To complete this assignment I must analyse a database that is used by an organisation and design a database that improves on the original to make the system even more efficient. The designs that I create must be detailed enough so that a third party would be able to implement them onto the existing system. The database that I choose to analyse for this assignment should include three related entities that will allow me to produce evidence of data modelling by creating an entity relationship diagram. Any improvements that I make to the system will be documented so that I can compare it to the original system later on.
My End User
For this assignment I have chosen Video Shop as the organisation I will analyse the manual database of. It is the main video shop for the whole area, which means that it is often busy. The shop has its own preview room that is located in the same building. This is very helpful as customers can watch previews without having to go somewhere else just to watch a preview. As customer records are confidential I won’t actually be able to examine the data itself, however the system is a manual database and I will be able to see the invoice and rental forms which will give me a rough outline of what the database should look like.
I will design a new video database for the video shop that will also display information about the staff that will be serving the customers. Each of the forms on the database need to have the option to be printed so that the customer can have a copy of what he/she has rented.
The following bullet-points list the problems with the Video Shop current system of storing data.
* Time consuming.
* Details have to be written several times on separate forms.
* Rechecking calculations takes longer than the computer takes.
* Can be difficult to locate customer’s details.
* Cannot be 100% accurate on sales and stocks have to be managed by hand
* Every little calculation must be done by hand
* Data is often misplaced or lost.
* Errors could be made due to tiredness or stress
All of the data is written on paper since it is a manual database that are a hassle meaning purchasing invoice books and photocopying rental forms and customer details forms. Staffs records the details on paper-based information which means new forms have to be filled in. If the data is recorded incorrectly, it can be a hassle to re-enter data as the whole database has to be re-written or new forms have to be filled out to correct the fault. The information stored on the paper is also lost easily meaning that rentals aren’t kept track of and customer details are lost. Due to the information being unorganised it can be difficult to locate certain information and staff are often overbooking rentals. This results in customers being messed around as they have wait for longer periods of time than they should have to rent a movie.
The end-user has made the following requirements for the system.
* Faster than current manual system.
* Easy to use (even for people without an IT background).
* Overbooking rentals
* Store basic Staff details.
* Store basic Customer details.
* Lower the amount of duplicated data.
The video shop requires the new system to be fast and reliable. It also has to be easy to use so that people without much IT knowledge could also use it. Rentals have to be booked quickly but kept as accurate as possible at the same time whilst also preventing overbooking for rentals. Basic Customer and Staff information should be stored somewhere on the system so that certain details can be located quickly without having to search through filing cabinets for their records. There should also be a way to avoid entering the same information multiple times. The system should also have a large memory capacity, as there are a large amount of Customers that need to have their details stored.
The system is required to be reliable so no data is lost and there should be a low amount of duplicated data so time is saved. The same information shouldn’t have to be entered in several different forms, it should be limited as much as possible.
The end-user will require a user-guide for use with the system so that whoever needs to use it can learn how to use it by reading through the guide. The guide needs to be easy to understand with a minimal amount of technical jargon. This will hopefully mean that anyone who needs to use the system will be able to.
The video shop has a manual book system, as it is a manual system I will need require to built a new computer system that will be compatible to run Windows Xp since this has good firewall and Norton Anti Security Suite which will be needed to scan for viruses block hackers and Trojans, since this is the first system being built I will not be putting in a credit card system which I think will cost too much for the video shop. The video shop has a budget of ï¿½2.500 to spend on creating a new database system and a new computer so I have to be as cost effective as possible. Since they don’t have a computer it maybe difficult to get it as cost effective as possible.
The new system should be able to:
* Make rentals.
* Store basic Customer details.
* Store basic Staff details.
* Stop Staff from overbooking rentals.
* Display whether there are any rentals of a particular movie.
* Print off all the forms.
* Be easy to use.
* Limit the amount of duplicated data.
* Prevent the loss of data.
