According to Business Link “The database is one of the cornerstones of information technology, and its ability to organize, process and manage information in a structured and controlled manner is key to many aspects of modern business efficiencies.” This paper will define database uses, advantages, and disadvantages as well as recommended changes to an Internet database I currently use.
The definition of a database is a structured collection of data or records stored on a computer system. The definition of a database management system (DBMS) is “a collection of programs that enables you to store, modify, and extract information from a database” (Webopedia, 2011).
“Databases are used just about everywhere including banks, retail, websites, and warehouses. Banks use databases to keep track of customer accounts, balances, and deposits. Retail stores can use databases to store prices, customer information, sales information, and quantity on hand. Websites use databases to store content, customer login information, and preferences and may store saved user input. Warehouses use databases to manage inventory levels.” Another example would include a bookseller, such as Amazon.com. Amazon.coms database would include title, author, ISBN, product information, reviews, quantity, and price to name few. Databases are used anywhere that data needs to be stored and easily retrieved. The filing cabinet has been replaced by databases. Advantages of using a DBMS are, reducing the amount of time managing data, the ability to analyze data in various ways, promoting a disciplined approach to data management, and improving the quality and consistency of information. One disadvantage is the cost because more than likely outside help will need to be employed to develop the DBMS, which can become very expensive. Another disadvantage is time, developing a database system is very time-consuming because numerous steps are involved.
Different types of DBMSs are available from several vendors and the services offered can vary widely. Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle from Oracle Corporation are two examples of DBMSs. In its most basic form, they both store information with the use of tables. Both use queries to sort, search, and analyze data. They use a backup system to save all information in case of a crash of the system. They are web-based so users can access them from anywhere. They could be tailored to meet business needs. They allow multiple users to access and update information while providing security from unauthorized users. Users are granted access to certain features with the use of passwords and permissions. They both offer reporting capabilities.
A number of differences exist between these two DBMSs, the first is the cost, Oracle costs are extremely expensive compared to Microsoft SQL Server. Pricing for Oracle is over 100K, whereas Microsoft SQL Server can be purchased for a couple of thousand. Microsoft SQL Server is used for small-medium sizes companies while Oracle can be used for very large companies. Microsoft SQL can support a couple 1000 users while Oracle can support as little as 10 users, upwards to hundreds of thousands users. Microsoft SQL Server is slower over networks compared to Oracle. Microsoft SQL Server is easier to learn and more user friendly. Microsoft SQL Server has a large community for support, while Oracle has very little in comparison.
I have been a collector of Cal Ripken Jr. baseball cards for many years, and I have amassed a collection of close to 2000 different Cal Ripken Jr. baseball cards With this many cards it is hard to keep track of what cards I currently own and their value. I needed a database program where I could have access to my collection in one place. I did some research and found Beckett.com offered a database software program called Beckett Collector Connection. Beckett is an industry leader concerning the collection of sport cards. Anyone who is a serious sport cards card collector knows Beckett is the place to go when wanting to know the value of one’s collection. Beckett Collector Connection has essentially taken all their price guides, put them in a database, and made them available online.
It only cost $20 for the initial software and it is an additional $4.95 a month to get the latest sets and prices downloaded from their website. A collector can list all their cards with ease using Beckett’s learning wizard. Each card or record shows year, set name, card number, and card name. Other columns provide a place where a collector can list the condition and quantity of a specific card they own. A number of the cards include a picture ensuring the collector has listed the right card. A collector can print one of six different reports, or use the report generator to create a custom report. A collector has the option of using Beckett’s auction tools, to create, track, and follow up on multiple Internet auctions based on a collector’s inventory. I have been using this program for quite some time and have found it very beneficial but at the same time, I have noticed ways the database can be improved. For one downloading the newest prices can be very time-consuming, even though I use DSL it can still take an hour. Another improvement I want is to the ability to list older sets, while they do list some older sets many older sets are not listed and prices are missing as well. Last, I would like to have Beckett offer to track your auctions listing through multiple auction platforms, such as eBay instead of just their own auction platform.
In conclusion, one can determine that gathering, storing, processing of information using a database gives a company a distinct advantage. Developing a DBMSs is crucial to a company’s productivity, time management and vital to its success.
Business Link. Benefits of Databases. Retrieved from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?topicId=1075422967 Graham, AJ. How Are Databases Used In The Real World? eHow.com. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_5447556_databases-used-real-world.html Webopedia. (2011). Database Management System. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/database_management_system_DBMS.html