Understanding the Business and User Requirements
If the database is for an existing system, time is spent analysing what currently happens, so we fully understand the relevant business processes. Not all companies in the same industry, do things the same way, and it's important we understand the way you do things and not make assumptions about your business based on the way others do things. We look at what everyone involves does, from the data-entry operators to the manager who needs reports. One of the best ways to understand an existing manual system, is to see the forms people use - and completed forms are better than blank forms.

If the database is for a new system or process, there's more opportunity to be 'idealistic' about how the database is designed. This means imaging the ultimate system and then working out what is feasible, cost-effective and what are the things to work towards.

Getting the terminolgy right is important for making the database easy to use - especially for existing staff. E.g. Customers vs Clients vs Debtors; Vendors vs Suppliers; etc.

The next step in developing applications is Designing the Database.

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