4 Things You Need to Know about Database Design

The database is one of the most essential components of a computer or an application, as it stores all the data required to execute programs and enable function. In many cases, one or more databases work to ensure that everything in the application works to spec. It’s not unlike a library, where all the data is sorted, indexed, and stored in a clear and precise manner.

If the library is disorganized, the user will find it more challenging to search and access data. This affects all applications, computers, and systems. Tools such as MS SQL performance monitoring ensure proper function, but they would be useless if the application is fundamentally flawed. That is why one of the cornerstones of software development is database design. Software developers need to ensure that their database is accessible and efficient.

  1. Listen to everyone

Software designers aren’t unlike commission artists. It’s a chance to flex your talent and artistry, but at the end of the day, your work must reflect the wishes of the client. If you want to design a proper database, you need to consult all the relevant stakeholders. After all, they’re the ones who are going to use the software.

Start by meeting all the relevant people and ask for their expectations. You need to know what they need and their level of skill in terms of use and troubleshooting. Based on that data, you can then design a database that best fits your client brief.

  1. Choose the right database

html codingThere are many types of databases to choose from, and choosing the right one for the software is one of the most important parts of database design. Databases can be boiled down into two classifications.

The first classification is based on the query language. SQL-based databases are a popular choice for structured data. Meanwhile, NoSQL databases are often used in cases where speed and flexibility are needed. The second classification categorizes databases according to data models. Do some research to determine the best type for the application.

  1. Document everything

Developers are notoriously bad at documentation. After all, they were trained to write code, not prose. It also takes out time out of a busy schedule, which can affect the timeline. However, proper documentation is a crucial part of the design process as it ensures that every little detail is tracked.

You can’t expect end-users to understand the database the same way you do. When documenting your database, make sure to include detailed instructions, stored procedures, entity-relationship diagrams, and other information your end users might need. It should include enough detail to please technical users but be simple enough to understand.

  1. Design with security in mind

Businesses and organizations face serious security risks, and your database should be designed with security in mind. In many cases, the data stored in databases are protected by law. Any security breach could lead to disastrous consequences for the company. Make sure to encrypt all authentication methods and control user access.

These pointers will guide you along the database design process. A good database should be secure, properly documented, meets the client’s requirements, and is the right type for the data that is going to be stored.

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