When is the database be called "functional"? (1 Viewer)

moi

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Hello all,

As a newbie, may i ask when is the database be called functional, what are those minimum objects, features available?.

I ask this because my boss asked me, is your project now functional and can be installed now?.

Thank you,
 

Gasman

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When it does what it was created for?
I would doubt yours is, just because of the short time you have been here?
Unless it was a very simple DB.
 
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The_Doc_Man

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My answer won't help you in the immediate question but it is an answer you need to know anyway for future reference.

ANY database project (actually ANY project that MAKES something that someone else will use) should have some kind of design document in which you analyze the problem, lay out a plan of attack, list clear project milestones, and specify abilities that would let you define readiness. If you didn't define readiness criteria up front, you cannot answer the question with any certainty and WE can NEVER define readiness for you. Readiness for user consumption means that it will do what it was supposed to do X% of the time. (What was it supposed to do again? Oh, we didn't write that down. I guess we don't know if we are ready or not.)

This isn't meant to be a rude response, though. It is more a response to drive home the point that we can never answer that question. Only YOU can decide (or could have decided) whether project ABC is functionally ready for the real world. We know principles. YOU know your project. But readiness is not a principle. It is a quantified list of abilities to respond to expected situations, anticipated inputs, hypothetical report requests, etc. You make a list of what you wanted to be able to do, then check off items on the list. Mark the critical items specially. Add a couple of more like "Won't crash out from underneath a user just after a two-hour input session without saving data." and "Won't give wrong answers to legit questions."

I'll answer a related question that you didn't ask but should have, because it is the only generic answer anyone can give you. When is a given project (Database, program, piece of engineering, building, ...) complete? Answer: On the day that no one is still using it and no one will in the future use it. Until then, you are never done. You might be in a slow spot but you are never done with a "live" program.
 
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moi

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My answer won't help you in the immediate question but it is an answer you need to know anyway for future reference.

ANY database project (actually ANY project that MAKES something that someone else will use) should have some kind of design document in which you analyze the problem, lay out a plan of attack, list clear project milestones, and specify abilities that would let you define readiness. If you didn't define readiness criteria up front, you cannot answer the question with any certainty and WE can NEVER define readiness for you. Readiness for user consumption means that it will do what it was supposed to do X% of the time. (What was it supposed to do again? Oh, we didn't write that down. I guess we don't know if we are ready or not.)

This isn't meant to be a rude response, though. It is more a response to drive home the point that we can never answer that question. Only YOU can decide (or could have decided) whether project ABC is functionally ready for the real world. We know principles. YOU know your project. But readiness is not a principle. It is a quantified list of abilities to respond to expected situations, anticipated inputs, hypothetical report requests, etc. You make a list of what you wanted to be able to do, then check off items on the list. Mark the critical items specially. Add a couple of more like "Won't crash out from underneath a user just after a two-hour input session without saving data." and "Won't give wrong answers to legit questions."

I'll answer a related question that you didn't ask but should have, because it is the only generic answer anyone can give you. When is a given project (Database, program, piece of engineering, building, ...) complete? Answer: On the day that no one is still using it and no one will in the future use it. Until then, you are never done. You might be in a slow spot but you are never done with a "live" program.
Thanks the-doc-man.. you gave me a point to start how to answer the boss..
 

moi

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When it does what it was created for?
I would doubt yours is, just because of the short time you have been here?
Unless it was a very simple DB.
Hi Gasman,

Yes it is a simple DB.. record the buyers of a piece of land (lot), record their payments, monitor their balances, monitor the available and sold lots in every location..
 

Gasman

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Hi Gasman,

Yes it is a simple DB.. record the buyers of a piece of land (lot), record their payments, monitor their balances, monitor the available and sold lots in every location..
Well I would still say, does it answer every question that could be asked of it. It might likely answer the few questions you have of it now, but more will come in the future and amendments/enhancements will be made.
 

moi

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Well I would still say, does it answer every question that could be asked of it. It might likely answer the few questions you have of it now, but more will come in the future and amendments/enhancements will be made.
Thanks Gasman..
 

NauticalGent

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When asked this question before, I offered to demo (demonstrate) the work I had done so far. We kept it to just me and her and she was satisfied that progress was being made and it gave her a chance to ask for other features and discard ones that she had asked for and decided she didn't want anymore.

