Database design basics
A properly designed database provides you with access to up-to-date, accurate information. Because a correct design is essential to achieving your goals in working with a database, investing the time required to learn the principles of good design makes sense. In the end, you are much more likely to end up with a database that meets your needs and can easily accommodate change.
This article provides guidelines for planning a desktop database. You will learn how to decide what information you need, how to divide that information into the appropriate tables and columns, and how those tables relate to each other. You should read this article before you create your first desktop database.
In this article
Some database terms to know, what is good database design, the design process, determining the purpose of your database, finding and organizing the required information, dividing the information into tables, turning information items into columns, specifying primary keys, creating the table relationships, refining the design, applying the normalization rules.
Access organizes your information into tables : lists of rows and columns reminiscent of an accountant’s pad or a spreadsheet. In a simple database, you might have only one table. For most databases you will need more than one. For example, you might have a table that stores information about products, another table that stores information about orders, and another table with information about customers.
Each row is more correctly called a record , and each column, a field . A record is a meaningful and consistent way to combine information about something. A field is a single item of information — an item type that appears in every record. In the Products table, for instance, each row or record would hold information about one product. Each column or field holds some type of information about that product, such as its name or price.
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Certain principles guide the database design process. The first principle is that duplicate information (also called redundant data) is bad, because it wastes space and increases the likelihood of errors and inconsistencies. The second principle is that the correctness and completeness of information is important. If your database contains incorrect information, any reports that pull information from the database will also contain incorrect information. As a result, any decisions you make that are based on those reports will then be misinformed.
A good database design is, therefore, one that:
Divides your information into subject-based tables to reduce redundant data.
Provides Access with the information it requires to join the information in the tables together as needed.
Helps support and ensure the accuracy and integrity of your information.
Accommodates your data processing and reporting needs.
The design process consists of the following steps:
Determine the purpose of your database
This helps prepare you for the remaining steps.
Find and organize the information required
Gather all of the types of information you might want to record in the database, such as product name and order number.
Divide the information into tables
Divide your information items into major entities or subjects, such as Products or Orders. Each subject then becomes a table.
Turn information items into columns
Decide what information you want to store in each table. Each item becomes a field, and is displayed as a column in the table. For example, an Employees table might include fields such as Last Name and Hire Date.
Specify primary keys
Choose each table’s primary key. The primary key is a column that is used to uniquely identify each row. An example might be Product ID or Order ID.
Set up the table relationships
Look at each table and decide how the data in one table is related to the data in other tables. Add fields to tables or create new tables to clarify the relationships, as necessary.
Refine your design
Analyze your design for errors. Create the tables and add a few records of sample data. See if you can get the results you want from your tables. Make adjustments to the design, as needed.
Apply the normalization rules
Apply the data normalization rules to see if your tables are structured correctly. Make adjustments to the tables, as needed.
It is a good idea to write down the purpose of the database on paper — its purpose, how you expect to use it, and who will use it. For a small database for a home based business, for example, you might write something simple like "The customer database keeps a list of customer information for the purpose of producing mailings and reports." If the database is more complex or is used by many people, as often occurs in a corporate setting, the purpose could easily be a paragraph or more and should include when and how each person will use the database. The idea is to have a well developed mission statement that can be referred to throughout the design process. Having such a statement helps you focus on your goals when you make decisions.
To find and organize the information required, start with your existing information. For example, you might record purchase orders in a ledger or keep customer information on paper forms in a file cabinet. Gather those documents and list each type of information shown (for example, each box that you fill in on a form). If you don't have any existing forms, imagine instead that you have to design a form to record the customer information. What information would you put on the form? What fill-in boxes would you create? Identify and list each of these items. For example, suppose you currently keep the customer list on index cards. Examining these cards might show that each card holds a customers name, address, city, state, postal code and telephone number. Each of these items represents a potential column in a table.
As you prepare this list, don’t worry about getting it perfect at first. Instead, list each item that comes to mind. If someone else will be using the database, ask for their ideas, too. You can fine-tune the list later.
Next, consider the types of reports or mailings you might want to produce from the database. For instance, you might want a product sales report to show sales by region, or an inventory summary report that shows product inventory levels. You might also want to generate form letters to send to customers that announces a sale event or offers a premium. Design the report in your mind, and imagine what it would look like. What information would you place on the report? List each item. Do the same for the form letter and for any other report you anticipate creating.
Giving thought to the reports and mailings you might want to create helps you identify items you will need in your database. For example, suppose you give customers the opportunity to opt in to (or out of) periodic e-mail updates, and you want to print a listing of those who have opted in. To record that information, you add a “Send e-mail” column to the customer table. For each customer, you can set the field to Yes or No.
The requirement to send e-mail messages to customers suggests another item to record. Once you know that a customer wants to receive e-mail messages, you will also need to know the e-mail address to which to send them. Therefore you need to record an e-mail address for each customer.
It makes good sense to construct a prototype of each report or output listing and consider what items you will need to produce the report. For instance, when you examine a form letter, a few things might come to mind. If you want to include a proper salutation — for example, the "Mr.", "Mrs." or "Ms." string that starts a greeting, you will have to create a salutation item. Also, you might typically start a letter with “Dear Mr. Smith”, rather than “Dear. Mr. Sylvester Smith”. This suggests you would typically want to store the last name separate from the first name.
A key point to remember is that you should break each piece of information into its smallest useful parts. In the case of a name, to make the last name readily available, you will break the name into two parts — First Name and Last Name. To sort a report by last name, for example, it helps to have the customer's last name stored separately. In general, if you want to sort, search, calculate, or report based on an item of information, you should put that item in its own field.
Think about the questions you might want the database to answer. For instance, how many sales of your featured product did you close last month? Where do your best customers live? Who is the supplier for your best-selling product? Anticipating these questions helps you zero in on additional items to record.
After gathering this information, you are ready for the next step.
To divide the information into tables, choose the major entities, or subjects. For example, after finding and organizing information for a product sales database, the preliminary list might look like this:
The major entities shown here are the products, the suppliers, the customers, and the orders. Therefore, it makes sense to start out with these four tables: one for facts about products, one for facts about suppliers, one for facts about customers, and one for facts about orders. Although this doesn’t complete the list, it is a good starting point. You can continue to refine this list until you have a design that works well.
When you first review the preliminary list of items, you might be tempted to place them all in a single table, instead of the four shown in the preceding illustration. You will learn here why that is a bad idea. Consider for a moment, the table shown here:
In this case, each row contains information about both the product and its supplier. Because you can have many products from the same supplier, the supplier name and address information has to be repeated many times. This wastes disk space. Recording the supplier information only once in a separate Suppliers table, and then linking that table to the Products table, is a much better solution.
A second problem with this design comes about when you need to modify information about the supplier. For example, suppose you need to change a supplier's address. Because it appears in many places, you might accidentally change the address in one place but forget to change it in the others. Recording the supplier’s address in only one place solves the problem.
When you design your database, always try to record each fact just once. If you find yourself repeating the same information in more than one place, such as the address for a particular supplier, place that information in a separate table.
Finally, suppose there is only one product supplied by Coho Winery, and you want to delete the product, but retain the supplier name and address information. How would you delete the product record without also losing the supplier information? You can't. Because each record contains facts about a product, as well as facts about a supplier, you cannot delete one without deleting the other. To keep these facts separate, you must split the one table into two: one table for product information, and another table for supplier information. Deleting a product record should delete only the facts about the product, not the facts about the supplier.
Once you have chosen the subject that is represented by a table, columns in that table should store facts only about the subject. For instance, the product table should store facts only about products. Because the supplier address is a fact about the supplier, and not a fact about the product, it belongs in the supplier table.
To determine the columns in a table, decide what information you need to track about the subject recorded in the table. For example, for the Customers table, Name, Address, City-State-Zip, Send e-mail, Salutation and E-mail address comprise a good starting list of columns. Each record in the table contains the same set of columns, so you can store Name, Address, City-State-Zip, Send e-mail, Salutation and E-mail address information for each record. For example, the address column contains customers’ addresses. Each record contains data about one customer, and the address field contains the address for that customer.
Once you have determined the initial set of columns for each table, you can further refine the columns. For example, it makes sense to store the customer name as two separate columns: first name and last name, so that you can sort, search, and index on just those columns. Similarly, the address actually consists of five separate components, address, city, state, postal code, and country/region, and it also makes sense to store them in separate columns. If you want to perform a search, filter or sort operation by state, for example, you need the state information stored in a separate column.
You should also consider whether the database will hold information that is of domestic origin only, or international, as well. For instance, if you plan to store international addresses, it is better to have a Region column instead of State, because such a column can accommodate both domestic states and the regions of other countries/regions. Similarly, Postal Code makes more sense than Zip Code if you are going to store international addresses.
The following list shows a few tips for determining your columns.
Don’t include calculated data
In most cases, you should not store the result of calculations in tables. Instead, you can have Access perform the calculations when you want to see the result. For example, suppose there is a Products On Order report that displays the subtotal of units on order for each category of product in the database. However, there is no Units On Order subtotal column in any table. Instead, the Products table includes a Units On Order column that stores the units on order for each product. Using that data, Access calculates the subtotal each time you print the report. The subtotal itself should not be stored in a table.
Store information in its smallest logical parts
You may be tempted to have a single field for full names, or for product names along with product descriptions. If you combine more than one kind of information in a field, it is difficult to retrieve individual facts later. Try to break down information into logical parts; for example, create separate fields for first and last name, or for product name, category, and description.
Once you have refined the data columns in each table, you are ready to choose each table's primary key.
Each table should include a column or set of columns that uniquely identifies each row stored in the table. This is often a unique identification number, such as an employee ID number or a serial number. In database terminology, this information is called the primary key of the table. Access uses primary key fields to quickly associate data from multiple tables and bring the data together for you.
If you already have a unique identifier for a table, such as a product number that uniquely identifies each product in your catalog, you can use that identifier as the table’s primary key — but only if the values in this column will always be different for each record. You cannot have duplicate values in a primary key. For example, don’t use people’s names as a primary key, because names are not unique. You could easily have two people with the same name in the same table.
A primary key must always have a value. If a column's value can become unassigned or unknown (a missing value) at some point, it can't be used as a component in a primary key.
You should always choose a primary key whose value will not change. In a database that uses more than one table, a table’s primary key can be used as a reference in other tables. If the primary key changes, the change must also be applied everywhere the key is referenced. Using a primary key that will not change reduces the chance that the primary key might become out of sync with other tables that reference it.
Often, an arbitrary unique number is used as the primary key. For example, you might assign each order a unique order number. The order number's only purpose is to identify an order. Once assigned, it never changes.
If you don’t have in mind a column or set of columns that might make a good primary key, consider using a column that has the AutoNumber data type. When you use the AutoNumber data type, Access automatically assigns a value for you. Such an identifier is factless; it contains no factual information describing the row that it represents. Factless identifiers are ideal for use as a primary key because they do not change. A primary key that contains facts about a row — a telephone number or a customer name, for example — is more likely to change, because the factual information itself might change.
1. A column set to the AutoNumber data type often makes a good primary key. No two product IDs are the same.
In some cases, you may want to use two or more fields that, together, provide the primary key of a table. For example, an Order Details table that stores line items for orders would use two columns in its primary key: Order ID and Product ID. When a primary key employs more than one column, it is also called a composite key.
