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Relational Database Design for Fixing "Broken" Databases

Understanding how to design a relational database is essential if you expect to harvest the potential promised by relational technology. This two-day seminar focuses on design techniques that can protect against error or enable you to identify and resolve issues.

If programming is complex, it probably indicates errors in your data model. A correct model is flexible and supportive of business opportunities. A correct model makes everything seem easier.

The seminar consists of a number of modules. Labs illustrate the modules and allow practice with the concepts.

The Entity Relationship Model You will learn how to go about the fundamental process of designing a new database. Design alternatives are explored through a case study that focuses and hones skills. Additional graphical representations are also reviewed.

Implementing the Entity Relationship Model You will learn how the entity relationship model is reflected in relational databases. You will apply this knowledge to an expansion of the case study lab already begun.

Normalization You will learn how to structure data to avoid unnecessary side effects of data updates. Using normalization to eliminate update anomalies will allow you to eliminate the cause of much application complexity and error. You will also learn when not to normalize your database. You will practice these skills on data layouts from an inventory control application.

Access Definitions You will learn how to design and structure an appropriate security model for your database. You will also learn how this relates to the proposed ANSI standards. You will practice with simple examples from the case study lab.

Transaction Design You will learn how to design your application in conjunction with the database and the importance of doing so. Transactions are viewed with respect to their functions, users, frequency, and significance, as well as the data which they access. With this view of transactions, data access and tuning requirements can be predicted. Your lab for this module will further develop your skills for designing a high performance database.

Developing a Data Architecture You will learn how to take a logical data model and transform it into a fully functional relational data model. You will learn how and why to introduce additional performance and requirements oriented information into the logical data model. You will consider a variety of design "rules of thumb" derived from extensive experience. As you complete your lab for this module, you will understand more of the structures and considerations of successful applications.

Related Tools and Design Considerations This module is driven by the seminar participants. Considerations can include the impact of web access, commor errors in using GUI tools with databases, distributed data, architectures for high availability, and others. Also discussed are the whys and wherefores of realistic testing and software engineering methodologies for your database application.

Case Study The case study will allow all students to design a database which responds to limited requirements. At each stage of expansion, the student generated design will be compared to that prepared by JCC and the merits of differing approaches will be discussed. The case study is employed throughout the seminar to illustrate issues and clarify the concepts.

Additional Labs The seminar is studded with additional labs to emphasize points, encourage discussion of alternatives, and give practice with the analysis tools and concepts. An extension to the seminar to address specifics of your design quandries adds robustness.

Seminar Presenters:

Cheryl P. Jalbert, Senior Consultant
Dr. Jeffrey S. Jalbert, President


Send mail to info@jcc.com with additional questions or comments.
Copyright
2005, JCC Consulting, Inc. 
Last modified: March 9, 2005

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