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What are Database Dependencies?

Even though database dependencies are common, they are known to confuse students and database professionals. Fortunately, they’re not as complicated as they seem – you just need to get used to working with them. Let’s learn more about database dependencies, why they’re important and the different dependency types to be aware of. 

What are Database Dependencies and Why Do They Matter? 

A database dependency is a constraint that defines the relationship between attributes. It happens when information stored in the same database table uniquely determines other information stored in the same table. It’s important to understand what database dependencies are because they provide the basic building blocks for database normalization. 

Normalization is the process of efficiently organizing data in a database. There are two main objectives with database normalization. The first is to eliminate redundant data and the second is to ensure data dependencies make sense. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of space a database consumes and make sure the data is stored logically. 

What are the Different Types of Database Dependencies? 

Let’s explore some of the most common database dependency types so that you can get a better feel for how they work. 

  • Functional dependency. A functional dependency occurs when the information stored in a table can uniquely determine other information in the same table. Think of it as an association between two attributes of the same relation. 
  • Full functional dependency. A full functional dependency happens when you already meet the requirements for a functional dependency, and the set of attributes on the left side of the functional dependency statement can’t be further reduced. 
  • Trivial functional dependency. When you describe a functional dependency of an attribute on a collection of attributes that include the original attribute, it’s called a trivial functional dependency. It’s called “trivial” because it’s based on common sense. 
  • Transitive dependency. Transitive dependencies occur when there is an indirect relationship that causes a functional dependency. 
  • Multivalued dependency. When one or more rows in a table implies the presence of one or more other rows in the same table, it’s considered a multivalued dependency. 
  • Partial dependency. A partial dependency occurs when a non-prime attribute is functionally dependent on part of the candidate key. 

Arkware is Experienced in Database Dependencies 

Database dependencies can be difficult to understand. Thankfully, you are not left to your own devices. Arkware is a team of experienced database experts who can help you set up and maintain a powerful database. Contact us today to learn more about database dependencies and why they matter to your database. 

 

How to Design a Travel Website Database

The pandemic has put a lot of stress on the travel industry but things are finally starting to look up. Recovery takes time and goes in phases, but the future is bright. According to this article, luxury travel is the fastest growing sector of the travel industry. It’s expected to grow 7.4 percent between 2019 and 2025, reaching $354.7 billion by 2026.

If you’re planning on opening or re-establishing a travel business, having a travel website database is helpful. You can put this database on your website so that people can sign up for your travel services. Below are some tips for designing a database for your travel website

Determine Your Goal 

As database experts, we feel it’s important to jot down a few sentences about what you want your database to accomplish. This way, you can ensure your database meets your goals. 

Brainstorm Your Options

Once you know what your goal is, you can start brainstorming your options. Think about what information you want to include on your travel website. Most websites of this sort include vacations, cruises, hotels, tickets and reservations. All of these words are entities and can become part of your database if you choose to use them. 

Identify Relationships 

The next step is to identify relationships between entities. An identifying relationship is a relationship between two entities – a parent and child. The child entity cannot exist without the parent entity. In this case, a neighborhood would be a ‘child’ of a city, and a city is a ‘child’ of a state. 

Determine Your Entities 

To create a rough sketch of your database, start by drawing boxes on a piece of paper. Write one major entity at the top of each box. For instance, Destination can be a major entity because it serves as a parent to entities like beaches, resorts and islands. 

Review Your Information 

Once you have your boxes filled out, move things around and review your final boxes. This is the foundation for your travel database. The boxes become your tables and the entities in those tables become columns. 

Identify the Primary Keys 

Now it’s time to identify the table’s primary keys, which is an entity that describes each record in the table. Usually, this is the major entity that appears at the top of your table. When specifying primary keys, choose entities that won’t change. If you can’t come up with anything, use an arbitrary number instead. 

Handle One-to-Many Relationships 

One-to-many relationships are the backbone of a relational database. For example, a Client table and Vacation table have a one-to-many relationship because one client can take many vacations. The client becomes the ‘one’ table and vacations become the ‘many’ table. 

Start Building Your Travel Database Today 

With everything in place, you can use a database management system to create a database for your travel website. If you need help building a travel database, contact Arkware today. We can help you design and implement a travel database for your website that allows people to book vacations like cruises and all-inclusive tours. 

 

How to Establish Table Indexes in Databases

Using table indexes allows you to find information within your database faster and more efficiently. The two indexes most commonly used in databases are unique and non-unique. To ensure you’re using the indexes correctly, it’s important to know the difference between the two types of indexes and how to use them in your design. 

What is a Table Index? 

A table index is a method used to sort through information within a database. It functions in the same way as an index in a book does. You look at the index, find what information you need and go directly to it. Easy! 

Table indexes are usually made with one column in a table, but they can also have more than one column. Once your index is established, you can use queries to search for information. 

If your database is small, you might not miss having an index. But as your database grows, you’ll likely need one to speed up data retrieval. 

Unique vs Non-Unique Indexes 

The two most common indexes are unique and non-unique. A unique index ensures that the values in the index key columns are unique. It also guarantees that no duplicate values are inserted into the columns.

