In the business world, the use of many different types of databases is not only commonplace, but an essential part of day to day operations. A database is a structured collection of information that is stored on a computer or server that allows the data to be quickly accessed, analyzed, and allows the ability for queries to be run. The use of a database allows businesses to greatly increase efficiency accessing data and accuracy maintaining data. The Sacramento Capital Art Museum is currently in need of a database to accurately track the artwork, the name of the artist, and each piece of artworks location. Before moving any further, it is important to analyze the type of environment that you are working with. Database Environment A database environment describes all of the hardware, software, data, procedures, and personnel that you are working with. It directly relates to a projects scope and boundaries (part of the DBLC), as the boundaries are contained within the environment. Sacramento Capital Art Museum is a relatively new museum that was established in 2012 by a group of avid art collectors living in the capital city.
As a result of this, there is not any type of established database currently running inside of SCAM. While Excel databases have been used by employees on and off, there is nothing that is permanently kept on a public drive. The need to track all the artwork throughout the museum is a direct result of a piece of valuable art that was misplaced. Currently, the museum has 20 employees, each with their own work PC. There is a small server that is kept in house that stores the company’s information and is accessible by all work PC’s via a unique user login. The company is open to using any type of DBMS that will fit Database Environment Paper 3 their needs. I have chosen Microsoft Access as the DBMS for SCAM. Microsoft Access is a “tool for gathering and understanding all of your information…and providing a convenient way to enter, navigate, and report your data.” (Microsoft SQL and Access, 2014) We will be using a relational database for this project. A relational database was developed in 1970 by an IBM researcher named E.F. Codd. (What are relationship databases, 2001) With a relational database, information is stored in uniform. Instead of one long, flat line of information, data is stored in tables.
This allows data to be represented in columns and rows. This type of representation of data allows for quick comparisons, sort information by entity or attribute. They are referred to as relational databases because of the ability to use the relationship of other similar data to increase the speed and overall versatility of the database. Because of the type of data used for this database, a relational type would make the most sense. This DBMS will also allow for easy database maintenance. SCAM currently wants all employees to be able to access the database, while only allowing 10 of the 20 employee’s access to modify the database. Access will be given via unique personal logins and all access to the database will be monitored and logged in an attempt to deter theft. Attributes and Entities An entity is a person, place, or thing, or concept about which data can be collected. (Attributes, n.d.) An attribute describes the facts, details, or characteristics of an entity. For this project, the entities we are using are the individual pieces of artwork, the name of the artist, and the location of the artwork.
The attributes that we are using are the type of art, the origin of the artist, whether it is stored or on display within the museum. Using a data modelling approach, such as the entity relationship model (ER) that was created by Peter Pin-Shan Chen, allows for the proper conceptual process to be laid out prior to the actual construction of the database. Database Environment Paper 4 Essentially, it is a database blueprint of how everything will be mapped out. During this process, you want to ensure that all the entities and attributes you wish to represent are logically and concisely laid out. Once the database is mapped out, construction of the database can begin.
In the end, the database will be able to give the employees of the Sacramento Capital Art Museum immediate access to the location of every piece of art in the museums custody. The employees will be able to run queries to find out specifics about the art. For example, if they wanted to do an exhibit on Chinese art, they could run a query to find all the art that originated from China within their collection. Database Environment Paper 5
“Microsoft SQL and Access” (2014) Retrieved from: http://www.computerhouse.com/microsoft- sql-and-access/ “What are relational databases?” (2001) Retrieved from: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question599.htm “Attributes” (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://www.teach- ict.com/as_a2_ict_new/ocr/AS_G061/315_database_concepts/attributes_entities/miniweb/pg3.ht