For the product sales database, you can create an AutoNumber column for each of the tables to serve as primary key: ProductID for the Products table, OrderID for the Orders table, CustomerID for the Customers table, and SupplierID for the Suppliers table.
Now that you have divided your information into tables, you need a way to bring the information together again in meaningful ways. For example, the following form includes information from several tables.
1. Information in this form comes from the Customers table...
2. ...the Employees table...
3. ...the Orders table...
4. ...the Products table...
5. ...and the Order Details table.
Access is a relational database management system. In a relational database, you divide your information into separate, subject-based tables. You then use table relationships to bring the information together as needed.
Creating a one-to-many relationship
Consider this example: the Suppliers and Products tables in the product orders database. A supplier can supply any number of products. It follows that for any supplier represented in the Suppliers table, there can be many products represented in the Products table. The relationship between the Suppliers table and the Products table is, therefore, a one-to-many relationship.
To represent a one-to-many relationship in your database design, take the primary key on the "one" side of the relationship and add it as an additional column or columns to the table on the "many" side of the relationship. In this case, for example, you add the Supplier ID column from the Suppliers table to the Products table. Access can then use the supplier ID number in the Products table to locate the correct supplier for each product.
The Supplier ID column in the Products table is called a foreign key. A foreign key is another table’s primary key. The Supplier ID column in the Products table is a foreign key because it is also the primary key in the Suppliers table.
You provide the basis for joining related tables by establishing pairings of primary keys and foreign keys. If you are not sure which tables should share a common column, identifying a one-to-many relationship ensures that the two tables involved will, indeed, require a shared column.
Creating a many-to-many relationship
Consider the relationship between the Products table and Orders table.
A single order can include more than one product. On the other hand, a single product can appear on many orders. Therefore, for each record in the Orders table, there can be many records in the Products table. And for each record in the Products table, there can be many records in the Orders table. This type of relationship is called a many-to-many relationship because for any product, there can be many orders; and for any order, there can be many products. Note that to detect many-to-many relationships between your tables, it is important that you consider both sides of the relationship.
The subjects of the two tables — orders and products — have a many-to-many relationship. This presents a problem. To understand the problem, imagine what would happen if you tried to create the relationship between the two tables by adding the Product ID field to the Orders table. To have more than one product per order, you need more than one record in the Orders table per order. You would be repeating order information for each row that relates to a single order — resulting in an inefficient design that could lead to inaccurate data. You run into the same problem if you put the Order ID field in the Products table — you would have more than one record in the Products table for each product. How do you solve this problem?
The answer is to create a third table, often called a junction table, that breaks down the many-to-many relationship into two one-to-many relationships. You insert the primary key from each of the two tables into the third table. As a result, the third table records each occurrence or instance of the relationship.
Each record in the Order Details table represents one line item on an order. The Order Details table’s primary key consists of two fields — the foreign keys from the Orders and the Products tables. Using the Order ID field alone doesn’t work as the primary key for this table, because one order can have many line items. The Order ID is repeated for each line item on an order, so the field doesn’t contain unique values. Using the Product ID field alone doesn’t work either, because one product can appear on many different orders. But together, the two fields always produce a unique value for each record.
In the product sales database, the Orders table and the Products table are not related to each other directly. Instead, they are related indirectly through the Order Details table. The many-to-many relationship between orders and products is represented in the database by using two one-to-many relationships:
The Orders table and Order Details table have a one-to-many relationship. Each order can have more than one line item, but each line item is connected to only one order.
The Products table and Order Details table have a one-to-many relationship. Each product can have many line items associated with it, but each line item refers to only one product.
From the Order Details table, you can determine all of the products on a particular order. You can also determine all of the orders for a particular product.
After incorporating the Order Details table, the list of tables and fields might look something like this:
Creating a one-to-one relationship
Another type of relationship is the one-to-one relationship. For instance, suppose you need to record some special supplementary product information that you will need rarely or that only applies to a few products. Because you don't need the information often, and because storing the information in the Products table would result in empty space for every product to which it doesn’t apply, you place it in a separate table. Like the Products table, you use the ProductID as the primary key. The relationship between this supplemental table and the Product table is a one-to-one relationship. For each record in the Product table, there exists a single matching record in the supplemental table. When you do identify such a relationship, both tables must share a common field.
When you detect the need for a one-to-one relationship in your database, consider whether you can put the information from the two tables together in one table. If you don’t want to do that for some reason, perhaps because it would result in a lot of empty space, the following list shows how you would represent the relationship in your design:
If the two tables have the same subject, you can probably set up the relationship by using the same primary key in both tables.
If the two tables have different subjects with different primary keys, choose one of the tables (either one) and insert its primary key in the other table as a foreign key.
Determining the relationships between tables helps you ensure that you have the right tables and columns. When a one-to-one or one-to-many relationship exists, the tables involved need to share a common column or columns. When a many-to-many relationship exists, a third table is needed to represent the relationship.
Once you have the tables, fields, and relationships you need, you should create and populate your tables with sample data and try working with the information: creating queries, adding new records, and so on. Doing this helps highlight potential problems — for example, you might need to add a column that you forgot to insert during your design phase, or you may have a table that you should split into two tables to remove duplication.
See if you can use the database to get the answers you want. Create rough drafts of your forms and reports and see if they show the data you expect. Look for unnecessary duplication of data and, when you find any, alter your design to eliminate it.
As you try out your initial database, you will probably discover room for improvement. Here are a few things to check for:
Did you forget any columns? If so, does the information belong in the existing tables? If it is information about something else, you may need to create another table. Create a column for every information item you need to track. If the information can’t be calculated from other columns, it is likely that you will need a new column for it.
Are any columns unnecessary because they can be calculated from existing fields? If an information item can be calculated from other existing columns — a discounted price calculated from the retail price, for example — it is usually better to do just that, and avoid creating new column.
Are you repeatedly entering duplicate information in one of your tables? If so, you probably need to divide the table into two tables that have a one-to-many relationship.
Do you have tables with many fields, a limited number of records, and many empty fields in individual records? If so, think about redesigning the table so it has fewer fields and more records.
Has each information item been broken into its smallest useful parts? If you need to report, sort, search, or calculate on an item of information, put that item in its own column.
Does each column contain a fact about the table's subject? If a column does not contain information about the table's subject, it belongs in a different table.
Are all relationships between tables represented, either by common fields or by a third table? One-to-one and one-to- many relationships require common columns. Many-to-many relationships require a third table.
Refining the Products table
Suppose that each product in the product sales database falls under a general category, such as beverages, condiments, or seafood. The Products table could include a field that shows the category of each product.
Suppose that after examining and refining the design of the database, you decide to store a description of the category along with its name. If you add a Category Description field to the Products table, you have to repeat each category description for each product that falls under the category — this is not a good solution.
A better solution is to make Categories a new subject for the database to track, with its own table and its own primary key. You can then add the primary key from the Categories table to the Products table as a foreign key.
The Categories and Products tables have a one-to-many relationship: a category can include more than one product, but a product can belong to only one category.
When you review your table structures, be on the lookout for repeating groups. For example, consider a table containing the following columns:
Here, each product is a repeating group of columns that differs from the others only by adding a number to the end of the column name. When you see columns numbered this way, you should revisit your design.
Such a design has several flaws. For starters, it forces you to place an upper limit on the number of products. As soon as you exceed that limit, you must add a new group of columns to the table structure, which is a major administrative task.
Another problem is that those suppliers that have fewer than the maximum number of products will waste some space, since the additional columns will be blank. The most serious flaw with such a design is that it makes many tasks difficult to perform, such as sorting or indexing the table by product ID or name.
Whenever you see repeating groups review the design closely with an eye on splitting the table in two. In the above example it is better to use two tables, one for suppliers and one for products, linked by supplier ID.
You can apply the data normalization rules (sometimes just called normalization rules) as the next step in your design. You use these rules to see if your tables are structured correctly. The process of applying the rules to your database design is called normalizing the database, or just normalization.
Normalization is most useful after you have represented all of the information items and have arrived at a preliminary design. The idea is to help you ensure that you have divided your information items into the appropriate tables. What normalization cannot do is ensure that you have all the correct data items to begin with.
You apply the rules in succession, at each step ensuring that your design arrives at one of what is known as the "normal forms." Five normal forms are widely accepted — the first normal form through the fifth normal form. This article expands on the first three, because they are all that is required for the majority of database designs.
First normal form
First normal form states that at every row and column intersection in the table there, exists a single value, and never a list of values. For example, you cannot have a field named Price in which you place more than one Price. If you think of each intersection of rows and columns as a cell, each cell can hold only one value.
Second normal form
Second normal form requires that each non-key column be fully dependent on the entire primary key, not on just part of the key. This rule applies when you have a primary key that consists of more than one column. For example, suppose you have a table containing the following columns, where Order ID and Product ID form the primary key:
Order ID (primary key)
Product ID (primary key)
This design violates second normal form, because Product Name is dependent on Product ID, but not on Order ID, so it is not dependent on the entire primary key. You must remove Product Name from the table. It belongs in a different table (Products).
Third normal form
Third normal form requires that not only every non-key column be dependent on the entire primary key, but that non-key columns be independent of each other.
Another way of saying this is that each non-key column must be dependent on the primary key and nothing but the primary key. For example, suppose you have a table containing the following columns:
ProductID (primary key)
Assume that Discount depends on the suggested retail price (SRP). This table violates third normal form because a non-key column, Discount, depends on another non-key column, SRP. Column independence means that you should be able to change any non-key column without affecting any other column. If you change a value in the SRP field, the Discount would change accordingly, thus violating that rule. In this case Discount should be moved to another table that is keyed on SRP.
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- Set deadlines for each task to ensure timely completion
- Collaborate with stakeholders to gather requirements and specifications for the database
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Database Structure and Design Tutorial
What are your database diagram needs, requirements analysis: identifying the purpose of the database, database structure: the building blocks of a database, creating relationships between entities, database normalization, multidimensional data, data integrity rules, adding indexes and views, extended properties, sql and uml, database management systems.
13 minute read
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The database design process
A well-structured database:
- Saves disk space by eliminating redundant data.
- Maintains data accuracy and integrity.
- Provides access to the data in useful ways.
Designing an efficient, useful database is a matter of following the proper process, including these phases:
- Requirements analysis, or identifying the purpose of your database
- Organizing data into tables
- Specifying primary keys and analyzing relationships
- Normalizing to standardize the tables
Let’s take a closer look at each step. Note that this guide deals with Edgar Codd’s relational database model as written in SQL (rather than the hierarchical, network, or object data models). To learn more about database models, read our guide here .
Understanding the purpose of your database will inform your choices throughout the design process. Make sure you consider the database from every perspective. For instance, if you were making a database for a public library, you’d want to consider the ways in which both patrons and librarians would need to access the data.
Here are some ways to gather information before creating the database:
- Interview the people who will use it
- Analyze business forms, such as invoices, timesheets, surveys
- Comb through any existing data systems (including physical and digital files)
Start by gathering any existing data that will be included in the database. Then list the types of data you want to store and the entities, or people, things, locations, and events, that those data describe, like this:
- City, State, Zip
- Email address
- Quantity in stock
- Quantity on order
- Sales representative
This information will later become part of the data dictionary, which outlines the tables and fields within the database. Be sure to break down the information into the smallest useful pieces. For instance, consider separating the street address from the country so that you can later filter individuals by their country of residence. Also, avoid placing the same data point in more than one table, which adds unnecessary complexity.