Too many demos can hinder progress, but they do have their uses...
 
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moi

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When asked this question before, I offered to demo (demonstrate) the work I had done so far. We kept it to just me and her and she was satisfied that progress was being made and it gave her a chance to ask for other features and discard ones that she had asked for and decided she didn't want anymore.

Too many demos can hinder progress, but they do have their uses...
Thanks..
 

Pat Hartman

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Most of my projects would be classified as "Agile". You pick the smallest core set of deliverables that provides some usable functionality and start with that and deliver it. Then you add features as they are coded and tested. Make sure your database is split properly and you have an install procedure in place so that the delivery of updates can be automated.
 
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moi

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Most of my projects would be classified as "Agile". You pick the smallest core set of deliverables that provides some usable functionality and start with that and deliver it. Then you add features as they are coded and tested. Make sure your database is split properly and you have an install procedure in place so that the delivery of updates can be automated.
Hi Pat,
Thank you.. As of now, my install / update is only "copy - paste - replace". Can you please guide me to make the install - update automated.
 

Gasman

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Hi Pat,
Thank you.. As of now, my install / update is only "copy - paste - replace". Can you please guide me to make the install - update automated.
Search here. That has been asked many times.
The easiest is just to copy the master every time they start the DB.
Another way is to copy only when the version changes. That is the way I have prefer, and have done it that way, but it is much more complicated to set up.
 

tvanstiphout

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In my book, "functional" includes more than the bare minimum of "doing what was asked for", which you defined as "record the buyers of a piece of land (lot), record their payments, monitor their balances, monitor the available and sold lots in every location."
Some additional items include:
1. A correct database design, with quality markers such as primary keys, enforced relationships, required fields, unique indexes, correct data types, correct default values. Split database (FE, BE).
2. Decent VBA code adhering to best practices such as Option Explicit, modularization, correct scope of procedures and variables, correct data types being used, validation of user input, error handling, version number.
3. Completion of unit testing (by developer) and beta testing (by subject matter experts).
4. Source code repository, so the company can protect its intellectual property.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Tom, you are absolutely not wrong. However, a good "project design document" (or whatever you might want to call it) would specify unit testing including pass/fail criteria when that test is executed. It would show preferred naming conventions AND would provide preferred names for real-world objects as represented in the project. If relationships are to be used at all, then the document would specify them.

The idea of a source-code repository has merit but that kind of investment requires a buy-in from management since most source-code manager packages ain't free. Further, since Access is targeted for a small-business environment, getting management to buy in on the extra hours required can be a pain. I know because before I was with the Navy for a while, two prior employers qualified as "small business." Getting management to "do things right" was as hard as pulling hen's teeth. You'd think I was asking them to sell their spleens to an organ bank to get some feature or another for a project.
 
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tvanstiphout

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I chose the term "Source code repository" very carefully: it is a location where we keep the source code of our apps. That can be a SourceCode folder on a file server or cloud storage, with very restricted access. No investment needed, other than a few brain cells :)
 

The_Doc_Man

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I chose the term "Source code repository"

Understood, but in the U.S. Navy's Enterprise Data Center (New Orleans), that was a commercial product that handled configuration management including historical configurations, protection of content, and a full history of who changed what and when. Hopefully you will therefore understand my confusion.
 

moi

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Tom, you are absolutely not wrong. However, a good "project design document" (or whatever you might want to call it) would specify unit testing including pass/fail criteria when that test is executed. It would show preferred naming conventions AND would provide preferred names for real-world objects as represented in the project. If relationships are to be used at all, then the document would specify them.

The idea of a source-code repository has merit but that kind of investment requires a buy-in from management since most source-code manager packages ain't free. Further, since Access is targeted for a small-business environment, getting management to buy in on the extra hours required can be a pain. I know because before I was with the Navy for a while, two prior employers qualified as "small business." Getting management to "do things right" was as hard as pulling hen's teeth. You'd think I was asking them to sell their spleens to an organ bank to get some feature or another for a project.
Hi the-doc-man,
In summary, you are right, my office is hardly buy me a new ms access..
 

The_Doc_Man

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We have a phrase "it would take an act of Congress to get a new... " and when I started working for the Navy, I found the truth of that kind of statement. Sometimes we really DID have to wait for an act of Congress to pay for something. So I understand your doubt for getting a new copy of Access.
 

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