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Database Concepts

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Database Concepts

Database Concepts, what are Databases all about? I am writing this paper to answer a few questions as part of my first assignment in a class designed to provide a better understanding of Database Concepts. There are many different types of databases, different implementations of databases, and different database software applications. So how does all this database stuff work? I have worked with databases for most of my professional career at many different levels. Sometimes as the user, entering data, retrieving information, and compiling reports. I have also provided service and support to help maintain a database system. More recently I perform both types of tasks. I have never stopped to think about what was really going on the background when I was using these systems. I aim to learn more about what databases are and how they function.

Why this course will be important to my career?

The course that I am taking is entitled Database Concepts. This course and what I will learn will be important to my career. My profession, as a PACS Administrator, requires me to utilize and maintain a system that is completely database driven. PACS stands for Picture Archiving and Communications System. The system receives patient information and diagnostic medical images and stores them. One must be able to query for a particular patient and retrieve the images associated to that patient. All the patient information is maintained within the database, the images are stored separately, and the database maintains pointers to the images. Understanding how this information is structured is very important. I manipulate this data on a daily bases to assure data integrity, so the more I understand about the structure the better quality of work I can do.

This course will also enable me to better understand if an MS Access application would work better than some of the systems I use to today. MS Access is an application that I have at my disposal, but don’t utilize. Learning more about Access will help me organize some of the data I currently maintain in spreadsheets. Generating reports and performing some trending will help in communicating this information to department leadership. The information that I take away from this class will be important to my career; the key is to utilize what I learn!

Can Microsoft Access be considered an “enterprise tool”?

Microsoft Access is the world’s most popular database software. It has many advantages to its utilization. It is very cost effective as the one of the least expensive options with choosing a database system. Most database challenges can be solved by Access. Access can evolve as needed, it can grow and change as the organization grows and changes. Access is a very powerful tool and can definitely be considered an “enterprise tool”.

For a larger organization, Access may not be the ideal solution for the Enterprise DBMS depending on the size requirements as Access has a limitation of about 2GB, depending on the version of Access. However, Access can still be considered an “enterprise tool” to accomplish smaller tasks within an organization as well as interface with a DBMS that is designed for a large company implementation. Microsoft Access is an excellent product and can be used in conjunction with many different applications, therefore should be considered when solving any database needs.

Why database systems cannot be designed “on the fly”?

When designing any database system a careful methodical approach should be utilized. The System Development Life Cycle is an appropriate course to follow. This allows for detailed planning and design to ensure that the solutions the database system is intended to provide. Database systems are designed to solve specific needs such as sharing data, facilitating consistency of information, getting more information from the same amount of data, balancing conflicting requirements, controlling redundancy of data, improving the integrity of the information, increasing productivity with the ability to retrieve information quickly and accurately, and providing data independence. Designing any database system on the fly will inevitably create problems, possibly very large problems, in the end product. Important aspects of the need for a database system will be missed. If the system doesn’t perform and produce as required,

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