Once you know what kinds of data the database will include, where that data comes from, and how it will be used, you’re ready to start planning out the actual database.
The next step is to lay out a visual representation of your database. To do that, you need to understand exactly how relational databases are structured.
Within a database, related data are grouped into tables, each of which consists of rows (also called tuples) and columns, like a spreadsheet.
To convert your lists of data into tables, start by creating a table for each type of entity, such as products, sales, customers, and orders. Here’s an example:
Each row of a table is called a record. Records include data about something or someone, such as a particular customer. By contrast, columns (also known as fields or attributes) contain a single type of information that appears in each record, such as the addresses of all the customers listed in the table.
To keep the data consistent from one record to the next, assign the appropriate data type to each column. Common data types include:
- CHAR - a specific length of text
- VARCHAR - text of variable lengths
- TEXT - large amounts of text
- INT - positive or negative whole number
- FLOAT, DOUBLE - can also store floating point numbers
- BLOB - binary data
Some database management systems also offer the Autonumber data type, which automatically generates a unique number in each row.
For the purposes of creating a visual overview of the database, known as an entity-relationship diagram, you won’t include the actual tables. Instead, each table becomes a box in the diagram. The title of each box should indicate what the data in that table describes, while attributes are listed below, like this:
Finally, you should decide which attribute or attributes will serve as the primary key for each table, if any. A primary key (PK) is a unique identifier for a given entity, meaning that you could pick out an exact customer even if you only knew that value.
Attributes chosen as primary keys should be unique, unchanging, and always present (never NULL or empty). For this reason, order numbers and usernames make good primary keys, while telephone numbers or street addresses do not. You can also use multiple fields in conjunction as the primary key (this is known as a composite key).
When it comes time to create the actual database, you’ll put both the logical data structure and the physical data structure into the data definition language supported by your database management system. At that point, you should also estimate the size of the database to be sure you can get the performance level and storage space it will require.
With your database tables now converted into tables, you’re ready to analyze the relationships between those tables. Cardinality refers to the quantity of elements that interact between two related tables. Identifying the cardinality helps make sure you’ve divided the data into tables most efficiently.
Each entity can potentially have a relationship with every other one, but those relationships are typically one of three types:
When there’s only one instance of Entity A for every instance of Entity B, they are said to have a one-to-one relationship (often written 1:1). You can indicate this kind of relationship in an ER diagram with a line with a dash on each end:
Unless you have a good reason not to, a 1:1 relationship usually indicates that you’d be better off combining the two tables’ data into a single table.
However, you might want to create tables with a 1:1 relationship under a particular set of circumstances. If you have a field with optional data, such as “description,” that is blank for many of the records, you can move all of the descriptions into their own table, eliminating empty space and improving database performance.
To guarantee that the data matches up correctly, you’d then have to include at least one identical column in each table, most likely the primary key.
These relationships occur when a record in one table is associated with multiple entries in another. For example, a single customer might have placed many orders, or a patron may have multiple books checked out from the library at once. One-to-many (1:M) relationships are indicated with what’s called “Crow’s foot notation,” as in this example:
To implement a 1:M relationship as you set up a database, simply add the primary key from the “one” side of the relationship as an attribute in the other table. When a primary key is listed in another table in this manner, it’s called a foreign key. The table on the “1” side of the relationship is a considered a parent table to the child table on the other side.
When multiple entities from a table can be associated with multiple entities in another table, they are said to have a many-to-many (M:N) relationship. This might happen in the case of students and classes, since a student can take many classes and a class can have many students.
In an ER diagram, these relationships are portrayed with these lines:
Unfortunately, it’s not directly possible to implement this kind of relationship in a database. Instead, you have to break it up into two one-to-many relationships.
To do so, create a new entity between those two tables. If the M:N relationship exists between sales and products, you might call that new entity “sold_products,” since it would show the contents of each sale. Both the sales and products tables would have a 1:M relationship with sold_products. This kind of go-between entity is called a link table, associative entity, or junction table in various models.
Each record in the link table would match together two of the entities in the neighboring tables (it may include supplemental information as well). For instance, a link table between students and classes might look like this:
Mandatory or not?
Another way to analyze relationships is to consider which side of the relationship has to exist for the other to exist. The non-mandatory side can be marked with a circle on the line where a dash would be. For instance, a country has to exist for it to have a representative in the United Nations, but the opposite is not true:
Two entities can be mutually dependent (one could not exist without the other).
Sometimes a table points back to itself. For example, a table of employees might have an attribute “manager” that refers to another individual in that same table. This is called a recursive relationship.
A redundant relationship is one that is expressed more than once. Typically, you can remove one of the relationships without losing any important information. For instance, if an entity “students” has a direct relationship with another called “teachers” but also has a relationship with teachers indirectly through “classes,” you’d want to remove the relationship between “students” and “teachers.” It’s better to delete that relationship because the only way that students are assigned to teachers is through classes.
Once you have a preliminary design for your database, you can apply normalization rules to make sure the tables are structured correctly. Think of these rules as the industry standards.
That said, not all databases are good candidates for normalization. In general, online transaction processing (OLTP for short) databases, in which users are concerned with creating, reading, updating, and deleting records, should be normalized.
Online analytical processing (OLAP) databases which favor analysis and reporting might fare better with a degree of denormalization, since the emphasis is on speed of calculation. These include decision support applications in which data needs to be analyzed quickly but not changed.
Each form, or level of normalization, includes the rules associated with the lower forms.
First normal form
The first normal form (abbreviated as 1NF) specifies that each cell in the table can have only one value, never a list of values, so a table like this does not comply:
You might be tempted to get around this by splitting that data into additional columns, but that’s also against the rules: a table with groups of repeated or closely related attributes does not meet the first normal form. The table below, for example, fails to comply:
Instead, split the data into multiple tables or records until each cell holds only one value and there are no extra columns. At that point, the data is said to be atomic, or broken down to the smallest useful size. For the table above, you could create an additional table called “Sales details” that would match specific products with sales. “Sales” would then have a 1:M relationship with “Sales details.”
Second normal form
The second normal form (2NF) mandates that each of the attributes should be fully dependent on the entire primary key. That means each attribute should depend directly on the primary key, rather than indirectly through some other attribute.
For instance, an attribute “age” that depends on “birthdate” which in turn depends on “studentID” is said to have a partial functional dependency, and a table containing these attributes would fail to meet the second normal form.
Furthermore, a table with a primary key made up of multiple fields violates the second normal form if one or more of the other fields do not depend on every part of the key.
Thus, a table with these fields wouldn’t meet the second normal form, because the attribute “product name” depends on the product ID but not on the order number:
Order number (primary key)
Product ID (primary key)
- Product name
Third normal form
The third normal form (3NF) adds to these rules the requirement that every non-key column be independent of every other column. If changing a value in one non-key column causes another value to change, that table does not meet the third normal form.
This keeps you from storing any derived data in the table, such as the “tax” column below, which directly depends on the total price of the order:
Additional forms of normalization have been proposed, including the Boyce-Codd normal form, the fourth through sixth normal forms, and the domain-key normal form, but the first three are the most common.
While these forms explain the best practices to follow generally, the degree of normalization depends on the context of the database.
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Some users may want to access multiple dimensions of a single type of data, particularly in OLAP databases. For instance, they may want to know the sales by customer, state, and month. In this situation, it’s best to create a central fact table that other customer, state, and month tables can refer to, like this:
You should also configure your database to validate the data according to the appropriate rules. Many database management systems, such as Microsoft Access, enforce some of these rules automatically.
The entity integrity rule says that the primary key can never be NULL. If the key is made up of multiple columns, none of them can be NULL. Otherwise, it could fail to uniquely identify the record.
The referential integrity rule requires each foreign key listed in one table to be matched with one primary key in the table it references. If the primary key changes or is deleted, those changes will need to be implemented wherever that key is referenced throughout the database.
Business logic integrity rules make sure that the data fits within certain logical parameters. For instance, an appointment time would have to fall within normal business hours.
An index is essentially a sorted copy of one or more columns, with the values either in ascending or descending order. Adding an index allows users to find records more quickly. Instead of re-sorting for each query, the system can access records in the order specified by the index.
Although indexes speed up data retrieval, they can slow down inserting, updating, and deleting, since the index has to be rebuilt whenever a record is changed.
A view is simply a saved query on the data. They can usefully join data from multiple tables or else show part of a table.
Once you have the basic layout completed, you can refine the database with extended properties, such as instructional text, input masks, and formatting rules that apply to a particular schema , view, or column. The advantage is that, because these rules are stored in the database itself, the presentation of the data will be consistent across the multiple programs that access the data.
The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is another visual way of expressing complex systems created in an object-oriented language. Several of the concepts mentioned in this guide are known in UML under different names. For instance, an entity is known as a class in UML.
UML is not used as frequently today as it once was. Today, it is often used academically and in communications between software designers and their clients.
Many of the design choices you will make depend on which database management system you use. Some of the most common systems include:
Microsoft SQL Server
When given the choice, pick an appropriate database management system based on cost, operating systems, features, and more.
- What is a Database Model
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Database Design And Development
2018, Database Assignments
The success of this assignment required a lot of guidance and assistance from my classmates, lectures and I am extremely thankful to get this all along the completion of my assignment work.
IFM final year project
Mark Kenneth Precilla
"Databases are powerful data storage and manipulation facilities which can be used to organize and optimize workload. The large amounts of data that they manage make them complex entities which demand a rigorous yet flexible approach to its design and implementation. Universities make use of databases to manage and optimize information flow. This project designed functions specifically for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of the West Indies. Such functions included managing lecturing staff research interests, scheduled times, and assigned courses. Administrative staff users were given functions to search listings and assign courses to both lecturing staff and special groups. Each function intended to provide easy access to information from which users could manage schedules, organize data, and manage time better. This was aided by the reminder and email generation functions which generated files which could be imported into the standard departmental email, Outlook. The database was implemented using an SQL database server and an Apache web server. Functions were performed using PHP scripts and the user interacted with a user-friendly interface with a navigational menu. The final system performed well especially in error detection and speed of displayed results."
Tutorial Exercise for Database Design Course
Computing Research Repository
The purpose of this document is to provide technical specifications concerned to the Design of the University Unified Inventory System - Web Portal, of the UIfA. The Team of Developers used a Feedback Waterfall approach to build up the system, under an Object Oriented paradigm. The architectural model followed was the Model-View-Controller, mixed with a Mapper layer between the database
Shadrack B Kweingoti
Indri Hikmah Amalia
South Ural State University (National Research University) Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Informatics Department of System Programming
Arcelan S. Sadiq
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Database design reports
A Database Design report provides information, such as database statistics, entity and link type fields, code lists, case information (if used) and semantic types (if used).
Click the buttons at the bottom of the dialog to browse through the pages - the current page is shown in the format 2/3, which means page two of a report that is three pages long:
- Zoom in on the report or select a zoom factor from the drop-down list. To zoom in on a particular area of the report, double-click on it using the left mouse button; to zoom back out again, double-click on it with the right mouse button.
- Print the report to a printer that you can select.
