Unit 17 Database Design Concepts

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To give learners opportunities to develop an understanding of the concepts and issues relating to databases and database design as well as the practical skills to translate that understanding into the design and creation of complex databases.

Unit abstract

Databases play an integral part in commercial domains, they provide users with a tool in which to store, model and retrieve data. Database development is fundamental in the area of computing and ICT within organisational contexts. Database Management Systems (DBMS) provide the systems, tools and interfaces by which the organisation can manage their information and use it to assist in the effective running of the organisation. Databases offer many links to other areas such as programming, systems analysis, HCI, as well as embracing issues of compatibility and end-user interfacing. This unit explores database architecture, DBMS and the use of databases in an organizational context. Database design techniques are investigated and successful learners will be able to apply theoretical understanding to design, create and document a database system.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand databases and data management systems

Databases: database architectures; files and record structures; physical and logical views of data; advantages of using databases; reduction of data redundancy; data consistency (validity, accuracy, usability and integrity); independence of data; data sharing possibilities; security; enforcement of standards; database utilities; data dictionaries; query languages; report generators
Databases in an organisational context: database applications; role of the database administrator; key organisational issues eg integrity, security, recovery, concurrency; industry standards eg Microsoft SQL, Oracle, Sybase, dBase
Database Management Systems (DBMS): structures; purposes; features and advantages; applications; methods of data organisation and access

2 Understand database design techniques

Database design methods and methodology: requirements analysis; database designer working with expert in domain development area; requirement specification; logical design eg relational databases, tables; physical design eg data elements, data types, indexes; data analysis and design within systems analysis; database design within a system development methodology
Relational database design: tables, relations, primary/foreign/compound keys; entity relationship modelling; normalisation theory to third normal form

3 Be able to design, create and document databases

Database development cycle: developing logical data model; implementing a physical data model based on the logical data model; testing the physical data model; comparing model with requirements analysis; user interface eg input masks, drop-down lists, option buttons, command buttons
Database software:using appropriate applications software, eg Microsoft Access, SQL; database tools eg create tables, add new rows, alter data, functions, relational database languages
Tools and techniques: field and table design; validation and verification techniques; forms including such features as dropdown lists or check boxes; reports; queries; macros
Documentation: technical documentation; user documentation



Avison D and Fitzgerald G – Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools (McGraw Hill Higher Publishing Company, 2006) ISBN 0077114175
Chao L – Database Development and Management (CRC Press, 2006) ISBN 0849392381
Connolly T and Begg C – Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management (Addison Wesley, 2004) ISBN 0321210255
Howe D – Data Analysis for Database Design (Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd, 2001) ISBN 0750650869
Kroenke D – Database Concepts, 2nd Edition (Prentice Hall, 2004) ISBN 0131451413
Ritchie C – Relational Database Principles (Thomson Learning, 2002) ISBN 0826457134



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