software project undertaking.

A good database design pays off tremendously in development productivity and ease of maintenance.

Kalman Toth DB, DW & BI Architect, SQL Server Training
URL: http://www.sqlusa.com/order2005grandprix
The Best SQL Server 2005 Training in the World
GoldenGal
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16 Nov 2006 09:31 AM
I second what Kalman says... the investment that you'll make in a professional data modeler/db designer and a master system architect (not necessarily the same person, mind you!) will pay dividends all throughout the life of the database and the system itself.

I've just started to hit very hard on data ownership, Master Data Management, and Fact Models in my column, Solutions By Design. The Master Data Management article is scheduled to be published in the January edition of the magazine, Fact Models (which will help you define the business rules that drive the db design) is scheduled for the March edition. I know that's a long time to wait for a few nuggets of wisdom, so to get you started, you can do your own research.

Google "Master Data Management" -- stay away from the web sites that are hawking vendor software. You might selectively read the white papers, just realize that a vendor's white paper is a position paper -- they want to convince you that their pre-packaged solution is the one you want. You don't need 3rd-party software to get started with Master Data Management -- you first need to understand what constitutes Master Data for your company, then develop a plan to manage it. THEN you can consider additional software.

Google "Fact Model", and look for Ronald G. Ross' work on fact and rules models. Ron has his detractors (namely Fabian Pascal), but I think he's on to something. Fact and rules models go beyond IT. They allow you to map and visualize the business facts and rules, respectively -- not all of which will end up as data captured in some database somewhere. Facts and Rules models give you a greater overview of what's going on in the business, and also give you better insight into how the business operates. All of this is necessary if you're going to create better databases to support the business operations.

Good luck!

prospec
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29 Dec 2006 04:56 PM
Cool thanks for the info.


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