Saturday, September 15, 2007

Database Design for Business - Part 2 Instructing the designer

There are two elements to this first appoint the right designer and second communicate your database design ideas to them.

The database designer should understand your basic business processes and not try to add extra processes you do not do already, unless of course you are introducing new practices. To acheive this they should be prepared to visit you at your premises and look at existing practices and figure out how they will impliment your new system, assuming that they think they can. If they suggest that you need extra hardware or software ask them why they are needed.

If you communicate your design idea effectivly to the designer you can more easily set a fixed price. If your ideas are a bit vague so will the pricing. Write a detailed list of the differant elements that your idea requires. (Customer List - Name, Adress,telephone, e-mail, Accounts ref,fax, delivery addresses, e-mail preferance,credit limit, etc,) Show the calculations that you need to do on the data, and do mock ups of the reports you would like.

The designer should be able to tell you when they can start your project and how long it will take. They should be available to train you and your staff if necessary. There will more then likely be some issues and unforseen circumstances that will need to be patched up when the system goes live. Will the database designer be able to offer remote assistance or onsite help?

Get the designer to show you some other projects they have completed. Try and see more then one designer! Some designers speciallise in differant industry sectors but this is not something that you should give to much weight to, as long as your designer understands your business processes.

Next we will look at the technology choices available in Part 3.

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