Choosing the best database program for your business will transform columns and rows of data into priceless information to make your business efficient and competitive. Databases certainly aren’t just about the columns and rows.
Different businesses have different uses for their data. Some databases are nothing more than mailing lists that require a minimal amount of information but have a very powerful function in the business. Other databases have product inventories that need to be constantly updated as sales are made online and offline. Others are even more complex, tracking the full lifecycle of a product through manufacture and distribution.
Whatever data your business is able to collect, it is important to know how to get the best out of it. Here are some tips to help you select the best software.
A Lot of Different Options
The first thing to note is the plethora of options available for you through the different types of database management systems. We now have web-enabled, server-based, desktop, cloud, and so many more different means of accessing database technology. Traditional databases are just a part of the offering nowadays. There are even targeted systems, such as column stores, unstructured information, in-memory; and each and every one of these can add value to organizations in different ways.
Each system has advantages and disadvantages and what’s important is selecting the best database program that is right for your business. The minimum necessities that are required are a suite of tools for customization, frequent updates, and reliable, expert support.
The process of choosing the best database program can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run to ensure business scalability, efficiency, and profitability. Having a trusted partner at your side, through a consulting company, really does pay dividends.
Desktop solutions are generally for single users and are cost-effective for people that really just need a database on their computer. Many people will use Microsoft Access or a very low-cost solution.
A server-based database is designed for multiple users and enables the storage and manipulation of significant amounts of data. The most popular server-based systems are Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. The cost implications of server-based solutions are pretty high.
Web-Based Database Management
Naturally, these days, most things are integrated with the Web. The most popular product available as a web-based solution is Microsoft Access, and it is relatively inexpensive.
With websites increasingly being the feeder for databases, web-based solutions are an exciting proposition. It is important to consider your data uses when you are selecting your database software. You need to look at the value you gain based on the different tools available to you. Your budget and your company size will also be important.
Steps to Take
Form a strategic plan to understand the importance of the software to your business so that you can understand the financial implications. Drill down into the exact information you want to collect so that you can understand the impact it will have and ensure that you will get maximum benefit.
Whether you choose a custom solution, an off-the-shelf package system, or a tailored off-the-shelf solution, will depend on your needs and budget. Certainly, if you need something particularly complex, then a server platform will likely be best. If budget is your primary concern, then a desktop-based database will suit your needs perhaps most affordably. If you’re looking for flexibility and cost-effectiveness, then web-based solution may interact best with your business.
Web-based solutions also offer customer relationship management and content management systems combined, and also maximize efficiency. It is important to also think about data protection to ensure that the company you choose meets the guidelines set out by the relevant security standards councils.
Key Concepts and Definitions
Here are some key concepts you should understand well when considering database software.
Databases are collections of data stored for business purposes in columns and rows and accessed to manipulate, provide reports and generally understand the business.
Database Management System (DBMS)
These are tools and software that are utilized in order to create and manipulate databases. They catalog, capture, and run queries on data. They also enable businesses to manage and organize data that arrives into a database and provide ways that users can modify and extract the data in order to suit the specific business needs.
Non-Relational Database (No SQL)
Unstructured information, such as tweets, emails, documents, and so on will need a database that is designed for this purpose. Many databases have information that is particularly organized and structured and can be nicely slotted into columns and rows. If this isn’t the case, then No SQL is the solution likely to work best.
This is a column in a database that is unique and identifies the entry into a database. For example, it could be a customer number or a social security number.
This is the structure of a database as defined by formal language. Relational databases have schema defined as tables, fields, relationships, indexes, functions, and sequences.
Structured Query Language (SQL)
This is a very common language used in programming to create and manipulate databases. It is the basis for relational databases and provides the ability to input data, create new tables, purge databases, and so on.
So there you have it – some tips on how to choose the best database programs and also some of the language that you’ll need to know to have good discussions with IT companies.