- Copy the current page of the report to the Windows Clipboard. The page is copied as an image that you can paste into an application such as Microsoft Word.
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The Top 6 Database Design Tools for 2024
Lisandro is a Database Architect from Rosario, Argentina. With almost 20 years of experience in Oracle and SQL Server, among other database engines, he currently works as Sr. Data Engineer on OZ Digital Consulting. He is also a member of both the Oracle ACE program and the Argentina Oracle User Group. In his free time, he enjoys watching his soccer team (Rosario Central) with his two sons.
- database designing tool
- database modeling tool
- database modeler
Do your plans for 2024 include data modeling or database design? Then check out our list of the top database design tools for 2024!
When choosing a database design tool, there are plenty of options available, from online tools offered as an “application as a service” to standalone programs that can be installed on your computer.
In this article, we are going to analyze the main features to consider when choosing the best data modeling software – whether it’s online or on your local machine. Then we’ll analyze the best database design tools.
Data Modeling Features and Options to Consider
Any good database design tool should have the following features:
Database Engine Support
This may be the most relevant aspect when deciding the right tool. If you need to implement your model on a particular database engine, you must ensure that the design software you use supports implementing the model on your desired database engine.
When you complete your data model, you need to implement it. The ability to create DDL (Data Definition Language, a subset of SQL) scripts including all the defined objects is a key feature of data modeling tools. This allows you to work directly on the model and then automatically generate the required SQL files, saving you time and effort.
Keeping a history of your model versions allows you to automatically track changes and roll them back if necessary.
A good data modeling program should automatically notify you of errors and warnings while you’re designing your model. This allows you to fix potential issues before you generate the DDL files – or even worse, when you’re implementing the files on your database.
Logical / Physical Model Support
Database modeling is usually performed in several steps, starting from conceptual and moving to logical and physical models (take a look at the article What Are Conceptual, Logical, and Physical Data Models? for more details). A data modeling tool that allows you to create conceptual, logical and physical models allows you to complete the entire modeling process.
Being able to connect to an existing database and create a data model from the existing database structure is a key feature when having to maintain or enhance existing applications.
Very simple projects can be handled by one designer, but complex applications may require several designers and stakeholders to collaborate on the data model. Some database design tools allow collaboration between members, the setting of specific roles for each member (view, comment, design, etc.) and so on.
Other Important Factors
Whether you want to forget about installing software and dependencies – or you want to be able to work even when no Internet is available – choosing an online or standalone tool may affect the way you work.
Also, database design tools may have different versions (with different sets of features) and may vary from free to really expensive. Finding one that has all the required features without overspending is a key task. Data modeling programs that offer student/academic accounts allow students to use professional tools for free or at a reduced price.
Our Top Online Data Modeling Tools for 2024
Let’s start with a couple of tools that are available online and do not require any software installation.
Vertabelo is a very simple-to-use database design tool with powerful features and a clean interface. Its main features are:
Lucidchart is a popular tool for creating diagrams, including entity-relationship diagrams (widely used in data modeling), flowcharts, organization charts, and more. The user interface is very simple and intuitive, although the level of detail is limited.
Our Picks for Standalone Data Modeling Tools
And now let’s take a look at some desktop tools for data modeling.
Navicat is a tidy, easy-to-use database design tool for Windows, Linux, and macOS. The main features are:
Enterprise Architect (Sparx Systems)
Enterprise Architect is probably the most complete software design tool; it supports database modeling as well as the full software modeling cycle. Since it includes a lot of functionalities, it is not simple to use. This program may be too complex for those that just need to generate database models. Enterprise Architect’s main database modeling main features include:
Toad Data Modeler
Toad is a famous Oracle DBA toolset from Quest Software that has been extended to other database engines and other roles (like database modeling). It’s a user friendly tool that includes the following features:
erwin Data Modeler
The erwin data modeler was probably one of the first and most widely used data modeling tools. In 2020 it was acquired by Quest Software (creator of Toad Data Modeler), but it is still maintained and sold as a separate (and more complete and powerful) product. Its main features are:
So…Which Database Design Tool Should You Use?
The right database design tool depends on your needs. Online tools are flexible, do not require any installation and can be accessed anywhere, even if you forgot to pack your laptop while enjoying a holiday. Desktop tools offer some advantages, like direct connections to databases for reverse engineering or schema comparison – but they are usually more expensive. Vertabelo offers all the features in classic standalone tools while keeping the flexibility and collaboration features that Cloud-based applications offer nowadays, so why not give it a try?
You may also like
Universal and timeless database design patterns for 2024 and beyond, why your company needs a database modeling tool, how to create a data model for a data warehouse.
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Design Reporting Services Paginated Reports with Report Designer (SSRS)
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Use Report Designer to create full-featured Reporting Services paginated reports and reporting solutions. Report Designer provides a graphical interface in which you can define data sources, datasets and queries, report layout positions for data regions and fields, and interactive features such as parameters and sets of reports that work together.
Report Designer is a feature of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), a Microsoft Visual Studio environment for creating business intelligence solutions. SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is not included with SQL Server. Download SQL Server Data Tools .
Benefits of Report Projects
Report projects act as containers for report definitions and resources. Use projects to:
Organize reports and related items in one container.
Test report solutions that include reports and related items locally.
Deploy related items together. Use project properties and configuration management to deploy to multiple environments.
Preserve a set of master copies for reports and related items. After deployment, published reports can be accidentally modified.
Use the information in this topic to design paginated reports and related items for a single reporting project in a SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) solution. For more information about solutions and multiple projects in SQL Server Data Tools, see Reporting Services in SQL Server Data Tools .
Shared Data Sources
Use SQL Server Data Tools to define and deploy shared data sources for a reporting solution. Shared data sources can be deployed independently from other items in a project by using the OverwriteDataSources and TargetDataSourceFolder properties. For more information, see Set Deployment Properties (Reporting Services) .
In Report Designer, you work in both the Report Data pane and in Solution Explorer to define the data sources used in a report. For more information, see Report Data Pane . You cannot use SQL Server Data Tools to open data sources that are published to a report server or SharePoint site, but not included in the SQL Server Data Tools solution. For that feature, use Report Builder authoring environment (SSRS) .
SQL Server Data Tools is a client tool. You can test your reporting solution locally on your computer, deploy it to a test environment for testing the server solution, and then deploy it to a production environment. After deployment, verify that the data source processing extensions and data source credentials are configured for the report server environment. You can use Configuration Manager to help manage the properties for different deployments. For more information, see Reporting Services in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) .
For more information, see Create data connection strings - Report Builder & SSRS .
Use SQL Server Data Tools to define and deploy shared datasets for a reporting solution. Shared datasets can be deployed independently from other items in a project by using the OverwriteDatasets and TargetDatasetFolder properties. For more information, see Set Deployment Properties (Reporting Services) .
In Report Designer, you work in both the Report Data pane and in Solution Explorer to define shared datasets used in a report. For more information, see Report Data Pane . You cannot use SQL Server Data Tools to open published datasets directly from a report server or SharePoint site. For that feature, use Report Builder authoring environment (SSRS) in Shared Dataset mode.
SQL Server Data Tools is a client tool. You can use query designers to help create and test your query results locally in Preview. After deployment, you can manage shared datasets independently from the shared data sources and reports that they depend on. For more information, see Report Embedded Datasets and Shared Datasets (Report Builder and SSRS) , Query Design Tools (SSRS) , and Manage Shared Datasets .
Paginated reports are files that are stored in a report project. Reports can be used as stand-alone reports, subreports, or the targets for drillthrough actions from main reports. Reports can be deployed independently from other items in a project by using TargetReportFolder and other properties. For more information, see Set Deployment Properties (Reporting Services) .
If you are publishing to a report server in SharePoint mode, some report solution features cannot be tested in the Report Designer project. References to reports, subreports, and drillthrough reports must use fully-qualified URLs that can be tested only after you deploy the report project. For more information, see URL Examples for Published Report Items on a Report Server in SharePoint Mode (SSRS) .
You can add reports to a project in the following ways:
Add a new report project. By default, a blank report opens in Report Designer. For more information, see Add a New or Existing Report to a Report Project (SSRS) .
Add a Report Wizard project. You create a report in a guided step-by-step manner. The Report Wizard simplifies data definition and report design into a series of steps that give you a finished report. You can add styles to customize the wizard for your own organization. For more information, see Add a New or Existing Report to a Report Project (SSRS) .
Add a new item of type Report. A blank report opens in Report Designer.
Add an existing item. An existing report definition (.rdl) opens in Report Designer. Opening a report or project from an earlier version of Reporting Services might automatically upgrade the project to the current version and the report to the current schema. For more information, see Upgrade Reports .
Import a Microsoft Access report. Import all reports from an Access database (.mdb, .accdb) or project (.adp) file. Report Designer converts each report in a database or project file to RDL and saves it in the report project. Not all of the functionality of an Access report transfers to a report definition (.rdl) file. For more information, see Import Reports from Microsoft Access (Reporting Services) and Supported Access Report Features (SSRS) .
You must have Access 2002 or a later version installed on the same computer that Report Designer is installed on in order to use the import feature. The data source for the Access reports must be available when the reports are imported.
Work directly in RDL. When you write a report in Report Designer, the report is saved in XML format as a Report Definition Language (RDL) file. You can edit this file in Report Designer, a text editor, or any tool in which you can edit XML.
When you edit the report definition source in Report Designer, you are working in the current RDL schema for the version of SQL Server from which you installed the development tools. When you build a project, the schema version might change depending on your deployment properties. For more information, see Deployment and Version Support in SQL Server Data Tools (SSRS) .
Editing RDL directly can result in a report that cannot be published to the report server or cannot run. As with any XML file, ensure that XML-specific characters used within elements are properly encoded. When you publish the report, the report server uses the schema to validate the XML contained within the RDL file.
To include elements that are not part of the RDL schema, place them in the Custom Element. The Custom element can be read by custom rendering extensions, but is ignored by the rendering extensions provided with Reporting Services. For example, you can use the Custom element to store comments in the report.
For more information, see Report Definition Language (SSRS) .
Report parts are deprecated for all releases of SQL Server Reporting Services starting with SQL Server Reporting Services 2019 and all releases of Power BI Report Server starting with Power BI Report Server September 2022.
In Report Designer, after you create tables, charts, and other paginated report items in a project, you can publish them as report parts to a report server or SharePoint site integrated with a report server so that you and others can reuse them in other reports. For more information, see Report Parts in Report Designer (SSRS) .
Report parts can be deployed independently from other items in a project by using TargetReportPartFolder and other properties. For more information, see Set Deployment Properties (Reporting Services) .
You can add files to your project that are related to your report but not processed by the report server. For example, you can add images for pictures or ESRI shapefiles for spatial data. For more information, see Resources .
Paginated Report Layout
To create the report layout, drag report items and data regions from the Toolbox to the design surface and arrange them. Drag dataset fields to the items on the design surface to add data to the report. To organize data in groups in a tablix data region, drag dataset fields to the Grouping pane. Because report authoring tools are essentially a way to create report definitions, the approach to report design is quite similar between Report Builder and Report Designer.
Preview a Paginated Report
Use Preview to verify the report data and layout design. When you preview a report, the report processor validates the report definition schema and expression syntax and lists issues in the Output window.