Storing all the data on an easily updated database will mean that less time is spent on maintaining and storing information and more time is spent on dealing with customers. It will also prevent Staff from overbooking rentals as the system will only allow rentals in stock. If a Staff has inserted a rent for a customer, a message will notify anyone who tries to rent the same movie at the same time and rentals will be rejected. This stops any overbooking rentals and prevents any unnecessary problems.
The system will be much more efficient and faster than the old data storage systems as any details could be located in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. As all the data will be stored on one system rather than a manual book system there will be minimal loss of data if any. Any of the staff could use the system, as it will be easy to use and have simple controls.
All the data on the system will be able to be printed off so that the video shop can have copies of it stored in separately in case the system goes down. It also allows them to print off the rental lists for each week and clear the rental list on the actual database so it doesn’t become too full and confusing. The system will have a large memory capacity as the video shop has to keep records of a large number of customers.
Any documentation that is needed for the system will also be created, such as a user-guide and a technical manual. This will mean that the end-user should be able to cope with any problems with the system.
Priorities for the new system will be the new appointment system, the doctor and patient details, ease of use, and the prevention of data loss. These are most important improvements, as they are the main required features of the system.
The new computer system will have:
* Windows XP
* Norton Internet Security Suite 2005
* Pentium 4 1.8 GHz
* 256Mb SD Ram
* 20 Gb Hard Disk Drive
* Floppy Drive
* Secure ID + Key
It will have Windows XP on with service pack 2 on which prevents hackers, viruses and Trojans from entering you pc causing data to corrupt this also has a windows update which updates any new add-ons for windows and drives.
I have chosen to install Norton internet security suite 2005 since the staff will be using the internet to see movie rentals prices and when certain movies are coming out, and also the database will need protection against hackers trying to take personal information of customers.
The CD-Rewriter will come in use to make backup copies of the database just in case a virus damages all the details, regular data will be save and copied to CD. All backups will be stored in a safe or vault.
Secure ID will be used so all the data on the hard drive will be encrypted only staff will have the secure ID keys to access the hard drive, without the Encrypted keys you cannot access the computer. All the staff will need to leave keys in the vault for safe keeping of the data.
Floppy drive will be used to create backups as well as a backup of windows.
Speed of the computer is necessary to serve customer as quick as possible, and to gain access to the main computer server.
Recommendations for Development
The first thing to decide is what software is required to make and run the database. The main two choices are:
If you are skilled in the use of a computer word processor, you can appreciate its many advantages.
* It is easier to make changes to your document. You can move, change, delete, save, and format all your ideas in one handy file.
* It frees you to express ideas more clearly and to let your thoughts flow because anything can be changed or deleted later.
* It allows you to organize all your work or ideas together in a file. Instead of deleting paragraphs that do not seem to fit an assignment, you can move them to the end of the file where they can be used later or in another project.
* It is easy to share and store word processing files electronically.
Disadvantages of word processing include:
* The need to have a computing device available
* Typing speed may be slower than writing
* Have to wait for program to load
* Word documents cannot be edited by more than one person at a time.
* Word documents take time to load into the viewer.
* If not all users have Word installed then seeing the Word document using Microsoft WordPad may be a less satisfying experience.
* Time-saving: Data is entered once and can be selectively linked to other data to use for many purposes (timesheets, reporting hours, etc.)
* User-friendly: Once program is set up, does not require extensive expertise to use
* Cross-functional: Data doesn’t need to be translated from another program: Can use same spreadsheet for payroll management, accounting, reporting to sponsors, reporting to volunteers.
* Unwieldy: As more people and information are added, the document expands across the screen.
* Limited sorting: All data entered is displayed at once. If a user wants to see the mileage figures for a volunteer, he or she has to sort through every other bit of information to find that one piece, or pull the selected info into another sheet.
* Not text-friendly: Text can be entered (and lists even sorted alphabetically), but no lengthy text (like letters) can be included
* Allows FrontPage to have direct access to your files on the web server. There is no longer any need to keep a mirror of your website on your local workstation or to use FrontPage’s often-troublesome FTP publishing process. If you are already developing most of your web pages in FrontPage, this alone should be reason enough to consider activating Server Extensions on your account.
