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#1 Heathersmithx   User is offline

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My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 06:24 PM

I'm currently doing RPA development with a big company, automating things. I did show some interest in web design by asking my developer lead how to set up a local server... I had some projects in school, web programming, but it wasn't the greatest class, and I didn't retain everything! I don't have a photographic memory and I have to look these things up. Anyways... So I was like, "Yeah I'm going to build a website for my friend who is a massage therapist, just to start building something so I don't forget what I've learned so far."

I mean It's pretty obvious from that statement, and asking my boss how to set up a local server on my computer...that I'm no expert. I'm sure he knows, but last week they asked me if I want to develop a web app for the company. I said "Hells yeah!"...In a very professional way...The more we've gotten into it the more I start having trouble sleeping at night.

So what I've found out is that this is going to be used by some vice president of the company so that they can track software development in the company. So it's like a library of all of the development going on. I'm asking my software Lead for more help, and he seems to have it in his mind, that this is a creative endeavor... He said, he's very detail oriented but I don't have to be, and I don't have to listen to anything he's saying, but what he would put in the DB is this table and that table...As he's telling me this, I'm adding the tables, and doing pretty much everything he's saying, But then he keeps repeating, "Again, you don't have to do what I'm saying..."

It's a great opportunity for me, because this is going to connect to Many of the other DBs in the company. It's insane to me. The whole thing. I'm way excited! But I feel like I'm going to fail them, and that I'm not going to meet their expectations, but at the same time, I think I also made it pretty clear, to at least my lead, that I'm no expert. So I'm just diving right in, and slowly starting to understand it. So I don't know. Any advise on creating a big database that connects to other databases, and OH. I'm also having a meeting tomorrow, with my bosses boss, to go over the outline of the database, I'll have two hours in the morning to work on it. I AM innovative, and try to keep up on the latest advances in programming, and I know how to do my research, but I'm really feeling the pressure for tomorrow. So lay it on me, give me some advice, or ideas, or tell me how to professionally ask them what I'm supposed to do.

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Replies To: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 06:54 PM

I don't see how you'll have databases connecting to other databases.. at best you would have a database with a table that folk can log in (through the web page) and update the status of projects on... then a nifty way of view all that in some sort of dashboard.

Oh, and for a 'local server' I suggest XAMPP/WAMP/MAMP/LAMP (depending on your OS version).
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#3 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 07:01 PM

It sounds very much like they want a “free” version of a product class that already exists, ie Jira, VSTS, etc.
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#4 Heathersmithx   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 07:07 PM

That's helpful. I just read through some post about relational databases too which helps. It's all sorta coming back to me. As far as the interface goes, If you were some vice president that wanted to track the software development in your company, what sort of information would be most useful to you. What would you want to see when you logged in. But you also have to pretend that you are not a software developer! You're just looking at it from mostly a business perspective, time spent, dates updated, who the developers are... I'm really not flowing with great ideas, because I just can't imagine what the person who is going to be looking at this is going to want to see mostly. I don't know. What would be the most important information to display, and what would be more like secondary information that he probably will never look at.

Yes, they want to create a business owned application, and I need this experience, so I'm not about to tell them to go get their software somewhere else. lol
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#5 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 07:45 PM

You are about to experience the many hats you wear as a freelancer.


Here is the biggest help anyone can give for where you are currently:
Ask!
You don’t really know what you are building, don’t guess. Ask what they want. What should it do? How should it look? Does the data exist currently? Who can I talk to about where that data is and how to access it? Build questions like that, you are interviewing for the product at this point, “the discovery phase”.
If possible look for products that do similar things and see how they display the information. Can you incorporate that into your design?


Part II.
This is going to require devs to cooperate with the program after its built. So the executive will have the BI dashboard, but other will have to add to the data store that it is collected from. Are you going to have to build that as well?

Now for the important questions to you... will you have help? This is a rather large undertaking when you have little experience in development, none in architecture, and some in database designs.
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#6 Heathersmithx   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 07:57 PM

Yes! I looked at the software dev management stuff that you posted, I pulled up their sites and just browsed around, and I think I have a better idea of what they might be looking for. Up until this point, I have been feeling pretty lost but this is helping.

I should hopefully have help from my software lead. I will probably be asking lots and lots of questions on here I'm sure. I do actually have some ideas as to the issues that it would address, the more I think about it. It really does help to think of this as the discovery phase and to think of it as an interview. That's really really good advice that I appreciate more than you know. Thank you.

I'm taking computer architecture this semester. Still on chapter one though!

