Database Design – Why Is It So Important?
Some people use very simple databases to organize their daily lives. For instance, they may keep a database of names, addresses, and email addresses, for business and social contacts.
However, anyone who has taken an online course in database design will know that there are far more complex and important uses for a database. They are used throughout different industries to store and organize data and they act as the “back end” of the websites that you see online. Let’s take a closer look at what databases actually are and why they are so important.
What is a Database?
Put simply, a database is a way of storing information in an organized manner. Usually, a database will contain several tables each of which contains several different fields.
Database designers use a database management system (DBMS), such as Microsoft Access or MySQL. These are software systems which enable designers to create and maintain databases.
Why Good Database Design Matters
A database is used to store and organize data that is essential in running systems and websites. If this data is not stored and organized in the right way then the database does not work as it should. This means that the systems and websites which the database is used to create and operate are not optimized.
An important part of creating well-designed databases is normalization, which refers to the process of making sure that data is structured in a way that reduces the amount of duplication and inconsistencies.
The Value of Good Database Maintenance
It’s not just good database design that is important. In order to function as they should, databases also need to be well maintained. In order to make sure that this happens, databases should always be designed with ease of maintenance in mind. This is why it’s so important to keep repetition to a minimum so that many different instances of the same information do not need to be updated.
It’s important to understand that databases are the foundation of many business operations. If they fail, the adverse effects on the business can be serious. This is why the design and maintenance of databases is usually a business priority.
This is understandable when you can see how important it is to have a well-planned and well-designed database in place. Getting the design right from the start reduces the amount of work that needs to be done going forward. Having to redesign a database after a project has commenced, or an application has already been launched, can also be expensive.
You can see that you should never underestimate the importance of databases to a business. The information contained within the databases needs to be well structured, with no, or little, duplication. Databases that are designed in this way are less likely to require significant redesign and are therefore more cost-effective to manage and maintain. This is important for any business that does not want to have its profits adversely affected.
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