I use OneNote a lot to organize my notes and diagrams. One trick I use when thinking and writing about my specifications is to state everything as if the project were complete. Some years ago I developed a couple of templates for guiding my discussions with clients in the early planning stages. I'd be happy to share them with you if you think they might be helpful.
You and I seem to be in agreement. Now, how to accomplish this feat of daring?
There are a lot of Word and Visio templates out there to document what you did and why but they are after the fact. Do you just use a greaseboard to write everything out or is there something more structured?
In my not so humble opinion, proper planning and designing is far more important than the actual construction (tables, etc.) of the database itself. Jumping in and starting to create the tables before having a comprehensive design based on a detailed needs analysis, is an open invitation to a time consuming exercise in frustration. A colleague of mine at UA has a signature line that goes something like this, shortcuts lead to long delays.
The 80/20 rule is as relevant here as it is elsewhere. Development should be roughly 80% planning, and 20% implementation. The planning component include needs analysis and data analysis. With thorough planning, data definition virtually becomes child's play.
The same goes to developing the user interface (frontend).
I know Crystal has a killer tool for documenting a database that already exists but this is about a green field database. ....starting from scratch.
When one of you pros start designing a new database for a client, do you start by writing up the design (tables, fields, field properties, FKS and relationships to other tables, field comments, etc) or do you just start setting up a dummy set of tables?
Same question for queries, forms, and reports.
Posted by: "Glenn Lloyd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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