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Identifying and Curing the Ills of Business Databases --- return to Handouts Page

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First Aid for the Constipated Business Database

The paperback publisher's web page gives an overall description of Business Database Triage; this page discusses how the book can help working developers simultaneously improve both the logical structure of their database designs as well as increase the flexibility their applications can provide.

A pdf e-Book containing the complete text of Business Database Triage is now available from the pdf e-book publisher's web page for those who prefer a lower cost digital version.

Whether as business managers, software developers, or DBAs, we all know the stats: Development of business systems takes far longer than anticipated, and costs far more than budgeted. What's worse, studies continually show that the costs required for subsequent maintenance, updates, and enhancement of these systems over time typically exceed those of development. A significant but often unrecognized contributing factor is the lack of Logic in the supporting database design. Business Database Triage provides numerous examples of how this occurs and what you can do about it.

Contrary to intuition, if the original database designers made the serious error of trying to optimize the data structures for a specific application, the difficulties encountered when attempting to extend the application become even more pronounced over time. Fact-based data structures designed according to long-established Logical principles of data organization (sadly not very well known in IT circles) can offer significant improvements in flexibility.

Suppose, for example, that you are tasked with enhancing your system to transparently handle addresses for both Canada and the U.S. while continuing to enforce constraints* on both countries' respective Postal Code formatting ("N6A-4L6" and "60089-3255" are structured quite differently for example). How about adding yet another country? Database structures based on historically proven logical organization techniques not only make accommodating such variances a straightforward process of simply adding reference data but also provide well-designed applications with the appropriate labeling to support such additions, as well as offering intelligent defaults. Chapter 18 provides practical details.

- - - - - * And you're not the sort of inept amateur who would simply remove the constraints, are you?

Or - suppose your business has an opportunity for substantial new income if your system can be quickly adapted to handle multiple simultaneous units of measure - e.g. both gallons and liters as well as miles and kilometers. And, of course there must be no impediments to easily summarizing this variety of measurement units and presenting the result in whatever unit is required while still maintaining the response times expected from modern systems. Easy summaries and comparison of values having disparate measurement units must also, of course, be easily accomplished. Several chapters discuss the designs, structures and techniques for providing this flexibility, as well as providing a detailed overview of the steps necessary to safely and incrementally modify existing operational systems to add these capabilities without the risks of "Big Bang" system changes.

Business Database Triage is available from most U.S. and European booksellers. The 446 page book discusses the long history of data organization - and explains how the inconsistent development of our technologies brought about many bad habits and misconceptions.
ISBN-10: 0615916937
ISBN-13: 978-0615916934
{ -- Copyright © 2013 -- }

Paperback: $32.00 usd
PDF eBook: $12.10 usd
The book's Table of Contents along with several representative sample pages can be viewed and/or downloaded from Business Database Triage Sampler .

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