A non-unique index is when the indexed column has duplicate values. Generally speaking, you’ll use this type of index when linking or joining a table to a second table to return multiple results. 

When to Use Indexes 

Indexes give you quick access to the information you need in your database without having to look through every item. Unfortunately, they do come with a cost to performance. This is why you don’t want to overdo it and index each and every column. Instead, it’s best to use indexes on columns that are referenced in your queries. 

Let’s cover some pros and cons to using indexes in your database.

Pros: 

  • See better performance when using them in queries 
  • Easily retrieve the data you need – great for large databases 
  • Use them for sorting and avoid a post-fetch-sort operation 
  • Get uniquely identifiable records with a unique index 

Cons: 

  • Decreased performance on inserts, updates and deletes
  • Stored on disks with the potential to take up unnecessary space 

Bottom line: Only create indexes when you really need them. 

Arkware’s database experts can help you identify where to use table indexes and how to establish them. Contact us today for all of your questions and concerns, or let us build an efficient database that contains the right amount of table indexes.

What are the Benefits of Having a Sales Database?

A sales database is a software program used to store information about prospects and customers. Thanks to these databases, there are many opportunities for businesses to optimize their sales relationships and reach more success. But in order to see results from your sales database, you must have a reliable platform that is easy to use. 

Thankfully, Microsoft Access offers various templates for sales databases. You can choose from one of them or request a database company to build one for you. Even though this is more expensive than using a built-in template from Access, you can ensure your database has everything you need. 

Let’s learn more about the benefits of having a sales database and how to start a new one using MS Access. 

Benefits of Having a Sales Database 

Sales databases can store past, present and future information on customers. This information may include things like addresses, phone numbers and emails, as well as personal notes regarding each person’s preferences. Here are some benefits of having this type of database: 

  • Retain customer details. Take notes after each interaction with your customer. This way, you’ll have key information about their wants and needs, allowing you to deliver a higher quality of service. 
  • Schedule meetings. Sales databases let you set up schedules for your customers. You can make note of the meeting times and schedule reminders for new meetings. This helps you keep in contact with your customers. 
  • Target customers. With a sales database, you can turn customer contact profiles into direct-mail or email campaigns. Your customers can be put into your communication cycles so they receive regular contact from your business. 
  • Increase sales. Having a database allows you to record customer data and access it whenever you need. This ultimately leads to optimized sales and profitability. Plus, you can track purchases to recommend new products or upgrades. 

How to Get Started with a Sales Database 

If you have Microsoft Access, you can get started with a sales database right away. Choose from one of the pre-existing templates or have a database built for you by a database expert like Arkware. If you do choose to create your own sales database, here are some tips to follow: 

  • Open Access, scroll down to the right side and review the prebuilt templates. If you’ve already been using Access, choose File – New to create a new database. 
  • Choose your template. There are paid and free versions available. You may need to pay for a template to get the features you need. 
  • Name your database and choose the folder you want to store it in. 
  • Hit create and start customizing your database to your needs. 

Certainly, this is a very broad description of how to create a sales database, but it gives you an idea of the steps to take. Whether you need assistance or you want to have a database built for you, contact Arkware for a consultation.

 

How to Make an Inventory Database in Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access makes it easy to build an inventory database to keep track of your inventory numbers. Thankfully, there are prebuilt inventory databases to take advantage of. Templates save time and money, but it’s possible that you might not find what you need. If this is the case, you can purchase a premium template or hire a database company like Arkware to build one for you. 

If you’d like to try and build your own inventory database, here are the steps to follow. 

Consider the needs of your business. 

Before creating a database, think about what it will need to be useful for your business. Consider who will be using the database and plan accordingly. This means you’ll need to brainstorm what aspects of inventory are most important such as part or product names, quantities, vendors, locations, etc. 

Also determine how to implement your inventory database, such as by using an SaaS or cloud product. You’ll also want to consider how your MS database will interact with other programs. Your IT staff should be able to provide this information to you. 

Create your database.  

Once Microsoft Access is installed on your computer, you can get to work creating your database. You can create your own database or choose a template like the Goods web database that lets you manage inventory, ship effectively and cut costs. If this template fits your needs, you can save a lot of time using it. All you have to do is enter the following: 

  • Company information
  • Employee information
  • Products, categories and suppliers
  • Inventory levels
  • Orders 

If you plan on creating your own database, start with a blank database. You can add fields, tables or application parts like ‘units ordered’ or ‘units received.’ You can also create queries, forms, reports or macros. Once the database is set up, you’ll need to move data into your database by entering, pasting or importing the information. 

Fine tune your database to fit your needs.

Whether you use a template or build a database from scratch, you’ll need to fine tune it according to your notes. Link or establish relationships between the fields and determine which values you’ll need to have returned when using the database. Also create a way to store these values. This will help you avoid duplicate data in multiple fields. 

The final step is to populate your inventory database with information. You might also want to use additional technologies to structure queries for databases. If you decide to do this, we recommend delegating this work to a database expert. This way, you can ensure everything is set up appropriately. 

Schedule a Consultation with Arkware

Arkware can help you build an inventory database that will help your business run efficiently. Contact us today for a consultation and let’s chat about your new database and what you hope to see from it.