This post has been edited by Heathersmithx: 17 January 2019 - 08:02 PM

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#7 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 17 January 2019 - 08:07 PM

Computer Architecture is different that system or application architecture.

And while you can always ask questions here, when you are designing software for a “client” you need to talk to them about what they want, not what you think they want.
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#8 andrewsw   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 18 January 2019 - 02:13 AM

Quote

so that they can track software development in the company


What does tracking software development mean? You have to confirm everything, of course, especially early on. I would guess, at the highest level, to be able to say "Project A started on this date and finished on this date".

But, of course, other data will be needed and significant to different managers.

How many staff are involved? Probably not just a number but names and roles.
Money?
Software tools. (Do we need to maintain a database within a database of available tools/resources, licences? Is this data already available to us?)

At the outset, though, a software project does not have an end date, it has a hoped-for end date. How much detail do we need to store about the prediction of this end date? That is, how much project management is involved? What milestones need to be noted?

There won't just be one project, there will be many. Do the different projects need to be related/connected in some way? Anticipate that one big project will probably need to be split, but yet still connected, to a number of subordinate projects.

Don't be overly concerned about the final output; as long as the information is available and consistent (correctly related) any output is possible. It would be useful, however, to understand what form output might be required; on screen, spreadsheets, reports, etc..




You've probably already gone past the above initial appraisal but I thought it might be useful to introduce a highest-level view.

As already mentioned, discuss everything. You need to clearly understand their requirements, expectations and, especially, scope.
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#9 ajwsurfer   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:59 AM

OK, so there are 3 aspects of tracking software development. 1: The repository (most likely github.com), 2: Client - Developer communication, 3: Developer Feature/Bug tracking.

And the best advice I have had from any professor is the one who told me "If it is possible to purchase, or use open source, 3rd party software to the get the job done - do it. Software development is a risky, expensive time intensive job. It is almost always less risky, and less expensive, and faster, to use off the shelf software."

The first thing to do is to assess if there is a central code repository. If not, get everybody on board with "git" and "github.com" immediately. This includes staff training, purchasing the github account, and installing git software on all the Developer workstations.

Second assessment is client to developer relations. Is there a way to track what features are requested, what bugs are discovered, and what actual software is being built. For a small loosely nit group of people this might cover both #2 and #3. This can also be a foggy line. At my current workplace (which is very "canban" and "agile" development oriented) we use Slackware for day to day developer communication, and Meistertask and/or Trello for client - developer communication. Meistertask and/or Trello may be all that is need, unless deeper analysis of the development process is needed. We also use Confluence for company (and developer, network/infrastructure/product support) policy posting.

And finally, for deep analysis (and that nasty expensive word "integration") of software development we use JIRA. This is used to keep a group of 30+ developers on the straight and narrow, along with developer contractors. There are other smaller less expensive alternatives, but traditionally this has always been a large and complex task, requiring robust software. Here is a list of available alternatives: https://blog.capterr...king-software/. I always liked "bugtracker" and it looks like it has really grown up over the last 10+ years: https://www.zoho.com/bugtracker/

So, given the amount, and breadth, of off the shelf software available, I would definitively NOT build a new product, as it would simply be reinventing a tried and true wheel. It will also be a huge waste a lot of valuable time and resources, which could be better put to use in organization, and establishing company policies.

And if it is possible to get through all of that, there is also a matter of company security (if a policy does not exist, a policy should probably be established). This includes encryption, authentication and authorization polices (of the software development software, and/or other software).

This is coming from 14+ years on the job (as a developer) at 3 different organizations. I have been with my current employer for approximately 10 years.

I don't think that the database question really comes into this equation, but database technology is currently shifting away from SQL into JSON document storage syntax. As far as databases, go with any new development, I would use NoSQL (JSON document storage) if at all possible (MongoDB is a good place to start). This cuts development time, complexity, software size footprint, development time, costs, and dramatically increases performance and storage capacity.
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#10 ajwsurfer   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 28 February 2019 - 10:20 AM

It looks like zoho/bugtracker has become closed source over the years. I have an open source copy, that does not work, from many years ago. If I was to develop this software, I would use this PHP template to do a rewrite in Python/Bottle using MongoDB for data storage, and deploy it using Docker Compose. After all the resource and time it would take to get the re-write done, it would become an unstable and immature alpha/beta version which needs a lot of testing and trial usage in order to get the product launch off the ground.
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#11 ajwsurfer   User is offline

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Re: My very first BIG Database design presentation.

Posted 28 February 2019 - 10:32 AM

With my employers, I ask a lot of questions, give myself lots of time to analyze all possible options, and give out very little information. Until, I have well though out, viable solutions, with positive and constructive responses.
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