The Relationship between the Systems Life Cycle and Database Systems

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The Relationship between the Systems Life Cycle and Database Systems



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Database system is a combination of data model, database and database management system (Marakas et al, 2010). This system is responsible for data retrieval, data maintenance, data controlling and data definition.  Development of a database system follows a lifecycle consisting of the following main stages: database planning, system definition, requirements collection and analysis, database design, application design, implementation, data conversion and loading, testing and operational maintenance (Marakas et al, 2010). All these stages contribute immensely to the development of an efficient and effective database system. This paper examines the relationship between system life cycle and database systems. To achieve this end, the paper examines the importance of integrating a life cycle into the plan for developing a database system and the importance of system definition in enhancing development of an efficient and effective database system and explores the database for knowledge management for National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), an Indian power generation company.

Importance of systems lifecycle in plan for database development

As Moon et al (2003) explain, system life cycle stages serve as a guide to database development activities and provide a consistent and flexible way to develop effective systems. For instance, database planning stage involves various management activities that allow subsequent stages of database development lifecycle to be realized in the most efficient and effective way. During this stage, the mission statement of a database system project is created. Specifically, the main aims of the project are defined in this stage. As Moon et al (2003) explain, a mission statement clarifies the purpose of the database project and provides a clear path that leads to creation of an efficient and effective database system. Once this is done the objectives of developing the database project are defined. According to Moon et al (2003), the objectives defined during this stage identify particular tasks that should be supported by the database. The objectives should also identify additional information that needs to be considered, the resources required to complete the project and the source of funding. According to Blanchard and Fabrycky (2006), development standards that govern how design and implementation should be carried out, how the required data should be collected, the necessary documentation that will be required and how format should be specified are also developed during the planning stage. Generally, the planning phase is essential in the development of an effective and efficient database and should not be left out.

Figure 1: Boundary for database system of Stay Home online case study

Source: Khan (2011)

Importance of System definition

A system definition refers to the description of scope and boundaries of a database system and the views of the major users. Further, it describes how the database system is compatible with and how it will interface with other information systems within an organization.  As Suh and Lippiatt (2012) explain, the views of the users define the requirements for the database system from the perspective of a business application area (such as personnel, marketing or stock control) or a particular job (such as supervisor or manager). A database system may have one or more users and as Frischknecht and Rebitzer (2005) assert, identifying their views helps to ensure that no major users are forgotten during when incorporating key requirements for new application. The views of the users also help in ensuring that the needs of the users are taken into account. This supports adoption process of the new system in an organization. Also, these views can help in development of a complex database system since it allows splitting of requirements into manageable pieces.

Figure 2: A database system with multiple users

Source: Khan (2011)

NTPC Database for Knowledge Management

NTPC is the largest Indian power generation company and one of the largest and most efficient power companies in the world. Established in 1975, this company has diversified into power, equipment manufacturing, hydropower, power trading and distribution, coal mining and oil and gas exploration (Alok et al, 2010, p. 391). In 2004, this company conducted an assessment of its knowledge management system, in consultation with AT Kearney Company. Based on the results of the assessment and the recommendations made, NTPC decided to implement a new and relatively more effective databa.............

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