In my latest eBook on how to build a Microsoft Access database, I cover a section about planning your database before developers should delve in and implement. Before they know it, it’s too late when they realise how off track they are and now left with potentially a reversing and undoing exercise!
So, to get started on the right track, here’s an extract for your reference…
Reverse Engineering? I’m often asked How do you design a good database? My simple answer, IReverse engineer it!
It is a technique that I have used many times and it works very well for me. The process to a good database design has nothing to do with Microsoft Access or any other database application.
The methodologies I’ve come across over the years leave me with a lot of questions about “Do the methodologies often discussed really justify the end result?”
The amount of time and complexity of the techniques in database methodologies and system analysis is sometimes a huge overhead of your time and the theories are sometimes questionable – it may work for others and that’s great!
So here’s how I start the Reverse Engineering process…
Planning a database can (more so for newbie’s) send you up the wall! But if you spend some time making a task list of the steps that will be needed when you start building your database, checking each item when completed, this will be a good start and will keep you focused.
But hey, even before you type a single character on that keyboard and build your first table, the following process is a pen and paper exercise (or a text editor on your computer) and there is no requirement to even start up Access at this point.
Remember, Access is a tool for database management and it’s there to serve as a tool for your processes and not dictate to you how to run your business. So, this article talks about your processes and how it will fit into a structured database.
I have a 7 step ‘reverse engineering’ plan as shown below:
In fact, the first five steps are critical as they will determine and ultimately define the ‘back-end’ database system. The remaining two steps handle the ‘front-end’ database system and in some cases, are never considered as users may only wish to work with the ‘back-end’.
Take a look at my eBook How To Build an Access Database to drill into the finer detail and avoid that all embarrassing ‘pear-shaped’ database.