When you preview a report, the data for the report is cached to a file on the local computer. When you preview the same report again using the same query, parameters, and credentials, Report Designer retrieves the cached copy rather than rerunning the query. The data file is saved as <reportname> .rdl.data in the same directory as the report definition file. The file is not deleted when you close Report Designer.
You can preview a report in the following ways:
Preview view. Click the Preview tab. The report runs locally, using the same report processing and rendering functionality that is provided with the report server. The report that is displayed is an interactive image; you can select parameters, click links, view the document map, and expand and collapse hidden areas of the report. You can also export the report to any of the installed rendering formats.
Standalone Preview. Run the local report in a browser. By using a debug configuration, you can also use this mode to debug custom assemblies that you write. There are three ways to run a project in Debug mode:
On the Debug menu, click Start Debugging .
On the Visual Studio standard toolbar, click the Start button.
If you use a project configuration that builds the report but does not deploy it, the report that is specified in the StartItem property of the current configuration opens in a separate preview window.
To use Debug mode, you must set a start item. In Solution Explorer, right-click the report project, click Properties , and in StartItem , select the name of the report to display.
If you wish to preview a particular report that is not the start item for the project, select a configuration that builds the report but does not deploy it (for example, the DebugLocal configuration), right-click the report, and then click Run . You must choose a configuration that does not deploy the report; otherwise, the report will be published to the report server instead of displayed locally in a preview window.
When you first view a report on in Preview mode or in the preview window, the view of the report resembles a report produced by the HTML rendering extension. The preview is not HTML, but the layout and pagination of the report is similar to HTML output.
You can change the view to represent a printed report by switching to print preview mode. Click the Print Preview button on the preview toolbar. The report will display as though it were on a physical page. This view resembles the output produced by the Image and PDF rendering extensions. Print preview is not an image or PDF file, but the layout and pagination of the report is similar the output in those formats. You can choose the size of the report image, for example, set the width of the page.
Print preview helps you identify many of rendering problems you might encounter were you to print the report. Common rendering problems include:
Extra blank pages because the report is too wide to fit on the paper size you specified for the report.
Extra blank pages because the report contains a matrix that dynamically expands to exceed the width of the paper specified.
Page breaks between groups do not work the way you want.
Headers and footers do not display as expected.
Report layout needs modification to read better in a printed format.
Save and Deploy Paginated Reports
In Report Designer, you can save reports and other project files locally, or deploy them to a report server or SharePoint site. Shared data sources, shared datasets, reports, report resources, and report parts can be deployed independently or together depending on project deployment properties that you configure. For more information, see Configuration and Deployment Properties .
In Report Designer, it is important to understand that you design a report using the report definition schema that is supported by the current version of Reporting Services in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). When you set project deployment properties for a specific report server or SharePoint site, and then save the report, Report Designer saves the report definition to the build directory in the schema that matches the version on the target report server. To create reports that can be published on a down-level report server, Report Designer drops report items that do not exist in the target schema. This occurs automatically and without prompting. When this happens, the original report definition is preserved in the project folder. The modified report definition that is deployed is in the build folder.
For debugging expressions and deployment errors, you must view the report definition in the build folder. Do not use View Source . View Source displays the report definition source from the project folder.
For more information, see Deployment and Version Support in SQL Server Data Tools (SSRS) .
Save a Report Locally
When you work on report or other project items in Report Designer, the files are saved to your local computer or a share on another computer that you have access to.
If you are using source control software, you might be checking your reports into the source control server when you save the report. For more information, see Source Control .
Deploy or Publish Paginated Reports
From SQL Server Data Tools, you can deploy reports or other project items to multiple versions of Reporting Services report servers. Use project configurations to control the upgrade of report definitions to schema versions compatible with target report servers. The properties controlled by project configurations include the target report server, the folder where the build process temporarily stores report definitions for preview and deployment, and error levels. For more information, see Configuration and Deployment Properties and Set Deployment Properties (Reporting Services) .
Export a Paginated Report to a Different File Format
Reports can be exported to a variety of formats and these formats affect how some report layout and interactivity features function. For more information about design considerations for various output formats, see Export Reports (Report Builder and SSRS) .
Report Validation and Error Levels
Reports are validated before preview and during deployment. A number of build issues can occur when reports are built. Reports might contain strings such as expressions or queries that are incompatible with the version of Reporting Services that the project configuration specifies, for example.
Use the ErrorLevel property to manage the build warnings and errors. The ErrorLevel property can contain a value from 0 to 4 inclusive. The value determines which build issues are reported as errors and which are reported as warnings. The default value is 2. The warnings and errors are written to the SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) Output window.
Issues with severity levels less than or equal to the value of ErrorLevel are reported as errors; otherwise, they are reported as warnings.
The following table lists the error levels.
When you attempt to preview or deploy a report that contains report items new in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services or later (SSRS), those report items can be removed from the report. By default, the ErrorLevel property of the configuration is set to 2, which would cause the build of the report to fail when the map is removed. However, if you change the value of the ErrorLevel property to 0 or 1, the map is dropped, a warning issued, and the build process continues.
Download SQL Server Data Tools Reporting Services in SQL Server Data Tools Query Design Tools Deployment and Version Support in SQL Server Data Tools
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How to Write a Project Report: Step-By-Step Guide [+ 4 Free Templates]
By archtc on December 26, 2017 — 21 minutes to read
- How to Write a Project Report: Step-By-Step Guide Part 1
- Project Report Templates: Free Download Part 2
- Additional Resources Part 3
- How to Dramatically Reduce Time You Spend Creating Reports Part 4
At some point during the implementation of a project, a project report has to be generated in order to paint a mental image of the whole project. Ultimately, a project report must maximize the insight gained with minimal effort from the reader. Apart from describing its results, it must also explain the implications of those results to the organization and its business operations.
How to Write a Project Status Report:
The most common type of project report, a project status report provides a general state of the project to its stakeholders. It quantifies work performed and completed in measurable terms. It compares this with an established baseline to see if the project is on track or; if adjustments have to be made if the project is behind its schedule. It keeps everyone on the same page and manages each other’s expectations.
Project status reports are accomplished to serve the following purposes;
- to keep an updated flow of information in relation to the project’s progress
- to immediately address issues and concerns that may come up at any point of the project’s implementation or duration
- to document reasons for changes and adjustments made to the original plan for the project
- to monitor fund utilization and to ensure that the project expenses are still within the budget
- to serve as a basis for decision-making and addressing problems
- to keep track of the team’s performance and individual contributions
- to act as a uniform procedure for communicating project development to the stakeholders.
Status reports are most effective when they follow a standard form with predefined fields that need to be regularly updated. Doing so will save time and provide consistency and predictability of the information the stakeholders will receive about the status of the project.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
For a status report to be comprehensive, it must include the following elements:
Summary/overall health of the project, facts on the project progress, target vs. actual accomplishments, action(s) taken, risks and issues, keys to an effective project status report.
- Submit the report on time . A status report is time sensitive and sending it late defeats the purpose of such a report.
- Giving complete but inaccurate information is just as bad as giving accurate but incomplete information . Since stakeholders rely on the status report for a heads-up on the project, and its content is used as the basis for decision-making, it is critical that the report provides both complete and accurate information.
- Do not cover up bad news or adverse reports as these are all part of the transparency of the status report . Keep in mind that being open with the stakeholders, whether the project is sailing smoothly or not, will benefit both the team and the client, since any problems there are will be immediately given attention and solved.
- Be proud of the team’s accomplishments, after all, this is what the clients and the stakeholders will want to know about .
- Anticipate questions from the clients or stakeholders and be prepared to answer them .
- Be familiar with the culture of the organization and respect the information hierarchy they observe . There are instances when the CEO wants to be the first to know about the contents of these reports before cascading it to his downlines. On the other hand, middle managers will want a head start on these reports so they can also anticipate and prepare for any reaction from the top executives.
- Craft the status report in such a way that there will be no information overload . It should contain necessary information that the stakeholders need to know. Lengthy reports will consume not only the writer’s time but also that of the reader. Too many details also give an impression of micro management.
All projects, or any activities of business, face risks. It is just a matter of how an organization identifies, assesses, analyzes, and monitors these risks. With a Risk Register, an organization is equipped with a tool to better respond to problems that may arise because of these risks. It helps in the decision-making process and enables the stakeholders to take care of the threats in the best way possible.
A Risk Register, also called an Issue Log, is iterative because it will be updated periodically depending on how often the team identifies a potential risk. It may also be updated if the characteristics of the existing potential risks change as the project progresses.
The Risk Register document contains information about the following:
- Risk Category: Grouping these risks under different categories is helpful. Doing so will provide a way to make a plan of action that will address most, if not all of the risks falling under the same category, saving time, effort, and resources.
- Risk Description: Provide a brief explanation of the identified potential risk. The description can be done in a variety of ways depending on the level of detail. A general description can be difficult to address while giving too much detail about the risk may entail a significant amount of work. Three factors to consider when making a risk description are: the way these risks are going to be managed, who will handle them, and the reporting requirements of the person receiving the risk register.
- Risk ID: Assign a unique identification code to each risk identified to track it in the risk register easily. Create a system of coding in such a way that the category to which the said risk belongs is easily identifiable.
- Project Impact: Indicate the potential effect of the assumed risk on different aspects of the project such as budget, timelines, quality, and performance.
- Likelihood: Referring to the possibility of the risk occurring, the likelihood can be expressed qualitatively—high, medium, low—or quantitatively, if there is enough information available. Whatever criteria are to be used, assign a number—with the highest value corresponding to that which is most likely to occur.
Using the table above, the identified risk can be ranked this way:
- Risk Trigger: These are the potential risk events that will trigger the implementation of a contingency plan based on the risk management plan. This plan should have been prepared prior to the development of a risk register.
- Prevention Plan: This enumerates the steps or action to be taken to prevent the risks from occurring.
- Contingency Plan: On the other hand, the contingency plan determines the steps or action to be taken once the risk events have occurred. This program also contains the measures to be taken to reduce the impact of such risks to the project.
- Risk Owner: The person responsible for managing risk, and the implementation of the prevention and contingency plans, it can be anyone among the stakeholders—members of the team, a project manager, or project sponsors.
- Residual Risk: Sometimes, a risk cannot be entirely eliminated after treatment. Part of it may linger throughout the duration of the project, but once it has been treated, it can be considered as a low-level risk.
Keys to an Effective Risk Register
- The first risk register must be created as soon as the project plan and the risk management plan has been approved . This initial risk register must be integrated into the project plan.
- Active risks during a particular period must also be included in the project status report .
- Risk management is an iterative process which is why the risk register must also be updated from time to time . Updates can be made when new risks are identified or there have been changes in the risks already in the register.
- The numerical value assigned to the likelihood and severity levels must remain constant throughout the duration of the whole project .
- Likewise, any terms used must be defined, and this definition must be utilized consistently .
Project Closure Report
As the end of a project, a Project Closure Report signals its culmination. Its submission officially concludes a project and implies that funds and resources will no longer be needed, and everything will go back to its status prior to the implementation of the project.
This process is critical as it will officially tie up all loose ends and prevent confusion among stakeholders.
This particular type of project report summarizes information on the project results, the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the project delivery process, and the feedback from the stakeholders. Each performance metric includes an assessment and a narration of how the team performed on such metrics.
