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Databases in the Workplace

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Autor:   •  January 4, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  925 Words (4 Pages)  •  712 Views

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Workplace Database

Organizations use databases to keep maintain various forms of data such as payroll, vacations, inventory, customer information, and various other tasks. Essentially, organizations require databases when data must be maintained, easily retrieved, and categorized. The end user as well must be able to recall and interpret this information. Database management systems are a group of programs that are used as an interface between the database and its users and other application programs. Within the confines of Wallace Publishing, various databases are used extensively throughout.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, where Wallace Publishing maintains its headquarters there are in place multiple databases as there are numerous divisions within the organization. The headquarters alone maintains five main databases, Access, MySQL, SQL Server 2000, DB2, and Oracle.

The Databases

Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) and development environment all in one. Though characteristically workstation-based, and designed for basic use for users with no experience, Access is also functional enough for experienced users. MySQL is the largest server-based open-source relational database management system (RDMBS). According to the website, MySQL is reliable, performance ready and easily deployed, has an independent platform, ready access lock-in by source code, and cross-platform support (MySQL, 2006). SQL Server which is part of the Back Office Suite product is an enterprise class RDBMS. Client based in development, SQL Server is server-based in production (MySQL, 2006). DB2, server-based and enterprise-class as well offers object-oriented functionality and cross-platform compatibility (MySQL, 2006). Finally, Oracle basically mirrors DB2's functionality.

Expansion Capabilities

Access is considered a small DBMS, with a maximum database size of 1 GB; therefore, it has very limited expansion capabilities. MySQL does offer expansion, including clustering capability. MySQL also offers an enterprise-class DBMS through a joint venture with SAP. SQL Server, DB2, and Oracle, since they are all considered enterprise-class DBMS, are highly expandable, with maximum database size into the terabytes (TB). Truly, these databases are at a point where the limit is within the operating system, not the DBMS (Chigrik, 2005).

The Divisions

There are different markets for the different classes of DBMS. Access databases and applications are used company-wide in very small companies, therefore, at Wallace Publishing Access is used in the smaller divisions. These databases can be found in different departments of larger companies, but would not be appropriate at a company level. MySQL, according to their website, has over 6 million installations, including companies like Yahoo and the Associated Press. MySQL would be a good fit for a mid-sized company that cannot afford the price of the higher-end DBMS, but need more functionality, security, and robustness than is offered by Access. MySQL is used by the division dedicated to servicing the governmental agencies (MySQL, 2006). Finally, the large DBMS systems like SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2, which are typically only utilized in large companies, because of the investment required to install and maintain these databases and are used by the divisions serving medical institutions and institutions of higher learning (Chigrik, 2005). Data is duplicated within all of these systems and planned data redundancy was originally expected to be an asset to the company but is now looked at as a liability.

Database Usage

Each of the databases is suited to particular classes of use. Although Access can be used in a multi-user environment, Access is not a good choice when there will be multiple concurrent users, because Access does not have robust transaction process


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