Database approach has many advantages like data independence, sharing, flexibility, security and persistence of data which encourages organizations of any scale to go for DBMS software. In addition to the advantages discussed in previous notes, there are some additional implications of Database Approach that need to be discussed to understand whether a database solution is rightly needed or not.
The following are the Implications of Database Approach
Standards can be Enforced with Database Approach
Database applications are meant to reduce the efforts of data management for any organization by providing well organized and managed data. Such applications will help in faster data processing, efficient reporting system and quicker decision making.
When data is shared with the support of DBMS in secure environment it will help DBA and Developers to define and implement the standards for creation of data elements, defining and storing data and presentation of data to users. Well defined and well adopted standards make the use of data easier.
As DBA it will be easier for you to create database elements like tables, views, procedures, rules, fieldnames and constraints. Any new employee who replaces an outgoing DBA will not have to struggle in understanding the data items created by his predecessor. Standards also include how the data values will be displayed to users, what will be the structure and components of user interface or screens, what will be a generic format of any report created from the database. For example
- All table names must have tbl, all procedures must have udp, all views must have uvw and all constraints must have cnn as prefixes.
- Every screen must have standard menu for adding new record, updating existing record, deleting a record, browsing through existing records and jumping to first, last, next or previous records.
- Date data must be displayed in dd-mm-yyyy format
- Names will be displayed as last name, first name and middle name
- Currency value has to be displayed up to 2 figures after decimal.
Quicker Application Development
Database approach allows developers to incrementally development the application. Beginning with core application accepted and approved by users can be enhanced by adding layers of functionality and complexity demanded by the user who is now well aware of his needs, scope and capability of application. Since the previous versions are well designed, adding new features will be done in lesser time.
Flexibility of Altering Data Structures
With time and use of data there may be need to store data in a different data structures. For example earlier the amount of data was thought to be fit to store in form of a binary search tree. But with increase in volume of data it is better to store it in an m-way tree for better search and insertion. Database approach allows this freedom to alter the data structure with changing requirements of the application or organization.
Readily Available Information Across Network
Data residing at one location and available at different locations through networked systems is very essential. Database approach fulfills this need due to its centralized repository feature. Moreover the data consistency and real time update implies that the data is readily and quickly available for users going for on-line reservation like airlines and transactions like banking or online shopping.
With database approach the organizations can cutoff expenses by minimizing resources and employees. Data duplicity is considerably reduced so no need to retain copies of data files in multiple computer systems. Data stored in centralized database server will be available to all the users.
A person or team devoted for database administration can take care of the information needs across the organization instead of departmental management of localized data. If the data storage and management needs increase with time, instead of replacing all the computing resources across organization only the servers can be upgraded to match the increase in volume of data.