This performance metric describes how the team utilized the budget in carrying out the project effectively. Under this performance metric, the following aspects are measured:
Budget variance, explanations for key variances.
Describe how the team implemented the project within the expected time frame and schedule.
Overall Project Duration
Schedule variance, the explanations for key variances, change management.
This metric refers to the team’s ability to handle and manage changes throughout the project’s implementation effectively. It is measured through the following:
Total Number of Changes
The impact of the changes, the highlight of changes, quality management.
This particular metric refers to the team’s ability to observe and comply with quality standards during the project’s implementation.
Total Number of Defects Identified
The explanation for resolved defects, risk and issue management.
This metric deals with how risks and matters that occurred during project implementation were handled and resolved by the team. Key points to include are the following:
The impact of the Risks and Issues to the Project
Human resource management.
This refers to the team’s ability to carry out the project effectively.
Project Organization Structure
This metric looks at how the stakeholders participated in the project.
Under this metric, communication throughout the duration of the project is assessed.
Communication Management Plan
- Summarize essential feedback collected . Describe the method by which these comments were gathered and who was solicited for feedback. Also include how they responded to each question and briefly discuss which items received great responses from the participants and which ones got few answers.
- Take note of common themes or trends of feedback gathered .
- From the feedback gathered, also take note of any opportunities from this feedback and discuss how these opportunities can be applied to future projects, or in the organization itself .
- Give a brief discussion of what the team learned when carrying out the project . Among these learnings, discuss which ones can be applied to future projects and how it will impact not only those future projects but also the whole organization.
Other points of interest may not have been captured in the Project Status Report and may be included in the Project Closeout Report. Some of these factors include:
Duration and Effort by Project Phase
Benefits realized, benchmark comparisons, keys to an effective project closure report.
- The closure report is mostly a summary of all efforts related to the project . It is important to ensure that all highlights of the project have been properly documented so that retrieval of these reports is easier and all efforts will be acknowledged.
- Emphasize the high points the project delivered, how efficiently it was done, and what has been learned from the process.
- If there are notable variances during the project implementation, make sure to provide a fact-based explanation on it . In addition, the impact of this difference must also be described.
- A critical point in a project closure report is establishing the link between the project performance, the lessons learned, and the steps that will be taken by the organization for its continuous improvement . Aside from the project deliverables, another valuable output of a project is the learnings derived from the process and how it will be translated into concrete concepts applicable to the business processes of the organization.
A little bit different from the types of project reports previously mentioned, an Executive Summary is a distinct kind of report which uses different language. It is a high-level report which aims to provide a bigger and deeper understanding of the project—how it will benefit the organization and how it will fit into future business strategies. It is written with a busy executive in mind, someone who has a lot of important things to do and may find reading a lengthy piece of prose a waste of precious time. Factual and objective, this particular type of project report must be able to provide a realistic status of the project, as business executives understand that everything may not go according to the plan.
Some may confuse an executive summary with an abstract but, in reality, they are clearly distinct from one another and serve a different purpose.
An abstract is usually written for academic or scientific papers. It is written with a topic sentence which, generally, gives an overview of what the article is about. It is, then, supported by two or three supporting sentences which support the main idea of the topic sentence.
An executive summary, on the other hand, is composed of different sections discussing almost every significant aspect of an undertaking. It consists of sequentially arranged key points supported by conclusions and recommendations. Check our in-depth article on how to write an effective executive summary .
Things to Remember in Writing Project Reports
Here are some of the principles that need to be observed in writing an effective project report;
Write for the reader
The report should have a structure, ensure that the report is evidence-based and is supported by data, make it as objective as possible.
There is a clear distinction between facts and opinions . These should never be used together, especially if the report is dwelling on a failed project. The report becomes subjective if it reflects personal opinions of the writer. Make it objective by eliminating all parts which are not based on facts and real events. If it is really necessary to include a personal view or opinion, make sure to explicitly identify it as such. A separate section of the project report may be devoted to the writer’s personal opinion to keep the rest of the report unbiased.
There are a number of ways project reporting helps an organization, a team, and even the project itself and here are some of them:
It tracks the progress of the project
It helps identify risks, it helps manage project cost, it gives stakeholders an insight on how the project is performing, project report template: free download.
Click Here to Download Project Status Report XLSX
Click Here to Download Project Update Report DOC
Click Here to Download Project Update Report 2 DOCX
Click Here to Download General Project Report DOCX
Templates on ProsperForms:
Edit and use this template
- How to Write an Outstanding Weekly Report + Free Template Download
- Project Status Dashboard and Project Tracking
- How to Create a Project Meeting Template + Free Download
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Boarding House Management System Free Database Design Tutorial
It is an online system that allows boarding house managers to more effectively manage their boarding house related transactions and activities.
Boarding house managers can use the system to organize and manage the residents, rooms, and services at their boarding house. As an added feature, board house managers can control the finances of their establishment, including the establishment’s monthly budget as well as its daily and weekly spending patterns.
Waste Management with Reward System Free Database Design Tutorial
Members will be able to register with the system and search for junkshops and recycling centers to dispose of their recyclable waste products in a more convenient manner. In addition, the suggested system will record waste collection statistics, which will be used to determine whether or not to award rewards. Communities can benefit from the system by reusing and recycling waste that poses a risk or is hazardous to their health and safety.
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Top 18 database projects ideas for students.
In the realm of computer science and IT courses, a well-constructed database project can be a game-changer for students eager to showcase their skills. If you’re a student on the hunt for compelling database project ideas for your academic endeavors, you’re in the right place. From designing intuitive library management systems to creating dynamic student portals, the world of databases offers a plethora of opportunities. In this guide, we’ll delve into a variety of database project ideas specifically curated to spark inspiration and set you on the path to academic excellence.”
1. Inventory control management Database Project
Design goals: maintain a proper variety of required items, increase inventory turnover, reduce and maintain optimize inventory and safety stock levels, obtain low raw material prices, reduce storage cost, reduce insurance cost, reduce taxes.
Tables : Items, Inventory, InventoryTurnover, Suppliers, PurchaseOrders, OrderDetails, Storage, StorageCosts, Insurance, Taxes, SafetyStock, RawMaterials, RawMaterialPrices, Transactions, Vendors.
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2. Student Record Keeping System Database Project
Design goals: a student file that contains the information about the student, a stream file, a marks file, a fee file, concession/scholarship, etc.
Tables: Students, Streams, Marks, Fees, Scholarships, Concessions.
3. Online Retail Application Database Project
A customer can register to purchase an item. The customer will provide the bank account number and bank name (can have multiple account numbers). After registration, each customer will have a unique customer, user id, and password. A customer can purchase one or more items in different quantities. The items can of different classes based on their prices.
Based on the quantity, the price of the item, and discount (if any) on the purchased items, the bill will be generated. A bank account is required to settle the bill. The items can be ordered from one or more suppliers.
Tables: Customers, BankAccounts, Items, ItemClasses, Orders, OrderDetails, Discounts, Bills, Suppliers, SupplierItems.
4. College Database Project
A college contains many departments. Each department can offer any number of courses. Many instructors can work in a department, but an instructor can work only in one department. For each department, there is an ahead, and an instructor can be the head of only one department. Each instructor can take any number of courses, and a course can be taken by only one instructor.
A student can enroll in any number of courses and each course can have any number of students.
Tables: Departments, Courses, Instructors, DepartmentHeads, Enrollments, Students.
5. Railway System Database Project
A railway system, which needs to model the following:
- Tracks, connecting stations. You can assume for simplicity that only one track exists between any two stations. All the tracks put together to form a graph.
- Trains, with an ID and a name.
- Train schedules recording what time a train passes through each station on its route.
You can assume for simplicity that each train reaches its destination on the same day and that every train runs every day. Also, for simplicity, assume that for each train, for each station on its route, you store.
- Time in.
- Timeout (same as time in if it does not stop).
- A sequence number so the stations in the route of a train can be ordered by sequence number.
- Passenger booking consisting of train, date, from-station, to station, coach, seat and passenger name.
Tables: Stations, Tracks, Trains, TrainSchedules, Coaches, Bookings, Passengers.
6. Hospital Management System Database Project
A patient will have a unique Patient ID. Full description about the patient about personal detail and phone number, and then Disease and what treatment is going on. The doctor will handle patients, one doctor can Treat more than 1 patient. Also, each doctor will have a unique ID. Doctor and Patients will be related. Patients can be admitted to the hospital.
So different room numbers will be there, also rooms for Operation Theaters and ICU. There are some nurses, and ward boys for the maintenance of the hospital and for patient take care. Based upon the number of days and treatment bill will be generated.
Tables: Patients, Doctors, Treatments, Rooms, OperationTheaters, ICUs, Nurses, WardBoys, Bills.
Check Hospital Management System Project
7. Library Management System Database Project
A student and faculty can issue books. Different limits for the number of books a student and teacher can issue. Also, the number of days will be distinct in the case of students and teachers for issue any book. Each book will have a different ID. Also, each book of the same name and same author (but the number of copies) will have a different ID.
Entry of all the book will be done, who issue that book and when and also duration. Detail of Fine (when the book is not returned at a time) is also stored.
Tables: Students, Faculty, Books, Authors, BookIssues, Fines.
You can also check these posts:
- Blood Bank Management System
- Hotel Management System
- Payroll Management System
- Patient Information Management System
8. Payroll Management System Database Project
There will entry (Unique ID) of all the employees of any organization. According to the date of joining and the date up to which salary is created, the number of days will be entered. Basic pay will be defined according to the post of employee and department. Then component like DA, HRA, medical allowance, Arrears will be added, and Charges of Hostel/Bus, Security, welfare fund and other will be deducted. The number of leaves taken by the employee.
Tables: Employees, JoiningDetails, Departments, Posts, BasicPay, Allowances, Deductions, Leaves, Salaries.
9. Healthcare organization Database Project
This organization provides the following functionalities:
- Emergency Care 24×7
- Support Groups
- Support and Help Through calls
Any new Patient is first registered in their database before meeting the doctor. The Doctor can update the data related to the patient upon diagnosis (Including the disease diagnosed and prescription). This organization also provides rooms facility for admitting the patient who is critical. Apart from doctors, this organization has nurses and ward boys.
Each nurse and ward boy is assigned to a doctor. Also, they can be assigned to patients (to take care of them). The bill is paid by the patient with cash and E-banking. The record of each payment made is also maintained by the organization. The record of each call received to provide help and support to its existing person is also maintained.
Tables: Patients, Doctors, Diagnoses, Rooms, Nurses, WardBoys, Assignments, Payments, EmergencyCare, SupportGroups, SupportCalls.
Check Clinic Management System Project
10. Restaurant Management Database Project
- The restaurant maintains the catalog for the list of food and beverage items that it provides.
- Apart from providing food facilities at their own premises, the restaurant takes orders online through their site. Orders on the phone are also entertained.
- To deliver the orders, we have delivery boys. Each delivery boy is assigned to a specific area code. The delivery boy cannot deliver outside the area which is not assigned to the delivery boy (for every delivery boy there can be a single area assigned to that delivery boy).
- The customer record is maintained so that premium customers can be awarded discounts.
Tables: MenuItems, OnlineOrders, PhoneOrders, DeliveryBoys, AreaCodes, Customers, Discounts.
