Design Principles of Web Database Applications
As companies look to migrate from their legacy databases to web based cloud enabled databases, it is important to understand that scalability of a database for web application hinges on how well the database is designed. A database, regardless of the technology used, is as good as its design.
A well-designed database for web applications provides you access to real-time, accurate information. By following the principles of good database design you will end up with a database application that meets your requirements and can easily scale as your business grows.
Database Designer must follow certain principles to ensure good database design:
- Eliminate duplicate information: The first principle is to eliminate data redundancy. Storing same piece of data in more than one place not only wastes space but also increase the likelihood of inconsistent and erroneous data
- Correctness and completeness of data: The second principle is to ensure accuracy and data integrity
4 Simple steps of Database design process
Database design is an art and can be mastered with experience and through proper training. Custom software applications are unique and hence, no two database are alike. Database developer, new or experienced, must follow the steps below in designing a database for web applications that can easily scale with your business.
- Define the purpose of your database – The first step of database design is to answer the following questions:
- What is the primary purpose of your database?
- How will you use the database and what do you want it to do?
- What information should the database manage?
- What information do you want as output?
- Gather and organize the information – Once you have defined the purpose of your database, the next step is to gather the data you intend to store and manage in the database.
- Determine and define the tables needed to store the data. A relational database design comprises of one or more related tables.
- Define primary keys for each of your tables to uniquely identify every record.
- Conduct user interviews to understand the requirements and document your analysis and database design.
- Rework and review your design before you create tables in your database
- Set up relationships among tables: Review each table and determine how a table is related to data in other tables.
- For example: In a Contact Management Database how is Calls Table, storing Call Date and Call Time, related to a table pertaining Address Book entry. Add fields (foreign keys) to tables to define the relationships amongst tables.
- Refine your design and apply normalization rules: Review the database design and apply normalization rules to ensure your tables are structured correctly.
By following these simple steps your developer can ensure a robust database design for your web applications that can scale easily with your business.