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Databases are an important aspect of your business to handle all processes effortlessly. They are an essential part of your business to store, organize and analyze the important data of customers, employees, suppliers, inventory, and others. With this definitive guide, we are going to elaborate on what is a database, what is the lifecycle of database development, benefits, and reasons for database development services.
What is a Database?
A database is typically a large sum of data stored in the computer systems. It is an organized collection of structured information that is controlled by the database management system (DBMS). Thus, the data, the DBMS, and the application associated with it together form a database system short for database.
The information in the database is stored in different ways which are known as database models. The relational database model which has sets of relations to store data is the most widely used model. And to access data from such models, you need a DBMS.
The database management system or DBMS is computer software that allows you to store, update, create, retrieve, and analyze data. There are commonly four types of DBMS.
- Relational Database System
- Hierarchical Database System
- Network Database System
- Object-Oriented Database System
NoSQL is the fifth type of database system that has recently become popular due to the need for faster speed & processing of unstructured data.
Uses of Database:
Databases have many uses for businesses. It helps you to organize & manage all sorts of customers, inventory, employees, and other data. Databases help streamline many of your business processing, reporting, and analysis. The following are the main uses of databases.
- Customer management processes
- Financial reporting
- Productivity reporting
- Data analysis
- Inventory tracking
- Employee database
Database Development Life Cycle
For any software development, the subdivision or breaking of the whole development process into certain stages each of which focuses on developing one aspect of the software is known as the software development life cycle. Same way, databases are software and their development life cycle consists of the following stages.
1. Requirement Gathering:
The very first stage is to gather all the necessary requirements. Here, the client defines the problem statement, scope of work, and what features & functions are required out of the database system. The development team tries to gather as much information as needed to understand the proposed work to provide outputs accordingly.
Based on the requirement accumulated, a document is prepared that consists of the outline of the whole project. The document should provide concise details of all requirements to proceed with analysis & feasibility. The starting phase of the development is essential because it establishes what clients want in terms of data they want to store and manage.
The next stage in the database development life cycle is the analysis of requirements. Here, we conduct a feasibility study of documented requirements. Requirement analysis aims to gather detailed information on the needs of clients and check the viability of all the features and functions. All of which help us to deal with the database properties that suit the clients’ requirements.
This phase of the database development also deals with describing the data and environment interactions. Also, diagrammatical techniques are used for documenting interactions of processes, data, and required environment. This phase is more concerned with what is required? rather on how it is achieved?
3. System Design:
The 3rd phase of the life cycle is designing architectural aspects of databases. This stage is concerned with implementing the requirements and producing conceptual data models & logical schemas for database development. The design of the databases are in line with the type of database system is required.
Also, more attention is given to this phase to render high-end database designs that finely support the objectives and operations of the enterprise. The output of the system design stage is a detailed database architecture consisting of logical schemas and documented requirements that satisfy the conceptual data model client needs.
4. Implementation and Loading:
This is the most critical phase of the database development life cycle. This stage involves implementing all the logical schemas, specifications and documented requirements to craft a stunning and functional database system. The database development specifications include appropriate storage schema, security enforcement, and other external schemas.
In an ideal world, the implementation of the design requirements needs more suitable tools that match the requirements perfectly. And only then those tools are used for implementation and development. But it’s not an ideal world and more often than not the hardware decisions will have been made in advance. Thus, this stage concerns overcoming any software or hardware limitations and as an outcome, we get a well-designed high-end database.
5. Testing & Evaluation:
Once all the database logical schemas, specifications, and requirements are implemented, the testing and evaluation phase begins. Database designs were implemented keeping the integrity, performance, and security of the database in mind. And in this stage, tests are conducted to fine-tune the database to ensure that the database performs as expected.
Through various tests, data integrity and security are ensured and other aspects like access rights, data encryption, password security, etc. are checked. Also, the software and hardware where the database exists can impact the performance of it. So, they are fined-tuned or upgraded to get the expected performance out of it.
6. Database Release:
After it is properly ensured that the database works perfectly fine and performs as expected, it’s put into operation. The database becomes ready to release on live servers. With the release of the products, all the documents codes and related files are handed over to the product owners.
Once the database goes live and becomes operational, the maintenance phase starts. This stage of the database life cycle deals with upgrading and maintaining it as the requirements evolve. Also, as the use of the database increases, new bugs or issues may come out which need proper fixing or porting the database to a new environment.
Advantages of Database Development
There are innumerable benefits of the database system for a business. Using a database for gathering, storing, and managing the data gives your business a distinct advantage over your competitors. Here are a few advantages of database development for your business.
- Data redundancy is prevented in databases. Any changes are reflected immediately thus, zero chance of encountering data duplication.
- The database makes the sharing of data among its users more streamlined. Also, there are various authorization levels to access and share data.
- The data stored in the database stay accurate and consistent which helps maintain the integrity of data.
- Unauthorized users are not allowed to access the data from the database. Only authorized users with valid user credentials can access the data.
- Databases have different levels of access which allows specific users or groups of users to access only specific types of data.
- The database management system (DBMS) has in-built backup and recovery. Thus, no need for periodic backup of the database.
- Data restoration is possible and DBMS restores the database to its previous condition after crash or failure.
- Because of no data redundancy, all the data in the database appear consistently for all users having access to that database.
Reasons Why Your Business Need Database Development Service
If your business has to deal with not a pool but an ocean of data, then you need a data management tool that makes it effortless for you. And here’re other few reasons why you need a database development service.
1. Centralized Data System
A well-designed & developed database system helps you centralize all the data streams. Databases are need of the hour for growing businesses. And if your business is one of them, then you must have a big staff and keeping the increasing amount of data becomes more and more tricky. Thus a well-developed database can come to your rescue and helps you to centralize all your business-critical data safely and securely.
2. Customer Data & Relationship Management
If your business depends upon the customers, then you need a good customer data & relationship management tool. A customer relationship management (CRM) database must be part of your business growth. Because it can effectively store and retain the customer data that can help you to maintain a relationship with customers that lasts long. These databases are powerful enough to store & process from contact details to their interaction and purchase history. Also, it will help to generate new leads and convert them into your customers.
3. Efficient Inventory Management & Tracking
If you are tracking your inventory manually, then you might have encountered some occasions where you or your staff member have miscalculated. Also, the improper calculation can lead to too much sitting on the shelf to end as wastage or too little that damages your reputation. But you can avoid all such issues if you use an inventory tracking database. And for that, you need database development services.
Databases have become a necessity for businesses. They have many benefits as discussed for businesses of all sizes. The life cycle of the database development starts with gathering the requirements and ends with the maintenance. Also, we have illustrated the reasons why your business needs database development services.
Need help with designing and developing databases? MCS Ventures has an adept team of database designers and developers to take care of all your needs. Get in touch with us now with all your queries for free consultation with experts.
About Hemant Parmar
Hemant Parmar is an eCommerce expert and a keen Magento consultant who specializes in meeting the needs of businesses in the e-commerce space. Years in the eCommerce market make him a perfect choice for sharing his expertise on eCommerce and Magento 2 development. He believes that customers need to be met no matter how challenging it might be.Read More