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Database Design

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1. As a System Analyst, after you gathered systems requirement, how are you going to analyze these data? Are you starting with business process first or start with data directly? Explain each approach and why or why not?

2. Once the data analysis is complete, how are you going to start with design portion? What kind of tools can help you to accomplish that? Are you or aren't you taking physical constraints as part of the design consideration?

Note: Physical constraints --limited budget, two seconds of response time, read-only access to non-Corporate employees, relational database vs. Object-relational database.

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"1. As a System Analyst, after you gathered systems requirement, how are you going to analyze these data? Are you starting with business process first or start with data directly? Explain each approach and why or why not? "
- Business analysis and top-down database design are often neglected, or shortcuts are taken, especially when the developer is eager to "get his hands dirty" and start building a system with row data directly. But rushing into system development is like building a house without an architect: you're lacking the overall, but detailed, picture of what you're trying to achieve.

Most databases are built with a business need in mind, and the satisfactory delivery of that need?perhaps the satisfaction of your client?is the primary goal.

If you build a system that's either inadequate or too sophisticated, the client is unlikely to thank you. Either it will fail to solve his problem or it will be too expensive to build. By better analysis of the requirement and careful design, you should be able to get the system to precisely fit the need.

The business need has to be studied to outline the following characteristics:
- The business process, or what actually goes on in the business
- The business rules, or what is allowed to happen, and what isn't
- The business objects, the actual things that exist in the business

Together, these things describe the goings-on within the business and in the business function you're trying to model. Some organizations have these things written down as formal procedures, whereas in other scenarios people just get on and do things; the procedures only existing in people's knowledge.

Whichever is the case, start by studying the information that's there by asking questions and forming a picture of what goes on.

* Business Processes
Identifying business processes is often a good time for drawing a process flow of what you think is going on:
- It helps you form a picture in your own mind of what's going on.
- You can show it to other people who know the process and talk it through, reconfirming it to make sure that you have it right.
- It may uncover missing links in your understanding, or even failings in the process as it's been described.
- It provides a reference point to look back on as the project moves forward. By compiling notes and process diagrams as things develop, you have an audit trail of the development of your ideas and understandings.

A process diagram can be as formal as you want, created with special software, or can be a pencil-and-paper sketch. Attached picture "simple_business.JPG" shows a simple process diagram.

Inherent in the language used to describe events in the process is the concept of transactions. A transaction is an essential part ...

Solution Summary

Database design based on systematic approach is discussed.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Expanding Database Design

Assignment Instructions:
Given the following scenario: Create a preliminary table and field list, assign the primary keys for each table, and create a field specification using the Excel® worksheet template "FieldSpecs.xlxs" (also attached).
Remember there are some possible inconsistencies in language due to the interview process, which you may need to resolve to get to your final results.
Charles Brinston wants to open a movie rental business. He needs you to help with database design activities. In each exercise, represent your answer with a diagram and include field specifications in the Excel worksheet template in document sharing.
1. Design a database for Charles. He is interested in movies and films and wants to keep information on movies, actors, and directors in a database, and he would like to produce the following reports:
A. For directors: list their number and name and the year they was born. If the director is deceased, list the year of death, and what movies they directed.
B. For each movie: list its number, its title, the year the movie was made, and its genre (for example, Comedy, Drama, or Science Fiction), who the lead actors were, and the director was.
C. For each movie: list its title, its number, the name of its director, the critics' rating, the MPAA rating (G, PG, PG-13, or R), the awards for which the movie was nominated, and the awards the movie won. (The movie is rated with a number of "stars." Five stars is the top rating possible. One star is the worst rating.)
D. For each lead actor/actress: list their name, number, birthplace, and the year they were born. If the actor is deceased, list the year of death.
E. For each movie: list its number and title, along with the number and names of the actors who appeared in it.
F. For each lead actor starring in each movie: list his or her number and name, along with the number and name of the other movies in which the actor starred.

2. Expand the database design you created above so that it supports the following situation: Charles wants to start a Disc rental program at his stores that he plans to call The Movie Club. He refers to his customers as "members." Every member in the club will be assigned a number. He needs to record members' names and addresses, and he needs to know what movies each member has rented and on what date it was rented and returned, and also the date the member joined the club. He will have promotions during which members can earn bonus units that they can later apply to the cost of renting discs. He needs to store the number of bonus units a member has earned.

3. Expand the database design you created in Step 1 and Step 2 so that it will also support the following situation:
Charles wants to store information about the discs the club owns. When the club purchases a disc, Ray assigns it a number. Along with the number, he stores the number of the movie on the disc (there can be more than one disc for each movie), the date the discs was purchased, the number of times it has been rented. Charles also needs to store the number of the branch to which the discs is assigned.

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