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Download Our New Construction Job Management Template for MS Access

Databases are a useful tool for construction companies. By using a database, businesses that work in construction can take a proactive approach to data collection and management. This way, they can have the edge over their competitors, ensuring they take advantage of every available opportunity. 

If you work in the construction industry and are looking for cost-effective database solutions, look no further than Arkware. We are offering our clients a free Microsoft Access Construction Job Management template to help track customers and construction jobs. Let’s learn more about the benefits of using a database and what to expect from our FREE template! 

Importance of Databases in the Construction Industry 

One of the hardest parts about working in the construction industry is the competition. The construction industry faces tough competition when it comes to securing contracts. But without contracts, you can’t reach your goals, so it’s important to manage your resources with care. This is where a database management tool becomes especially important. 

The benefits to having a database include:

  • Manage current and upcoming construction projects, including cost 
  • Store the names of construction companies, vendors and subcontractors 
  • Make predictions about how conditions may change in the future, such as weather, timelines and schedules
  • Oversee when materials are expected to be delivered 
  • Track productivity to attract and retain top talent 
  • Manage disputes and complaints involving your company 

Why Choose Arkware’s Construction Job Management Template 

Arkware is a leader in database programming, and we’re pleased to offer a free database template that can be used by any size organization in the construction industry. It is a full, working template that is simple and easy to modify. We made sure to provide clients with a comfortable layout, easy navigation and buttons to activate a number of built-in features. 

The features that are included with this template include: 

  • Customer tracking 
  • Job management tracking
  • Customer and work order search 
  • Job tracking estimator 
  • Assign crews to jobs 
  • Payments and customer statements 
  • Contract revenue and invoice reports 
  • And much more! 

To obtain your free copy of our Construction Job Management template, visit this page or get in touch with Arkware at 877-519-4537. We look forward to helping your construction company stay organized, remain competitive and increase profits!  


Data Partitioning for Large-Scale Applications

In many large applications, data is divided into ‘partitions’ that can be managed separately. Partitioning can optimize performance and improve scalability, which is why database administrators choose it. However, the partition strategy must be chosen carefully to maximize the benefits and reduce the risk for adverse effects. 

Let’s learn more about what it means to partition data and the different design strategies to choose from. 

Why Partition Data? 

Partitioning data is the technique of distributing data across multiple tables. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to partition your own data. 

  • Improve scalability. When you scale up your database, you’ll eventually reach your hardware limit. By partitioning data, you can scale out your system almost indefinitely because each partition is hosted on a separate server.
  • Enhance performance. Data spread across partitions covers a smaller volume of data. This can make your system more efficient. Even operations that affect multiple partitions can be run simultaneously. 
  • Increase security. Partitions give you the option to separate sensitive and non-sensitive data into different sections. You can then apply different security controls to each.
  • Greater flexibility. You have a lot more options when you partition your data. You can maximize administrative efficiency, minimize cost and define strategies for backup and restoration. 
  • Improve availability. Separating data across multiple servers gives you greater availability. If one partition is unavailable, you can still access data on the other partitions. 

What are the Options for Designing Partitions 

When it comes to partitioning data, there are three main methods: 

  • Horizontal partitioning. With horizontal partitioning, also known as sharding, each partition is a separate data store, but they all have the same schema. 
  • Vertical partitioning. In this strategy, each partition holds a subset of the fields for items in the data store. The fields are separated based on their pattern of use. 
  • Functional partitioning. This strategy aggregates data based on how it is used by each bounded context in the system. For example, an online shop might store invoice data in one partition and customer information in another. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose just one partition strategy – you can combine them all. To determine which partitioning strategy is right for you, contact Arkware today. We can help you answer this question and consider all options when designing a partitioning scheme.

What is Database Sharding?

Any custom database application that sees significant growth will eventually need to scale in order to handle an increase in traffic. It’s important that this is done in a way that protects the integrity and security of the data. For this reason, many database management companies recommend sharding. 

Sharded databases have received a lot of attention in recent years, but this doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. In this article, we’ll go into greater detail regarding sharded databases so that you can have a clear idea of what they are and if they’re right for your organization. 

What is Sharding? 

Sharding is a database architecture pattern that’s similar to horizontal partitioning, which is the practice of separating one table’s rows into multiple different tables. These tables are known as ‘partitions.’ Each partition has the same schema and columns, but entirely different rows. The data contained in each row is unique and independent of the data contained in other partitions. 

The purpose of sharding is to break data up into smaller chunks. This way, your application can make fewer queries. For instance, when your database receives a request, the application will know where to send the request. It has far less data to look through because it doesn’t have to go through the whole database. 

Sharding Architectures 

There are a few different ways you can shard your database. It’s important that everything is set up correctly, as you want your queries to go to the correct shard. Otherwise, you could end up with slow queries and lost data. 

Key based sharding 

Key based sharding uses a value taken from newly written data and plugs it into a ‘hash function’ to determine which shard the data should go to. This method is common and can protect data from uneven distribution. 

