Database Development Methodology

At ISG we believe that effective database development is a function of a strong database design and the associated project plan. Database application development can be complex but it isn’t impossible. The secret to successful database development lies in the planning, preparation, and documentation for the project. Our database services team can help you plan your next custom database software project. ISG database development projects include the following components:

Project objectives: The key to any successful database development project is the definition of requirements. ISG business analysts work directly with client stakeholders, user groups, and domain knowledge experts to extract and document the precise objectives for the project. These objectives become the foundation for the database design components to follow.

Use cases: ISG database consultants and business analysts work directly with the client to define the software requirements and user interactions. Depending upon the database development methodology selected, UML or other design documents provide concise development detail and subsequent enterprise documentation. These activity documents are carefully reviewed with the client to insure a detailed understanding of actual operational requirements, and ultimately become a part of the database application development documentation package.

Database model: Our database designers and database architects document data requirements to define the data dictionary and resulting database model including a database schema. Careful consideration is given to performance and reliability issues. We normally advocate server side processing (stored procedures and triggers) for improved database performance except in cases where new data handling techniques offer additional processing advantages. Database normalization is also an important feature of ISG database development projects and is included on all database projects.

User interface design: Custom smart client and web database development projects normally address complex business issues and solutions are sometimes difficult to visualize. To assist with visualization, and for use as an active discussion tool, ISG typically provides software interface designs including wire frames and sample screens to help the client understand the look and feel of the software prior to development. Upon approval, these artifacts become an integral part of the project documentation package.

Software development plan: All ISG projects involve a development plan. This plan includes the software requirements, interface requirements definitions, hardware and software environment requirements, and software development methodology rules. ISG also invokes strict development standards

Project management: ISG initiates all projects with a defined statement of work and project plan. Project details are loaded into Microsoft Project and ISG personnel charge their time against authorized project tasks. Future plans call for direct client access to project details and performance measurement data.

Test plan: ISG establishes test criteria based upon the detailed software development requirements and use case analysis. Database development tests include unit testing, alpha testing, and beta testing. Future plans involve the implementation of automated testing driven by software specifications.

Implementation and training plan: Our software development projects don’t end when development is complete. We also work with our clients to implement the software and train their users, further enhancing the success of the project. In most cases we also maintain a local (ISG) development environment which also serves as a disaster recovery site for the client’s custom database software project.

ISG database development services currently include MSSQL database development, MYSQL database development, Oracle database development, and Access database development. We also service others, so if you don’t see your environment listed, please contact us for more information about our database development methodology. Our developers have many years of experience and can help you improve the operating performance of your business.