Pentapro Services

Database Frequently-Asked Questions

1) WHY DOES MY COMPANY NEED A DATABASE?
A well-designed database is a powerful tool for improving your business by providing required information at fingertips. A database is increasingly becoming an essential tool for doing business as it provides an efficient means of data flow between various personnel and departments. Here are some indicators that a database could be very beneficial. If you do a lot of repetitive data-related tasks. If you keep gathering up the same data over and over. If you have one or more customers (or part numbers, delivery dates, whatever) to keep track manually. Being able to have correct, current customer (part number, schedule, whatever) information right at your fingertips is very important to your ultimate business success. If you have to keep reviewing the same data but in different sequences or order each time.

2) WHAT IS THE COST OF A DATABASE?
In comparison to the great waste of money involved in filing and searching information manually, it is very cost effective to use database to store all the information. The actual cost would depend on the size and complexity of the required database, just as there are many used cars out there that range from free to very expensive depending on the make and model. It all depends on what would be the best.

3) WHY NOT DO IT YOURSELF?
That is an excellent question. Some people do build their own databases. If the database program you need is fairly basic, you could tackle it yourself. You need to allow for the learning time it takes for you to get up to speed in learning database and programming on your own. How hard can it be? Well, the answer depends on how professional you would like the finished product to be, how much money you're willing to spend, and how long you're willing to wait. On the other hand, if your need is fairly complex, you should consider getting professional help. Many projects never do get finished, even after many hours are devoted to them, because they were too much to tackle considering the complexity and the skills needed.

4) SHOULD YOU BUY AN OFF-THE-SHELF DATABASE?
If an off-the-shelf program from a software store will meet your database needs, then by all means, grab it off the shelf. The cost of developing a program that has thousands of users is spread out among those users and is low. The cost of developing a database program for one small set of users is higher per user, of course. Some things to consider in this regard along with the purchase cost is the technical support you anticipate from the developer and the training cost for you and your employees. Are there classes for the off-the-shelf program available locally and what do they cost per attendee? If the off-the-shelf program will not completely work for you, you need to look into creating a database program that will meet all of your particular requirements.

5) ANY BETTER IDEA...?
What we recommend is that you focus on what YOU know BEST, that is your business and WE will handle the technicalities of building a good database. That's what our designers do BEST. Working together, you'll have a better database, in less time, at a lower cost.

6) WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR EXISTING DATA?
If existing data format matches the designed database, your existing data will be incorporated into your new database. Either you or the developer's staff will input your existing data. It needs to be collected carefully from the different files that contain it. With a carefully staged project that is tested and reviewed several times as it is developed, the new database can be relied on by itself.

7) IS YOUR DATABASE APPROPRIATE FOR THE INTERNET?
Of-course! One of the perfect uses for a database on the web is a product catalog. In real time (no mail delay) it presents product names, descriptions, prices, and other product information for all your products that you have for sale. Both you and your customers will save a lot of time using something like this. Look at all the money saved that would formerly have been used to print and mail out product lists and price sheets. And it is cheap, easy, and very fast to make changes.

8) WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE PENTAPRO TECHNOLOGIES?
Because our design techniques are strikingly innovative and effective. And, as importantly, we will work with you to establish a budget before we begin your project and guarantee that we'll stay within it. Professionally developed databases are made consistent throughout. Once you know where something is in one window, then you automatically know where to find the same thing in any similar window. Similar things operate in similar ways. In many other important ways the database is very easy to use. Very little explanation is required to use the database. Most things seem to be very easy to find or figure out. And the different screens do very powerful things for the user. Information is just a click away.

Professionally developed databases are created so that both the inexperienced beginner and the advanced "power user" feel at home. The beginner will be up and running fast and the power user will appreciate the flexibility and speed. Professionally developed databases incorporate your business rules and your way of doing business. This comes from exacting interviews, analyses, and reviews with the customer. They are based on sound data management and sound business management.

Professionally developed databases incorporate the latest computer and software technology.

Pentapro Technologies provides web site development in addition to database development. This would provide consistent looking databases and web based applications. This is especially true when using inexpensive, off-the-shelf Microsoft products such as Access and FrontPage in conjunction with MS Internet Information Server. That will be our approach here.

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