Range based sharding 

Range based sharding involves sharding data based on ranges of a given value. It’s simple to implement, but it doesn’t protect data from being distributed unevenly. 

Directory based sharding 

Directory based sharding requires you to create and maintain a ‘lookup table’ to keep track of which shard holds which data. The benefit to this method is that it’s flexible. 

Database sharding can be a great solution if you’re looking to scale your database horizontally. To learn more about sharding, if it’s right for you and the best architecture to use, contact Arkware today


World Backup Day: 4 Interesting Data Loss Facts to Know

World Backup Day is observed every year on the last day of March. Even though you should be backing up your files all the time – not just on World Backup Day – this day starts the conversation regarding the importance of backing up your data. 

In today’s security landscape, there are more threats to data than ever before. Between corruption, malware and cyberattacks from cyber criminals, hardware and human failure, businesses and organizations must be proactive with their security, not reactive. 

In observance of World Backup Day, here are four interesting facts you need to know. 

1. You may already have a virus on your computer. 

Most people assume that an attack could never happen to them, but it only takes a second for this to change. Consider that 29% of data loss cases are caused by accident, 30% of computers are already infected with malware and 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute. 

If you wait until something happens to react, it’s going to be too late. Be proactive by backing up your data and putting security measures in place. Your customers, your employees and your organization’s livelihood depend on it. 

2. There is no single way to backup your data. 

There is no one ‘right’ way to backup your data. You can use online backup services, an external hard drive, a computer backup, etc. Find a system that works for you and stick with it. If you do choose to backup your data to a physical location like a hard drive, make sure it’s stored properly. 

Microsoft Access makes it easy to backup your database. Simply follow the instructions and you can choose where to save your backup. We also recommend encrypting your database, though this is not enough on its own.

3. 40% of small businesses won’t reopen after data loss. 

It’s a grim finding – 40% of small businesses do not reopen following a disaster, and another 25% fail within one year. Certainly, you do not want the same future for your business. Protect your livelihood by backing up your data regularly. If there is human error or hardware failure, you can revert back to the original data and avoid a costly disaster. 

4. Hardware failure and human error are the main causes of data loss. 

Even though cyber attacks are on the rise, the two main causes of data loss are hardware failure and human error. Hardware accounts for about 35-40% of data loss, while human error is responsible for another 29%. The solution is simple: backup your data to protect your business or organization from financial and security risks. 

Backing up your data is an important part of working with complex information. To discuss your backup options and how to keep your data safe, contact Arkware today.


Organize Your Home Office for Increased Productivity

This year, National Organize Your Home Office Day is held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. This is an important day to remember because more people are working from home as a result of the pandemic. This recent article shares that nearly half of full-time employees are working remotely at least some of the time, and 9 in 10 workers want to maintain remote work to some degree. 

However, there are unique challenges to working at home that can affect your productivity, such as blurred work-life boundaries, technical challenges, distractions in the home and a lack of motivation. Fortunately, you can improve all of these challenges by setting up a clean and organized work space. 

What is National Organize Your Home Office Day? 

National Organize Your Home Office Day is observed every year on the second Tuesday of March. It’s a day to clean up the mess that has accumulated in your office over the years, with the goal of creating a productive and healthy working environment. 

The majority of us have been used to working at home since the pandemic, and many of us want to keep it this way. But in order to stay focused and productive, you’ll need an adequate work space that is free from distraction. And this is what National Organize Your Home Office Day intends to do!

What are the Benefits of Working in a Clean Space? 

Having a home office may not be a big deal, but keeping it clean and organized is. No matter how small your space is, here are some benefits to keeping it tidy. 

  • Improved mental health. Decluttering your space can help you feel less stressed and anxious. You’ll know where everything is, helping you work more confidently and effectively.
  • Better work-life balance. If you set up a designated work space, you can better manage your work-life balance. You’ll have a better handle on your schedule, and when your working hours are up, you can shut the door (or close off the space) and be with your family.
  • Stay on track. When you’re misplacing invoices or losing important files, it’s hard to be an efficient, productive worker. And, you could compromise data and put your business at risk. Staying organized prevents this from happening. 

How Can You Organize Your Home Office for Productivity? 

If your home office is collecting piles of dust, here’s how to turn things around for the better! 

  • Declutter your space. Home offices often become the dumping grounds for things that don’t have a home. Go through all the clutter and decide if you want to keep it or not. Hold onto bank statements and utility bills for about 1 year, or switch to paperless. 
  • Clean all surfaces. With everything in its place, it’s time to clean all surfaces. Dust light fixtures, book cases, shelves, pictures, etc. and wipe down your desk, office chair and electronics. 
  • Organize cords and chargers. Not only can cords and chargers get tangled, but also they look messy. Purchase clips or zip ties to keep wires neat and organized. 
  • Take inventory. Go through your home office supplies and take note of what you need. You may even benefit from some useful gadgets to help you stay organized, such as drawer dividers or a bulletin board for important notes. 

Once you take the time to clean your home office, you’ll feel more confident and ready to take on new challenges!