Adatabase management system (DBMS) is a software program used tocreate and manage databases. It provides its users with a systematicway of creating, updating, managing and retrieving data. Thus, itserves as an interface between its users and the database whileensuring that data is consistently organized and accessible. Itallows data to be accessed, locked and modified providing security,concurrency, and data integrity. It is a valuable resource since itcan provide and store associated information in one place, andfurther, allow the users to connect various dissimilar itemstogether.
Generally,a database management system provides a centralized assessment ofdata which is accessible by multiple users at different locations andin a controllable manner. The data handlers do not need the knowledgeof where the actual physical documents are located or stored. Databases can offer both the physical and logical data independencemeaning that they can protect the users and the applications from theneed to know where data is stored. Additionally, users do not have tobe concerned about changes to the physical structure of data. Databases have a variety of applications in our modern society andfor this paper, I will discuss a database design for a shippingcompany.
Thedatabase will be used by the employees of the company in thedifferent departments with administrators being the respective headsof department. It will dwell on MS Access database. The companyemploys the database to keep records concerning the details of goodsbeing received by the shipping line, planned shipping schedulesinwards and outwards as well as employee records.
Featuresand Usage of the System
Microsoftaccess has different features that can be applied to meet a varietyof database needs. When logging into the software, it gives the userthe features for asset management, contacts, issues, events,marketing projects, projects, sales pipeline, tasks, faculty, andstudents. By having these features, it allows the database to beapplied in various tasks and at different levels. Thus the MS Accesssystem can be used to run Personal applications, Small-businessapplications, Departmental applications, corporate applications,Front end applications that are for client/server databases, and Webapplications. The data involved is stored in Microsoft Access tableswhich are a mini spreadsheet used to store one type of data. Thetables have different fields which can be set up to allow or preventusers from entering certain information [ CITATION EDU16 l 1033 ].
MicrosoftAccess is quite useful to the shipping industries. It is used as agoods web database template that assists in tracking invoices,orders, products, inventory, and other relevant informationassociated with running a successful shipping line [ CITATION Ras10 l 1033 ].
Theasset feature can be used to track assets such as computers,equipment, stationery, furniture, ships, and any other physical itemsowned or maintained by the shipping company. The feature simplifiesthe process of asset tracking and tagging that is essential. Moreimportantly, it enables for reliable accounting within the company.
TheAccess Contact feature can be used to track the names, addresses,phone numbers, email addresses and other information for particularindividuals, organizations, and groups. The feature also allows forthe categorization of the contact list into desirable groups. Assuch, contacts for the company employees, suppliers, lenders, andclients are easily maintained and accessed due to the categoricalclassification.
MSAccess has an events feature which allows users to plan for futureactivities that are integral to a shipping company. This is becauseproper planning is essential to ensure the smooth running of thecompany`s operations and avoiding any possible clash of activities.
Thesystem also has a sales pipeline which is a feature that allowsclients to create a goods web. This web is essential to planactivities. Additionally, the supply and receipts of goods fromvarious destinations is its core business.
Themarketing project feature of the system is also essential as it helpsthe company to develop an appropriate marketing strategy.
Impactof the System
Useof Microsoft access database benefits the shipping company in variousways. Chief among them is storage of data. It efficiently containswide-ranging data in a single table or worksheet. It also enablesstorage of more complex data such as customer lists containingshipping and billing addresses for each client and the multiplecontact persons. By using the database, paperwork needed isminimized. Apart from that, it saves on the floor space as there isno need to keep huge cabinets for record keeping. The disadvantagehere is that backup services need to be maintained to prevent totalloss of information in case the computer having the database is lostor destroyed.
MicrosoftAccess can also be used by the registry department of the company toconnect data from different external sources. This enables the usersto view, inquire, and edit the information without necessarilyimporting it from the respective sources. This saves on the timerequired to input the necessary data to generate the accuratereports. Sharing of data is done through the Microsoft WindowsSharePoint Services technologies.
Accesscan also be utilized in collaborative areas like network sharingfiles and Windows SharePoint Amenities enabling multiple users toview the same document at the same time. Usually, Microsoft Accessallows multiple users to open one database at a time. Such acriterion works well since Access locks the data being edited.Therefore, the rest of the users can manipulate other records withoutexperiencing any conflicts. The disadvantage of this feature is thatmultiple changes to the data are done by the various users atdifferent times. In addition to that, with many users at a particulartime, the database will quickly get overburdened given the limiteddata support provided by the system.
Forsecurity purpose of the details regarding transactions, shipments,and orders, features such as passwords and document encryption areavailable to MS Access, which can be used to avoid data lossunauthorized access. Also, the database program allows the users torestrict access to private data by enabling the hiding of rows andcolumns of data. Furthermore, restriction of the entire worksheet tospecific user access is possible. Apart from shielding worksheets andtheir elements from unauthorized access, a user can lock and unlockcells preventing others from intentionally or unintentionallymodifying some critical data. Digital signatures can also be used toprotect a database workbook. The limitation to this feature is thatin cases of absence of the individual having full access to thedatabase, work in the organization will stop or drag behind till suchrestrictions are overcome.
Anotheradvantage of Microsoft Access is that the users’ work iscontinuously saved to prevent loss in case of unexpected events andfailures. However, due to this auto-save feature, at times editedchanges may reappear reducing the reliability of the data.
Accesssystems are also extremely adaptable and explicable that in cases ofneeded change, the application handles enhancements and modificationswithout problems. It was built for flexibility.
Despitethe hugely beneficial impact on the database, MS Access databases maybe corrupted or damaged by hardware failures or at time softwareproblems. Without sufficient protection of the database from theseconcerns, the databases will be unreliable.
Microsoftaccess database is quite helpful in many companies. It contains avariety of features that are vital in database management. It can beutilized to simplify various tasks either by an individual or by acompany through customization to fit the specific needs. The mostlimiting attribute of MS Access the scope of operation. In otherwords, it cannot be utilized in a large company since as the numberof users increase, performance becomes slow and inefficient.
Abed, R. R. (2010). DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF DATABASE SHIPPING PRODUCTIVITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Journal of Naval Science and Engineering , 55-75.
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Learn iT. (2013, November 18). Know The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Microsoft Access. Retrieved from Know The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Microsoft Access: http://learnitanytime.com/4031/know-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-microsoft-access-2/
Software-matters. (2016). Benefits of using Microsoft Access. Retrieved from Benefits of using Microsoft Access: http://www.software-matters.co.uk/microsoft-access-benefits.html