Understand the basics of Database Solutions for your business
Understanding Software Options 

Before you invest in a software solution understand the basics of Database Software. Remember it is not the value of the data recorded; it is the value of the information and how easily it can be readily retrieved.

When shopping for Database Software, make sure it at least meets basic criteria

• A database is an organised collection of data in digital form.

• A database system is a managed level of quality generally in terms of accuracy, usability & availability.

• It allows you to easily migrate from a flat database to a relational database that can provide virtually endless viewing or sorting choices.

• The development of effective database systems requires programmers and developers with skills in various database languages including data definition languages DDL, data manipulation DML and query languages. The most widely supported database language is SQL which has been developed for the relational data model and combines the previously mentioned languages.

• Why do you need a database now? Will it expedite business between users and customers?

• Can it work on hardware that you already have or have thoroughly investigated what new hardware/software may be required?

• Evaluate hidden or not obvious costs.

• Do you want open source or mainstream software? Generically, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. In some cases open source may be an option, the end result is that there are still costs involved if modifications are required. We don’t find many businesses giving away free goods or services without a catch.

• Make a list of features that users who will work with the database need and ensure that there are systems in place to gather or migrate to a new system.
• Seriously analyse the capability of software. There is no question that market leaders have excellent products but alternative options (taking into account your business needs) can be superior and more cost effective long term.

• Consider the cost of preparing definitive specifications compared with the cost of the solution. In the end a specification is not a solution but a cost, but in some cases a necessary requirement.

• It can import/export data to or from commonly used software.

• The use should be intuitive for the primary users.

• It comes with a tutorial and or user training (usually provided in an electronic form).

• Administrators should be able to change, add or delete fields.

• How adaptable is the solution to future environments.