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Database development

Understanding Database Design and Development and Popular Options Currently Available

All websites use databases. Therefore, any website owner, developer or webmaster must have a basic understanding of Database Design and Development, the various database options, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Careful planning is required for an effective database. This ensures the database not only runs efficiently, but also remains secure at all times. Regardless of what type of database is being created or what platform is used, certain rules and best practices must be followed. If they aren’t, the database won’t remain organized or work properly.

Functionality

First and foremost, one must know what the database will store and what they will pull from it. Here one looks at the overall picture rather than individual tables or fields. Make a list of what the database will hold in general terms and then add to the list with time. Next, make another list of the data to be generated from the information in the database.

Defining Tables and Fields

Once these lists have been created, define the tables and fields. This is the most critical and difficult portion of the process. One must use the appropriate method for linking tables, sorting data within tables, and grouping or separating the data. As the process continues, one can reorganize or rearrange the tables and fields, yet they all need to be clearly listed at this stage. A database model becomes of great help as one works to complete this task.

Relational Databases

The majority of databases fall into the relational database category, which simply means all tables within the database relate in one way or another. Each category stores a specific piece of information, and the tables are then linked using unique keys. To do so, every entry contained within the table needs a primary key or number ID that is unique. Once the unique keys have been assigned, tables are then linked using a foreign key, another type of number ID.

The Grouping and Separating of Data

Data needs to be grouped or separated within fields. Determine if each piece of information can be grouped into one field, such as a complete address, or if each portion of the address needs its own field. There are times when it will be essential to separate data and times when it makes more sense to group it. Determine which the case is for each piece of information to be added.

PostGreSQL

An open source object-relational database, PostGreSQL has been around for 15 years and has developed a reputation for being extremely powerful. All major operating systems may be used with the database, and many prefer this database as it comes with an experienced and devoted community which can be accessed around the clock at no charge. Another benefit of choosing this database is the open-source tools available for one to design, manage and use the management system. One drawback to choosing this database, however, is there are fewer service providers and hosts offering managed instances.

Microsoft SQL

A relational database, Microsoft SQL is best for those in need of a robust database solution. This program easily installs on an existing Windows server, and many prefer this database thanks to the advanced data recovery support, as it allows for complete database restoration. The database is scalable and is capable of handling petabytes of data without sacrificing performance, yet this program can be very pricey as compared to its rivals.

Oracle Database

When one needs a database that is highly portable, Oracle Database is the option to select. This database runs on more than 100 hardware platforms along with 20 networking protocols, and performance isn’t affected, even when one is working with large databases. A number of third-party interfaces are supported, and the company spends a great deal on research and development to ensure users have the latest technology at all times. Furthermore, one always knows what the next major release will include, and backward compatibility is excellent. One major benefit of this database is the excellent support for on-line backup and recovery, yet Oracle does tend to be harder to learn than other available options.

MySQL

A large-scale database server, MySQL remains one of the most popular, as it is loaded with features and is capable of powering numerous applications and websites. One can begin using the program easily, and there is a wealth of information regarding this database. In addition, there are numerous tools, integrated libraries and third-party applications that may be used with the database. The program is capable of handling an excess of data and one can choose to use it at scale when needed. Finally, the database includes a number of security features, yet one must know there are reliability issues with it.

Once one understands the basics of Database Design and Development and the benefits and drawbacks of the various options, choosing the right option becomes much easier. When a database has been selected, the focus then turns to the initial brainstorming and design process before web development can ever commence. One needs the appropriate information to properly design the database, to create it intelligently, to link the tables properly and to ensure the best practices remain intact. The goal is to create a database that is both scalable and efficient. Anything less and the design and development process will have been wasted.

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