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LIS 384K.11 Database-Management Principles and Applications

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  1. LIS 384K.11Database-Management Principles and Applications How to Design and Develop a Database Application R. E. Wyllys Last revised 2002 Mar 25 GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  2. What Is the Process of Developing a Database Application? • Begin with • Analysis of the situation for which the database is to be used • Continue by identifying the • Sources and destinations of information to be handled • Major concepts, i.e., the entities, in the situation • Relationships among the entities • Explore in detail the • Characteristics, i.e., the attributes, of the entities • Connectivities and cardinalities of the relationships GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  3. What Is the Process of Developing a Database Application? (cont'd) • Design the means of • Inputting information into the database, e.g., data-entry forms • Providing outputs to users of the database, e.g., report forms, standard queries • Finish by • Putting all the pieces together • Preparing sample data for tests • Testing the application by inputting sample data and outputting queries and reports GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  4. Development Life Cycles:What Are They? • Processes that take place over periods of time tend to be viewed in terms of sequential phases that, taken together, form a “life cycle.” • You have just seen an outline of the process of developing a database application. This process can be formalized as the Database Development Life Cycle (DBDLC). • The DBDLC can be compared with other similar development life-cycles: e.g., • Software Development Life Cycle (SoftDLC • System Development Life Cycle (SysDLC) • Business-Process Improvement Life Cycle (BPILC) GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  5. Software Development Life Cycle • The development of computer software is typically managed in terms of a Software Development Life Cycle (SoftDLC). • An excellent statement of the phases of the SoftDLC has been given by Dale, Joyce, and Weems, as follows*: • “Problem analysis Understanding the nature of the problem to be solved • “Requirements elicitation Determining exactly what the program must do • “Software specification Specifying what the program must do (the functional requirements) and the constraints on the solution approach (nonfunctional requirements, such as what language to use) *From: Dale, N.; Joyce, D. T.; Weems, C. Object-Oriented Data Structures Using Java. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2002. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  6. Software Development Life Cycle • “High- and low-level design Recording how the program meets the requirements, from the “big picture” overview to the detailed design • “Implementation of the design Coding a program in a computer language • “Testing and verification Detecting and fixing errors and demonstrating the correctness of the program • “Delivery Turning over the tested program to the customer or user . . . • “Operation Actually using the program • “Maintenance Making changes to fix operational errors and to add to or modify the functions of the program” GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  7. System Development Life Cycle • The development of complex systems of people and equipment to carry out various functions in organizations is usually managed in terms of a System Development Life Cycle (SysDLC). • Typical phases of the SysDLC are: • Analysis • Design • Production • Implementation • Operation GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  8. System Development Life Cycle • The analysis phase of the SysDLC deals with such questions as: • What is the mission, or purpose, of the organization? • How do the functions that the system in question is supposed to handle relate to the mission? • How are those functions currently handled? • In what ways is the current handling unsatisfactory? • What technology is potentially available to assist in accomplishing the desired functions? • Which aspects of the system's environment can be determined within the organization, and which are determined by factors not under the organization's control? GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  9. System Development Life Cycle • The design phase of the SysDLC deals with such questions as: • Which of the possible overall designs for the system best suits both the functions to be accomplished and also the organization? • What is the best way of accomplishing those functions that deal with the strictly internal aspects of the system (i.e., those aspects wholly controllable by the organization)? • What is the best way of accomplishing those functions that deal with a mixture of internal and external aspects of the systems (external aspects being those not controllable by the organization)? • How are the various components of the system to be tied together? • How will the system be tested while its pieces are being put together? GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  10. System Development Life Cycle • The production phase of the SysDLC deals with such matters as: • Ordering equipment • Ordering off-the-shelf software • For custom software, designing the computer programs and beginning the programming • Planning and beginning the writing of manuals of procedures for staff members and for users of the system • Beginning the training of staff members GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  11. System Development Life Cycle • The implementation phase of the SysDLC deals with such matters as: • Receiving, installing, and testing equipment • Receiving, installing, tailoring, and testing off-the-shelf software • Completing the programming of custom software, and testing it • Completing the writing of manuals of procedures for staff members and system users • Completing the training of staff members • Integrating the complete system and testing all its aspects for satisfactory accomplishment of its functions GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  12. System Development Life Cycle • The operation phase of the SysDLC deals with such matters as: • Running the completed system • Evaluating its continuing operations in terms of • How well it performs the functions it was intended to accomplish • How well it copes with the inevitable changes in the environment • Initiating a new round of system development if and when needed GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  13. Business-Process Improvement Life Cycle • In business-process improvement (BPI), the emphasis is on systems rather than lower-level processes and sub-processes • Systems are viewed as sets of interconnected processes that must be treated as wholes with respect to improvement (i.e., sub-optimization is to be avoided) • Continuous improvement, rather than one-time project-oriented improvement, is often the goal • The overall goal of the BPI effort must be to heighten customer (i.e., user) satisfaction with the quality of the products and services offered by the organization. BPI is a result of the quality-management revolution sparked by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  14. Business-Process Improvement Life Cycle • The Business-Process Improvement Life Cycle (BPILC) consists of the following phases: • Defining the problem, in conjunction with management • Initiating work, by organizing work teams and setting initial tasks and schedules • Analyzing the situation in detail • Evaluating alternative solutions • Developing improved systems (sets of processes) and changing organization where necessary • Evaluating the results • If necessary, go back to analyzing the situation again and proceed from there GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  15. Database Development Life Cycle • The development of databases is typically managed in terms of the Database Development Life Cycle (DBDLC). The phases of the DBDLC can be defined as follows*: • “Database initial study • Analyze the company situation • Define problems and constraints • Define objectives • Define scope and boundaries *From Chapter 6 of: Rob, P.; Coronel, C. Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management. 4th ed. Cambridge, MA: Course Technology; 2000. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  16. Database Development Life Cycle • “Database Design • Create the conceptual design [i.e., model the real-world situation] • DBMS software selection • Create the logical design [i.e., express the model in terms of the selected DBMS] • Create the physical design [i.e., deal with the physical storage and access of the data] • “Implementation and loading • Install the DBMS • Create the database(s) • Load or convert the data GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  17. Database Development Life Cycle • "Testing and evaluation • Test the database • Fine-tune the database • Evaluate the database and its application programs • "Operation • Produce the required information flow • "Maintenance and evolution • Introduce changes • Make enhancements" GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  18. Summary of Life Cycles • We can summarize the foregoing discussion of life cycles as follows: The development of complex, interrelated processes aimed at solving a problem tends to be viewed in terms of life cycles that • Begin with an analysis of the problem • Continue with careful planning and designing of a solution to the problem • Proceed further with the carrying out of the practical steps involved in achieving the solution, including the testing of pieces of the solution and of the complete, integrated solution • Conclude with the solution being put into full operation • May lead eventually to recognition of new difficulties and the initiation of a new life cycle of analysis, design, and implementation. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  19. A Further Look at Database Application Development • In addition to their view of the DBDLC, Rob and Coronel also interpret the process of developing a database application as a sequence of • Conceptual Design • DBMS Software Selection • Logical Design • Physical Design • The following ten slides examine this interpretation* more closely As presented in Chapter 6 of: Rob, P.; Coronel, C. Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management. 4th ed. Cambridge, MA: Course Technology; 2000. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  20. Conceptual Design • Rob and Coronel view conceptual design as the step in which "data modeling is used to create an abstract database structure that represents real-world objects in the most realistic way possible." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  21. Conceptual Design • To do a good job of conceptual design, the designer must consider • "Information needs" • "Information users" • "Information sources" • "Information constitution," including • Data elements and data attributes • Relationships among the data • Data volume and frequency of use • Data transformations needed, if any • Answers to questions that arise in the above considerations come from • "Developing and gathering end-user data views" • "Direct observation of the current system: existing and desired output" • "Interface with the systems-design group" GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  22. Conceptual Design • Entity-Relationship modeling is essential in developing the conceptual design of a database application. Rob and Coronel outline the E-R modeling process as: • "1. Identify, analyze, and refine the business rules. • "2. Identify the main entities, based on Step 1. • "3. Define the relationships among the entities, based on Steps 1 and 2. • "4. Define the attributes, primary keys, and foreign keys for each of the entities. • "5. Normalize the entities [i.e., develop a set of tables, each in at least Boyce-Codd Normal Form, that represents each entity]. • "6. Complete the initial E-R diagram. • "7. Have the main end users verify the model in Step 6 against the data, information, and processing requirements. • "8. Modify the E-R diagram, based on the results of Step 7." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  23. Conceptual Design • Rob and Coronel invite special attention to certain details of the E-R modeling process, saying, "All objects (entities, attributes, relations, views, and so on) are defined in a data dictionary, which is used in tandem with the normalization process to help eliminate data anomalies and redundancy problems. During this process the designer must: • "Define entities, attributes, primary keys, and foreign keys. . . . • "Make decisions about adding new primary key attributes in order to satisfy end user and/or processing requirements. • "Make decisions about the treatment of multivalued attributes. • "Make decisions about adding derived attributes to satisfy processing requirements. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  24. Conceptual Design • "Make decisions about the placement of foreign keys in 1:1 relationships. • "Avoid unnecessary ternary relationships. • "Draw the corresponding E-R diagram. • "Normalize the data model. • "Include all the data element definitions in the data dictionary. • "Make decisions about standard naming conventions." • Rob and Coronel caution that the "naming conventions requirement is important, yet it is frequently ignored at the designer's peril. Real database design is generally accomplished by teams. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the team members work in an environment in which naming standards are defined and enforced." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  25. Conceptual Design • Data Model Verification • Rob and Coronel note that an important step in the conceptual-design process is to verify the E-R model "against the proposed system processes in order to corroborate that the intended processes can be supported by the database model." • Verification involves testing the model against • "End user data views and their required transactions: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE operations and queries and reports. • "Access paths, security, and concurrency control. • "Concurrency control is a feature that allows simultaneous access to a database [by multiple users], while preserving data integrity." • "Business-imposed data requirements and constraints." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  26. Conceptual Design • Having also recommended that the overall design be broken up into modules, so that the work can better be handled by different teams or in different stages, Rob and Coronel outline the following steps in the E-R Model Verification Process: • "1. Identify the E-R model's central entity. • "2. Identify each module and its components. • "3. Identify each module's transaction requirements: • "Internal: Updates/Inserts/Deletes/Queries/Reports • "External: Module interfaces • "4. Verify all processes against the E-R model • "5. Make all necessary changes suggested in Step 4. • "6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for all modules." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  27. DBMS Software Selection • Rob and Coronel outline the major considerations in selecting DBMS software as follows: • "Cost. Purchase, maintenance, operational, license, installation, training, and conversion costs. • "DBMS features and tools." Some of the possibilities are: • "Query-by-example • "Screen painters • "Report generators" • "Underlying model. Hierarchical, network, relational, object/relational, or object. • "Portability. Across platforms, systems, and languages. • "DBMS hardware requirements. Processor(s), RAM, disk space, etc." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  28. Logical Design • Rob and Coronel say: • "Logical design follows the decision to use a specific database model (hierarchical, network, or relational). Once the database model is identified, we can map the conceptual design onto a logical design that is tailored to the selected database model. • "Logical design is used to translate the conceptual design into the internal model for a selected [DBMS], such DB2, SQL Server, Oracle, IMS, Informix, Access, Ingress, and so on. This includes mapping all objects in the model to the specific constructs used by the selected [DBMS]. For a relational DBMS, the logical design includes the design of" such features as • Tables • Indexes • Views • Transactions • Security restrictions GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  29. Physical Design • Rob and Coronel say: • "Physical design is the process of selecting the data storage and data access characteristics of the database. . . . • "Physical design is particularly important in the older hierarchical and network models. . . . Relational database are more isolated from physical layer details" than are the older models. • But even with RDBMSs, "performance can be affected by the characteristics of the storage media, such as seek time, sector and block (page) size, buffer pool size, and number of disk platters and read/write heads. In addition, such factors as the creation of an index can have a considerable performance effect on the relational database's data access speed and efficiency." • "Physical design becomes more complex when data are distributed at different locations, because the performance is affected by the communication media's throughput." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  30. Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Design • Database applications, like other complex systems, can be designed by either of two strategies, or approaches, called the "top-down" strategy and the "bottom-up" strategy. • In practice, a designer or design team rarely uses solely one or the other of these strategies. Nevertheless, their differences are worth noting. • Top-Down Design • This approach starts by identifying the entities in the problem and their relationships, and then working down to the attributes and their details. • Bottom-Up Design • This approach starts with the attributes in the problem, and then works up by identifying the entities to which the attributes need to be linked and, in turn, the relationships among the entities. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  31. Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Design • Rob and Coronel comment quite carefully about these two somewhat different strategies, saying: • "Although these two methodologies are complementary rather than mutually exclusive, a primary emphasis on a bottom-up approach may be [emphasis added] more productive for small databases with few entities, attributes, relations, and transactions. For situations in which the number, variety, and complexity of entities, relations, and transactions is overwhelming, a primarily top-down approach may be [emphasis added] more easily managed." GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  32. Centralized vs. Decentralized Design • In a similar way, Rob and Coronel comment carefully about centralized vs. decentralized design, which they describe as contrasting "philosophies" of design. They say: • "Centralized design is typical of relatively simple and/or small databases and can be successfully done by a single person . . . or by a small, informal design team." • "Decentralized design might be used when the data component of the system has a considerable number of entities and complex relations on which very complex operations are performed. Decentralized design is also likely to be employed when the problem itself is spread across several operational sites and each element is a subset of the entire data set. . . ." • As with top-down vs. bottom-up design strategies, I think that in practice it is rare for either strictly centralized or strictly decentralized design philosophies to be used. GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  33. Other Important Matters • The design process needs to include consideration of • Performance • Security • Data Integrity GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  34. Other Important Matters • Performance includes • Speed of response to users • Adequacy of response to users • Ease of maintenance • Time required for maintenance (to be as low as possible consistent with safety and proper functioning) GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  35. Other Important Matters • Security includes • Means of controlling physical access: e.g., locks, hard-wired terminals • Systems for providing and controlling password access to various parts of the database • Provision for audit trails of transactions and changes to the databases themselves • Provision for encryption of data transmitted over easily accessible communications channels • Establishing and employing regular back-ups • Establishing, and keeping up to date, plans for recovery from disasters GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  36. Other Important Matters • Data Integrity Procedures include • Rules for handling attributes that are primary or secondary keys, to provide extra caution for correctness of data entry • Careful analysis and design of update and deletion cascades and restricts GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications

  37. Designing a Database Application Can Seem Like Finding Your Way Out Of a Labyrinth,But Perseverance Will Bring Success GSLIS - The University of Texas at Austin LIS 384K.11, Database-Management Principles and Applications