What does the database development process look like?

In today’s age, we encounter databases in our daily lives. Regardless of whether we go to work, market, bank or gas station, databases are all around us.

On the Internet, it is possible to find an increasing number of ready-made (free – predefined) databases, however very often there is a need to develop a database from an idea to a finished product.

Databases in smaller and larger companies are often poorly and unprofessionally made. The correction of errors in database design can ultimately be much greater than the value of the database itself, which is why it is important to create a high-quality database.  

The very process of introducing a database into a company or organization is often a complex task that is rarely performed by one person, but requires the teamwork of experts from different profiles. The database creation process can be divided into five stages: 

  1. Needs analysis
  2. Data modeling
  3. Implementation
  4. Testing
  5. Maintenance

1. The first phase (needs analysis) consists of gathering information about the system or database we are creating. This is mostly done through a conversation with people who work in the company or who will use that database. You are interested in what kind of data the database will have to contain, how this data will be entered into the database, what operations the database must perform on the data, and what data and in what form the user wants to get from the database. All of this is written in an informal natural language, and the document we receive afterwards is called a specification of needs. It can be a simple document of one or two pages, but it can also be a document of several tens of pages. Only when we have such a document can we begin the conceptual design, which means that we need to analyze in detail the data that will later form our database using a high-level model (ER-diagram). The complete first stage is done manually, that is, most often using pen and paper. 

2. In the second phase, it is necessary to identify objects, events or phenomena (entities) that will later form our database, and to understand how to connect them to each other. We do all this using the ER diagram 

3. After we finished with the second phase we can start creating the base. In the third phase, based on the ER-diagram and one of the available DBMS, we physically create the database. By setting various parameters in the DBMS, we influence the physical organization of the database and thus ensure the efficient operation of the database. After we have physically created the database, we fill it with data. 

4. When we have filled the database with data, it is necessary to test it. It is best for the users themselves to test the operation of the database, because in this way we will most simply check whether the database meets all the requirements placed before it. In the testing phase, we try to detect and remove errors that could sneak up on us in previous phases. Testing is best done before the database itself is implemented in the system, and therefore it is best to develop a prototype of the database on which testing can be done. 

5. The last phase takes place after the database has been put into use and consists of possible elimination of errors that were not noticed during the testing phase or introduction of possible changes due to user requests. 
This method of database development in stages is not only recommended for databases, but is increasingly used in the development of information systems, computer programs or web applications. No matter how professional or experienced a person is in their field, it is recommended and desirable that they follow all the explained stages of development in the development of their project. In this way, the possibility of errors will be reduced to the smallest possible extent and the final product will be of higher quality.

 From an idea to a finished database, sounds interesting?

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Source: lonac.pro