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Database Management System

Essay by review  •  November 29, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  673 Words (3 Pages)  •  973 Views

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Database Analysis

Information is a business's most important asset. That information includes customer records, sales and marketing data, accounts receivable, accounts payable and inventory records. The information system that holds those records is a database.

In our organization, we use many different database platforms ranging in complexity from MS Access to MS SQL and Oracle. For relatively simple databases, usually in use by only one person or a very small department, MS Access has historically been the choice. The problem with MS Access is the size limitations that can become problematic over time. Larger, more complex applications, such as our analytical chromatography system or our Enterprise Resource Planning system utilize Oracle or SQL as their database engine.

An example of an MS Access application in use at our facility is our Plant Equipment Maintenance application, MP2. MP2 is a proprietary solution that is actually riding on an MS Access back end. The MS Access size limitation continues to be an issue for our maintenance department. Once the database reaches an excess of 25MB in size, problems arise. Because we process more than 1000 maintenance records each month, the data must be archived often to protect the database integrity. The retirement plan for this system is to move to an MS SQL database. We've begun our pilot testing of the new application and the target for go live is with the beginning of our next fiscal year, July 1, 2005.

Our chromatography client / server application, Millennium32, resides on an Oracle server. Oracle is an excellent choice for this application as the database must be available 24/7. The jobs that our laboratory instruments write to the database are often 18 hours or longer in duration. We cannot experience any disruptions during the process. Disruptions and down time are unacceptable. Oracle allows one database to be replicated across two or more servers. Additionally, between the clients and the server, we have installed LAC/EM32 boxes - acquisition servers that collect the data from the analytical instruments should network communications become an issue. Once communication with the server has been restored, the data is 'swept' from the LAC/EM32 box to the server.

The primary complaint we have with the Oracle database is in regard to performing backups. Although we have installed the Oracle agent for the Veritas Backup Exec solution, we have found that performing the backup takes the database offline. To resolve that issue, we run a daily script to write

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