* Access from other Office 2000 and 2002/XP applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With FrontPage Server Extensions enabled on your account, you can access your web files directly from these applications.
* Document check-in/check-out: If activated, this feature facilitates authoring by multiple users.
* Form processing: FrontPage provides tools for creating forms and a simple interface for processing form data. If you need more sophisticated form processing than FrontPage provides, you can still use Transform or custom CGI programs with the forms you create in FrontPage.
* Web searches: FrontPage Server Extensions provide a simple web search engine. Searches are confined to your FrontPage web or subweb. If you need a broader search, you can still use the IU Search Service in your FrontPage web.
* Discussion groups: FrontPage provides a simple discussion group feature. Discussion groups can be created as part of an existing web or as a separate subweb.
* Hit counter: FrontPage provides a simple interface for creating a page hit counter. No programming is required.
* FrontPage adds a number of extra files and directories to your web directory. Most of these files are very small, so it is unlikely that they will cause quota problems. However, some of these files contain critical configuration information, and if you change or delete them outside of FrontPage (using ssh or FTP, for example) you may render your web unusable by FrontPage or web browsers.
* In general, FrontPage works best if you let it do all the work of managing the files in your web. However, if you do edit your web pages or upload files to your web outside of FrontPage, you will need to run FrontPage’s Recalculate Hyperlinks command the next time you open the web in FrontPage. This will assure that FrontPage’s internal indexes are up to date.
* Many web developers feel that FrontPage creates “messy” HTML, especially when using its more advanced features, and may rearrange existing code. This should not be a problem if you use FrontPage to do all of your web page editing, but it may be an annoyance if you also wish to edit the HTML directly.
* Allows participants to remain anonymous
* Free of social pressure, personality influence and individual dominance
* A reliable judgment or forecast results
* Allows sharing of information and reasoning among participants
* Conducive to independent thinking and gradual formulation
* A well-selected respondent panel – a mix of local official, knowledgeable individuals, members of impacted community regional officials, academic social officials academic social scientists.etc. – Can provide a broad analytical perspective on potential growth impacts – Can be used to reach consensus among groups hostile to each other
* Judgements are those of a selected group of people and may not be representative
* Tendency to eliminate extreme positions and force a middle-of-the-road consensus
* More time-consuming than the group process method
* Should not be viewed as a total solution to forecasting
* Requires skill in written communication
Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)
(Due to the way the orders are stored in the database, orders and products can only have a 1 to 1 relationship)
Customer: Customer ID, Title, Surname, First Name, Address, Post Code, Telephone Number, D.O.B, Amount Owed, Amount Paid
Rental: Customer ID, Video ID, Date Out, Date returned,Paid
Video: Video ID, Video Name, Rental Price, Selling Price, Category Type, Rating, Quantity, Stock
The main disadvantage I have with creating a new database for the health centre is that I was unable to view their original data storage system due to the private medical information that is stored on it. I have to rely on second hand information that I gathered through questionnaires and interviews. From this data and the user requirements I was given I will have to try and create a system specification for the new database.
As the surgery already owns a computer that will be able to run the database that I design, they only have to spend a small amount of money on the program required to make and run it (Microsoft Access) and the cost of implementation. This means that I have stayed well under their budget of ï¿½5,000. The time taken to create and set up the database will be the most expensive part of the whole process. If there aren’t any experienced IT staff in the health centre then it could be an option to use a third party to implement the database onto the computer and enter the data. The problem with this however is that it can cost a lot of money. Even though this can be expensive, it still shouldn’t take the costs over the budget and it may be the only choice for implementation.
The hardest part of changing onto a new system is moving the data onto it. This is probably going to be the most time consuming part of the job. A risk of moving the data is that some of it could be lost along the way or if the new system fails then all the data is lost. To help to counter the old system should be kept active until the new one has been fully tested to make sure it doesn’t have any faults. When the new one is fully operational the old one can be deactivated, but it should still be left on the computer in case the new system fails.