11. Design a Scenario and An Er Diagram for An It Training Group Database Project
It will meet the information needs of its training program. Clearly indicate the entities, relationships, and key constraints.
The description of the environment is as follows:
- The company has 10 instructors and can handle up to 100 trainees for each training session.
- The company offers 4 Advanced technology courses, each of which is taught by a team of 4 or more instructors.
- Each instructor is assigned to a maximum of two teaching teams or may be assigned to do research Each trainee undertakes one advanced technology course per training session.
Tables: Instructors, Trainees, Courses, TrainingSessions, InstructorTeams, Assignments, ResearchTasks.
12. Blood Donation System Database Project
A system in which data of patient, data of donor, data of blood bank would be saved and will be interrelation with each other.
Data of Patient – Patient Name, Patient Id, Patient Blood Group, Patent Disease. Data of Donar – Donar Name, Donar Id, Donar Bood Group, Donar Medical report, Donar Address, Donar Contact number. Data of Blood Bank – Blood Bank Name, Blood Bank Address, Blood bank Donor’s name, Blood Bank Contact Number, Blood Bank Address.
Try to implement such scenario in a database, create a schema for it, an ER diagram for it and try to normalize it.
Tables: Patients, Donors, BloodBanks, BloodBankDonors, BloodInventory, PatientDonorMatch.
13. Art Gallery Management Database Project
Design an E-R Diagram for an Art Gallery. Gallery keeps the information about “Artist” their Name, Birthplace, Age & Style of Art about “Art Work,” Artist, the year it was made, Unique title, Type of art & Prices must be stored. The piece of artwork is classified into various kinds like Poetess, Work of the 19th century still life, etc.
Gallery keeps the information about Customers as their Unique name, Address, Total amount of Dollars, they spent on Gallery, and liking of Customers.
Tables: Artists, ArtWorks, ArtTypes, Customers.
14. Hotel Management System Database Project
A hotel is a hive of numerous operations such as front office, booking, and reservation, banquet, finance, HR, inventory, material management, quality management, security, energy management, housekeeping, CRM, and more. The hotel has some rooms, and these rooms are of different categories. By room category, each room has a different price.
A hotel has some employees to manage the services provided to customers. The customer can book the room either online or by cash payment at the hotel. The customer record is stored in the hotel database which contains customer identity, his address, check-in time, check-out time, etc. hotel provides food and beverages to their customers and generates the bill for this at the time of their check out.
Tables: Rooms, RoomCategories, Employees, Customers, Bookings, Payments, FoodAndBeverages, Bills.
15. School Management System Database Project
Design a database to maintain information about school staff ( staff management system in Ms access ) and students satisfying the following properties:
- Staff will have their id, name, and classes they are teaching.
- The student will be having the name, roll no, section, class.
- Another table containing the section, subject, and teacher information.
- Next will contain fee information for students.
- One contains salary information for teachers.
- Rooms are assigned to classes keeping in mind that there is no time clash of same room or lab, students cannot be entered in more than one section, no student should be there who have not paid fees up to a particular date.
Tables: Staff, Students, SectionSubjectTeacher, StudentFees, TeacherSalaries, RoomAssignments.
16. Wholesale Management System Database Project
- Maintain the details of stock like their id, name, quantity.
- Maintain the details of buyers from which the manager has to buy the stock like buyer id, name, address, stock id to be bought.
- Details of customers i.e. name, address, id.
- Defaulter’s list of customers who have not paid their pending amount.
- List of payments paid or pending.
- The stock that is to buy if quantity goes less than a particular amount.
- Profit calculation for a month.
- Quantity cannot be sold to a customer if the required amount is not present in stock and the date of delivery should be maintained up to which stock can be provided.
Tables: Stocks, Buyers, Customers, Defaulters, Payments, StockReorder, MonthlyProfit, DeliveryDates.
17. Salary Management System Database Project
- Employee list to be maintained having id, name, designation, experience.
- Salary details having employee id, current salary.
- Salary in hand details having employee id, CTC salary, pf deduction or any other deduction and net salary to be given and also maintain details of total savings of employee.
- Salary increments to be given by next year if any depending upon constraints.
- Deduction in monthly salary if any depending upon any discrepancy in work and amount to be deducted.
Tables: Employees, SalaryDetails, SalaryInHand, Savings, SalaryIncrements, MonthlyDeductions.
18. Atm Management System Database Project
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Online Programming Lessons, Tutorials and Capstone Project guide
40 List of DBMS Project Topics and Ideas
A Capstone project is the last project of an IT degree program. It is made up of one or more research projects in which students create prototypes, services, and/or products. The projects are organized around an issue that needs to be handled in real-world scenarios. When IT departments want to test new ideas or concepts that will be adopted into their daily operations, they implement these capstone projects within their services.
In this article, our team has compiled a list of Database Management System Project Topics and Ideas. The capstone projects listed below will assist future researchers in deciding which capstone project idea to pursue. Future researchers may find the information in this page useful in coming up with unique capstone project ideas.
- Telemedicine Online Platform Database Design
“Telemedicine Online Platform” is designed to allow doctors to deliver clinical support to patients remotely. Doctors can communicate with their patients in real-time for consultations, diagnoses, monitoring, and medical supply prescriptions. The project will be developed using the SDLC method by the researchers. The researchers will also compile a sample of hospital doctors and patients who will act as study participants. A panel of IT specialists will review, test, and assess the project.
- Virtual and Remote Guidance Counselling System Database Design
Counseling is a vital component of a person’s life since it aids in the improvement of interpersonal relationships. Humans must cease ignoring this issue because it is essential for the development of mental wellness. The capstone project “Virtual and Remote Guidance Counselling System,” which covers the gap in giving counseling in stressful situations, was built for this reason. It answers to the requirement to fill in the gaps in the traditional technique and make it more effective and immersive in this way.
- COVID-19 Facilities Management Information System Database Design
COVID – 19 has put people in fear due to its capability of transmission when exposed to the virus. The health sectors and the government provide isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients to mitigate the spread and transmission of the virus. However, proper communication for the availability of the facilities is inefficient resulting to surge of patients in just one facility and some are transferred multiple times due to unavailability. The COVID-19 respondents must have an advance tools to manage the COVID-19 facilities where respondents can easily look for available facilities to cater more patients.
- Document Tracking System Database Design
The capstone project, “Document Tracking System” is purposely designed for companies and organizations that allow them to electronically store and track documents. The system will track the in/out of the documents across different departments. The typical way of tracking documents is done using the manual approach. The staff will call or personally ask for updates about the documents which are time-consuming and inefficient.
- Face Recognition Application Database Design
Technology has grown so fast; it changes the way we do our daily tasks. Technology has made our daily lives easier. The capstone project, entitled “Face Recognition Attendance System” is designed to automate checking and recording of students’ attendance during school events using face recognition technology. The system will work by storing the student’s information along with their photographs in a server and the system will detect the faces of the students during school events and match it and verify to record the presence or absence of the student.
- Digital Wallet Solution Database Design
The capstone project, named “Digital Wallet Solution,” is intended to allow people to store money online and make payments online. The digital wallet transactions accept a variety of currencies and provide a variety of payment gateways via which the user can pay for products and services. The system allows users to conduct secure and convenient online financial transactions. It will speed up payment and other financial processes, reducing the amount of time and effort required to complete them.
- Virtual Online Tour Application Database Design
The usage of technology is an advantage in the business industry, especially during this challenging pandemic. It allows businesses to continue to operate beyond physicality. The capstone project entitled “Virtual Online Tour Application” is designed as a platform to streamline virtual tours for clients. Any business industry can use the system to accommodate and provide their clients with a virtual experience of their business. For example, the tourist industry and real estate agencies can use the system to provide a virtual tour to their clients about the tourist locations and designs of properties, respectively.
Invoice Management System Database Design
The researchers will create a system that will make it easier for companies to manage and keep track of their invoice information. The company’s sales records, payables, and total invoice records will all be electronically managed using this project. Technology is highly used for business operations and transactions automation. The capstone project, entitled “Invoice Management System” is designed to automate the management of the company’s invoice records. The said project will help companies to have an organized, accurate, and reliable record that will help them track their sales and finances.
- Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Management System Database Design
Information Technology has become an integral part of any kind of business in terms of automating business operations and transactions. The capstone project, entitled “Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Management System” is designed for vehicle repair and maintenance management automation. The said project will automate the vehicle garage’s operations and daily transactions. The system will automate operations such as managing vehicle repair and maintenance records, invoice records, customer records, transaction records, billing and payment records, and transaction records.
- Transcribe Medical Database Design
Information technology has made everything easier and simpler, including transcribing the medical diagnosis of patients. The capstone project, entitled “Medical Transcription Platform,” is designed to allow medical transcriptionists to transcribe audio of medical consultations and diagnose patients in a centralized manner. A medical transcriptionist is vital to keep accurate and credible medical records of patients and can be used by other doctors to know the patients’ medical history. The said project will serve as a platform where transcribed medical audios are stored for safekeeping and easy retrieval.
- Multi-branch Travel Agency and Booking System Database Design
The capstone project, entitled “Multi-Branch Travel Agency and Booking System,” is designed as a centralized platform wherein multiple travel agency branches are registered to ease and simplify inquiries and booking of travels and tour packages by clients. The said project will allow travel agencies to operate a business in an easy, fast manner considering the convenience and safety of their clients. The system will enable travel agencies and their clients to have a seamless online transaction.
- Pharmacy Stocks Management Database Design
The capstone project “Pharmacy Stocks Management System” allows pharmacies to manage and monitor their stocks of drugs electronically. The Pharmacy Stocks Management System will automate inventory to help ensure that the pharmacy has enough stock of medications and supplies to serve the needs of the patients.
- Loan Management with SMS Database Design
The capstone project entitled “ Loan Management System with SMS ” is an online platform that allows members to apply and request loan. In addition, they can also monitor their balance in their respective dashboard. Management of cooperative will review first the application for approval or disapproval of the request. Notification will be send through the SMS or short messaging service feature of the system.
- Service Call Management System Database Design
The capstone project, entitled ” Service Call Management System,” is designed to transform service calls to a centralized platform. The said project would allow clients to log in and lodge calls to the tech support if they encountered issues and difficulties with their purchased products. The tech support team will diagnose the issue and provide them with the necessary actions to perform via a call to solve the problem and achieve satisfaction.
- File Management with Approval Process Database Design
The File Management System provides a platform for submitting, approving, storing, and retrieving files. Specifically, the capstone project is for the file management of various business organizations. This is quite beneficial in the management and organization of the files of every department. Installation of the system on an intranet is possible, as is uploading the system to a live server, from which the platform can be viewed online and through the use of a browser.
- Beauty Parlor Management System Database Design
The capstone project entitled “Beauty Parlour Management System” is an example of transactional processing system that focuses on the records and process of a beauty parlour. This online application will help the management to keep and manage their transactions in an organize, fast and efficient manner.
- Exam Management System Database Design
Information technology plays a significant role in the teaching and learning process of teachers and students, respectively. IT offers a more efficient and convenient way for teachers and students to learn and assess learnings. The capstone project, “Exam Management System,” is designed to allow electronic management of all the information about the exam questions, courses and subjects, and teachers and students. The said project is an all-in-one platform for student exam management.
