This paper will discuss databases, forms and reports. Why has the use of databases increased dramatically? What factors should be considered when designing a database and why? How would you go about designing forms and reports from scratch? In conclusion, a summation will be given along with closing thoughts.

Database Usage A database is an organized collection of information or data. It is a collection of organized information in which a computer can easily select and display different fields of data. Databases have been in use since the earliest days of electronic computing, but the vast majority of these were custom programs written to access custom databases. Unlike modern systems which can be applied to widely different databases and needs, these systems were tightly linked to the database in order to gain speed at the price of flexibility. As computers grew in capability this trade off became increasingly unnecessary, as a number of general-purpose database systems emerged. With the implementation of relational and object-oriented databases, companies found that the use of databases were much more productive and cost effective.

Productivity and cost effectiveness being two of the main factors as to why the use of databases has increased dramatically over the years. Most recently there has also become a growing interest in using company data to improve business performance. Queries around business performance analysis were the top database analysis performed. Database Design There are seven steps in the design process.

The first step is the mission statement and objectives for the database. The mission statement establishes the purpose of the database and provides a focus for the developer. The second phase is to analyze the current database; typically a legacy database or a paper-based database. In this case, there is not a database in place because it is a new company. The third phase is to create the data structures for the database. Define tables and fields, establish keys, and define field specifications for every field need to be accomplished.

Establishing table relationships is the fourth phase. Interviews will be conducted with users and management and identify relationships between the entities. The fifth phase is determining and defining business rules. Interviews will be held to identify limitations on various aspects of the database, establish business rules, and define and implement validation tables. Determining and establishing views is the sixth phase. Identifying various ways of looking at the data, will establish the views.

The seventh or the last phase in this design process is to review the final database for data integrity. This step includes making sure each table meets the criteria for a properly designed table, review and check field specifications for each field, review the validity of each relationship, and then to go over the business rules to confirm any limitations. Database design is one of planning and analysis. Planning defines the goals of the database, explains why the goals are important, and sets out the path by which the goals will be reached. Analysis involves determining the requirements of the database. This is accomplished by examining the existing documentation and interviewing users.

It is important that all steps in designing a database are followed to ensure completeness, quality, and integrity. Forms and Reports Forms are designed to display or collect data. Forms can display data for viewing, editing, or for input. Reports display static data only and aren't used to edit or collect data.

When designing a form or report from scratch, certain considerations should be taken into account. You need to ask yourself questions regarding the form or report that you are designing, as well as the characteristics that this form or report will entail. When designing a form or report you should ask the following question: o Who will use this form or report? o What is the purpose of this form or report? o When is this form or report needed and used? o Where does the form or report need to be delivered and used? o How many people need to use or view the form or report? Characteristics to be considered are: o User experience, skill, motivation, and education. o Task; time pressure and cost of error. o System platform, operating system, and devices. o Environment; lighting, sounds, and interruptions. o Flexibility, consistency, and integrity.

A database is an organized collection of information or data. SQL is a database language that allows you to build a database, query information from the database in order to extract the information, and to create forms and reports to build and extract data from your database. Your database data integrity will determine the usefulness of your data input and your data reporting is only as good as the data that is put into the database. ReferenceUtexas. edu. A Data Modeling As Part of Database Design. Retrieved February 14, 2005 from: web Data Modeling 101.

Retrieved February 5, 2005 from: web Database Management Systems. Retrieved February 14, 2005 from: web management system. html Msdn. microsoft. com. The Data Behind Forms and Reports. Retrieved February 14, 2005 from: web Designing Forms and Report for Speed. Retrieved February 14, 2005 from: web.