Database is a fundamental element that is being used in every aspect of life today such as in supermarkets, booking of flights at travel agents, booking hotels for holiday, using libraries, renting videos, studying at university, among others. It is a shared collection of designed related data and their description in order to attain goals of an organization. This paper will discuss database management systems’ benefits, how to address flat file systems limitations, and lastly, it will describe tools used for eliciting and documenting requirements in planning for a new database.
Benefits of database management systems
According to defined database management system as “a software system that enables users to define, create, maintain, and control access to the database”. Database management system has several benefits to make an organization achieve its goals including data redundancy control, data consistency, data sharing, improved security, economy of scale, improved data accessibility, improved backup and recovery services, and improved productivity . In national restaurant chains having several restaurants, the software will help management control information in one centre. The space for storing records will be utilized well where several copies of the same data will not be stored. By controlling this redundancy of records, inconsistency risk will be eliminated since data items will be stored once in a database and when update of an item is done, it will be updated once. Several restaurants with different departments will share same data thus all authorized users will have the information. Security is also put into consideration whereby only authorized users are allowed to access the database. The cost will be saved where restaurants’ operational data are put in only one database and budget of maintenance being reduced. Also, data will be accessed easily with a quick response to the end users in the restaurants; backups are created automatic by the database only by clicking back up icon thus eliminating risks.
Addressing Flat file systems issue
There are merits of using relational databases over flat file systems such as centralized data, improved security, automatic backups and recovery services among others. Despite this, flat files are still being used by some organizations. According to these systems are easy to understand and implement in organization, they require less hardware and software requirement needs, and also need less personnel skills.
When addressing flat file system issues, one should consider how long the restaurant chains have used the system, the expectations of restaurant chains stakeholders, and at what level is the insisting stakeholder dominates the restaurant chains. Inform them on benefits of relational database management systems over the flat file systems.
Tools for eliciting and document requirements
Requirements define capabilities that a system can have both functional and non functional requirements. According to requirements elicitation is the “process of seeking, uncovering, acquiring, and elaborating requirements for computer based systems”. These requirements are collected from users of the database system.
There are several techniques for eliciting and documenting requirements such as; interview which is a human based social activity and is the most commonly used technique that involves interaction of interviewee and interviewer. It has some advantages of provision of efficient way to collect large amounts of data quickly, and has disadvantage of that the quality of information collected depends on the skills of both the interviewer and interviewee. The second technique is use of questionnaires which are either open or closed. Their advantages are that they tend to avoid gathering redundant and irrelevant information from respondents and disadvantage is that they give limited depth of knowledge in a topic. Lastly is domain analysis that involves examining of related documentation and applications in existence in order to know, understand and capture early requirements and may be identify reusable concepts and components in a system especially in developing database systems. This technique is useful when developing a system similar to one existing and the documentations used include design and analysis documents and instruction manuals for existing systems.
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