- Student and Faculty Clearance Database Design
The capstone project, entitled “Student and Faculty Clearance System,” is designed to automate students and faculty clearance processes. The approach is intended to make the clearance procedure easier while also guaranteeing that approvals are accurate and complete. The project works by giving every Department involved access to the application. The proposed scheme can eliminate the specified challenges, streamline the process, and verify the integrity and correctness of the data.
- Vehicle Parking Management System Database Design
The capstone project entitled “ Vehicle Parking Management System ” is an online platform that allows vehicle owners to request or reserve a slot for parking space. Management can accept and decline the request of reservation. In addition, payment option is also part of the system feature but is limited to on-site payment.
- Hospital Resources and Room Utilization Database Design
The capstone project, “Hospital Resources and Room Utilization Management System” is a system designed to streamline the process of managing hospital resources and room utilization. The said project is critical especially now that we are facing a pandemic, there is a need for efficient management of hospital resources and room management. The management efficiency will prevent a shortage in supplies and overcrowding of patients in the hospitals.
- Church Event Management System Database Design
The capstone project entitled “Church Event Management System” is designed to be used by church organizations in creating and managing different church events. The conventional method of managing church events is done manually where members of organizations will face difficulties due to physical barriers and time constraints.
- CrowdFunding Platform Database Design
Business financing is critical for new business ventures. In this study, the researchers concentrate on designing and developing a business financing platform that is effective for new startups. This capstone project, entitled “Crowdfunding Platform” is a website that allows entrepreneurs to campaign their new business venture to attract investors and crowdfund.
- Vehicle Franchising and Drivers Offense Software Database Design
The proposed software will be used to electronically process and manage vehicle and franchising and driver’s offenses. The proposed software will eliminate the manual method which involves a lot of paper works and consumes valuable amount of time. The proposed project will serve as a centralized platform was recording and paying for the offenses committed by the drivers will be processed. The system will quicken the process of completing transaction between the enforcers and the drivers. Vehicle franchising and managing driver offenses will be easy, fast and convenient using the system.
- Student Tracking Performance Database Design
The capstone project entitled “Student Academic Performance Tracking and Monitoring System” allows academic institutions to monitor and gather data about the academic performance of students where decisions are derived to further improve the students learning outcomes. Tracking and monitoring student’s performance serves a vital role in providing information that is used to assist students, teachers, administrators, and policymakers in making decisions that will further improve the academic performance of students.
- Webinar Course Management System Database Design
The capstone project, entitled “Webinar Course Management System,” is designed to automate managing webinar courses. The project aims to eliminate the current method, which is inefficient and inconvenient for parties involved in the webinar. A software development life cycle (SDLC) technique will be used by the researchers in order to build this project. They will gather a sample size of participating webinar members and facilitators to serve as respondents of the study.
- Online Birth Certificate Processing System with SMS Notification Database Design
The capstone project, “Online Birth Certificate Processing System with SMS Notification “ is an IT-based solution that aims to automate the process of requesting, verifying, and approving inquiries for original birth records. The system will eliminate the traditional method and transition the birth certificate processing into an easy, convenient, and efficient manner. The researchers will develop the project following the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) technique.
- Food Donation Services Database Design
Information technology plays a significant role in automating the operations of many companies to boost efficiency. One of these is the automation of food donation and distribution management. “Food Donation Services,” the capstone project, is intended to serve as a platform for facilitating transactions between food groups, donors, and recipients. Food banks will be able to respond to various food donations and food assistance requests in a timely and effective manner as a result of the project.
- COVID Profiling Database Design
The capstone project “City COVID-19 Profiling System with Decision Support” is designed to automate the process of profiling COVID-19 patients. The project will empower local health officers in electronically recording and managing COVID-19 patient information such as symptoms, travel history, and other critical details needed to identify patients. Manual profiling is prone to human mistakes, necessitates a lot of paperwork, and needs too much time and effort from the employees.
- Evacuation Center Database Design
Calamities can have a significant impact on society. It may result in an enormous number of people being evacuated. The local government unit assigned evacuation centers to provide temporary shelter for people during disasters. Evacuation centers are provided to give temporary shelter for the people during and after a calamity. Evacuation centers can be churches, sports stadium community centers, and much more that are capable to provide emergency shelter.
- QR Code Fare Payment System Database Design
The capstone project, “QR Code Fare Payment System” is designed to automate the procedure of paying for a fare when riding a vehicle. Passengers will register in the system to receive their own QR code, which they will use to pay for their fares by scanning in the system’s QR code scanning page. The project will enable cashless fare payment.
- Web Based Psychopathology Diagnosis System Database Design
The capstone project entitled “Web-Based Psychopathology Diagnosis System” is designed for patients and medical staff in the field of psychopathology. The system will be a centralized platform to be used by patients and psychopathologists for consultations. The said project will also keep all the records electronically. Mental health is important. Each individual must give importance to their mental health by paying attention to it and seek medical advice if symptoms of mental disorders and unusual behavior occur.
- Service Marketplace System Database Design
The capstone project, “Services Marketplace System” is designed to serve as a centralized platform for marketing and inquiring about different services. The system will serve as a platform where different service providers and customers will have an automated transaction. Technology made it easier for people to accomplish daily tasks and activities. In the conventional method, customers avail themselves of services by visiting the shop that offers their desired services personally.
- Fish Catch System Database Design
The capstone project, entitled “Fish Catch Monitoring System” will automate the process of recording and monitoring fish catches. The said project is intended to be used by fisherman and fish markets to accurately record fish catches and will also keep the records electronically safe and secure.
- Complaints Handling Management System Free Template Database Design
The capstone project, “Complaint Handling Management System” is a system designed to help educational institutions to handle and manage complaints electronically. The system will improve the response time of the school’s management in addressing the complaints of the students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders.
- Senior Citizen Information System Free Template Database Design
The system will replace the manual method of managing information and records of the senior citizen to an electronic one. The system will serve as a repository of the record of the senior citizen within the scope of a specific local government unit. By using the system, paper works will be lessened and human errors in file handling will be avoided. The system is efficient enough to aid in managing and keeping the records of the senior citizens in the different barangay.
- Online and SMS-Based Salary Notification Database Design
The “Online and SMS Based Salary Notification” is a capstone project intended to be used by companies and employees to automate the process of notifying salary details. The application will work by allowing the designated company encoder to encode details of salary and the employees to log in to his/her account in the application and have access to the details of his/her salary. One of the beauties of being employed is being paid. Employers manage the employee’s salary and are responsible to discuss with the employees the system of the salary and deductions.
- Maternal Records Management Database Design
The capstone project, “Maternal Records Management System” is a system that automates the process of recording and keeping maternal records. The said project will allow maternity clinics to track and monitor their patients’ records from pregnancy to their baby’s immunization records.
- Online Complaint Management System Database Design
Online Complaint Management System is a capstone project that is design to serve as a platform to address complaints and resolve disputes. The system provides an online way of resolving problems faced by the public or people within the organization. The system will make complaints easier to coordinate, monitor, track and resolve.
- Online Donation Database Design
The capstone project , “Online Donation Platform for DSWD” is an online platform for giving and asking donations in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The system will be managed by the staffs of the DSWD to verify donors and legible beneficiaries electronically. The system will have an SMS feature to notify the donors and beneficiaries about the status of their request.
- OJT Timesheet Monitoring System using QR Code Database Design
The capstone project, “OJT Timesheet Monitoring System using QR Code” allows employer to automate timesheet of each trainee for easy monitoring. The system will be used by the on-the-job trainees to serve as their daily time in and out using the QR code generated by the system. The entire system will be managed by the administrator.
Technology is attributed with driving change in a wide range of enterprises and institutions. Because of information technology, the world has altered dramatically. It is difficult to imagine an industry or organization that has not benefited from technology advances. In these businesses, the most common role of IT has been to automate numerous procedures and transactions in order to increase efficiency and improve people’s overall experience and satisfaction. The aforementioned capstone project ideas will be useful in a range of sectors. It will aid in enhancing operational efficiency as well as the services provided to the project’s users.
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Report: More Developed Design Key to Limiting Claims and Disputes on Projects Worldwide
Construction crews inspect work in New York City.
Photo by Richard Korman for ENR
D esign-related issues edged closer to scope changes as the primary driver of worldwide project claims and disputes in the past year, consultant HKA reports.
HKA performed its annual analysis, called the CRUX Report , on 1,801 building and infrastructure projects in 106 nations where the company served as a consultant on a claim or dispute—part of its risk mitigation and dispute resolution services—or was as an expert witness.
While conditions and causes vary depending on where work is performed, there are common patterns, says Renny Borhan, HKA's chief executive. For example, projects planned to last 24 months regularly finish in 40, and claims costs often equal a third of a project's planned budget, HKA reports.
Political issues and wars, notes Toby Hunt, one of the authors, indirectly affect projects by distorting other risks—from "interest rates and public investment to labor laws and immigration controls."
For example, the war in Ukraine and related trade sanctions on Russia increased the premium on energy security. "The tensions are most acute in the sphere of energy and the environment," Hunt adds.
I n 2023, HKA also found, there were a growing number of claims around labor and material price inflation traceable to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Hunt. There were also supply chain issues related to the war in Ukraine, he says.
The factors driving claims and disputes differ depending on where the work is performed. HKA breaks down its report into sections for the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceana.
U.S. v. Non-U.S. Dispute Causes
While changes in scope were the biggest cause for claims in the U.S., affecting 26.3% of projects, scope changes plagued 42.7% of projects in the rest of the world, reports HKA.
In the U.S., the other leading causes of disputes were workmanship deficiencies (26.3%), incorrect designs (19.1%) and poor management of subcontractors or suppliers (19.8%).
But design issues and scope changes are universal problems.
Though scope changes again topped the global ranking of dispute and claims causes, HKA's authors wrote, their analysis "makes it increasingly evident how design failures drive project distress directly and in conjunction with changing scope."
All three types of design shortcomings: incorrect, late or incomplete, ranked in the top five claims and dispute causes.
HKA calls the problems a "design triple whammy" that together "afflict" a greater proportion (44.8%) of projects than scope changes alone (38.8%).
Last year’s CRUX report called for closer, constant management of scope change and greater investment of time and resources in preconstruction planning. The idea was to develop designs to a more mature level before starting construction.
Underdeveloped design more than negated any apparent gains in the early stages of fast-tracked programs, HKA reports.
"Construction’s cruel conundrum," they report authors wrote, "is that the level of design maturity is more controllable than many other triggers for claims and disputes. While allowing for site-specific quirks and contingencies where necessary, designs can be largely complete and construction-ready."
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Deputy Editor Richard Korman helps run ENR's business and legal news and investigations, selects ENR's commentary and oversees editorial content on ENR.com. In 2023 the American Society of Business Publication Editors awarded Richard the Stephen Barr Award, the highest honor for a single feature story or investigation, for his story on the aftermath of a terrible auto crash in Kentucky in 2019, and in 2015 the American Business Media awarded him the Timothy White Award for investigations of surety fraud and workplace bullying. A member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Richard has been a fellow on drone safety with the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Richard's freelance writing has appeared in the Seattle Times, the New York Times, Business Week and the websites of The Atlantic and Salon.com. He admires construction projects that finish on time and budget, compensate all team members fairly and record zero fatalities or serious injuries.
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