6 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Database Application

broken ruined glass

 

If you really want to make the worst use possible of your database application, this is what you need to do. (Please don’t.)

 

1. Don’t take workflow into consideration

When you create a database application, you have to keep in mind that you probably will create many items derived from this application several times during each day at work. This is why you have to try to make your life as simple as possible and think about your workflow. Think about the process of creating a new item.

Will you be over the phone with a client and you need to have the least amount of fields to fill as possible? What information should come first? What is mandatory and what is optional? Always remember that, in terms of fields, less is more. Make sure you don’t duplicate the information and make sure you don’t overuse the mandatory fields since it will slow you down.

You should also make sure the look of your application is pleasant to the eyes and easy to understand. Do you prefer to work with only one wide column or should you divide the information in two or even three columns? Only you and your team know the answers to these questions. There is no shame in reorganizing your fields after a brief trial period.

2. Overlook the field properties

For each type of field, there are many properties you can use. When you first start to create database apps, you should take the time to explore all the property possibilities to make sure you get the best out of it.

For example, you can flag your single line text fields as being civic addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. You can also sort the values in your dropdowns and trees. Log changes, read only and write once are also properties you can give to any of your fields. With your user list fields, adjust the notifications for the data to be sent to the assigned user. There are many options you can use to make you application extremely efficient, don’t overlook them!

3. Use all single line text fields

You may think that using checkboxes, trees, dropdowns and user list fields can be restrictive in terms of the values you can add. Some of you will then turn to single line text fields to give the opportunity to the users to type in the exact information they need. Think again!

Sulking the above named fields to the benefit on single line text fields will only complicate the creation of your searches and reports if it is not prevent you altogether to use it. Checkboxes, trees, dropdowns and user lists are giving you access to group your data very easily.

4. Don’t create sections

Sections allow you to add a specific piece of information in a recurring manner, at different times and by different users. Let’s take the example of comments. If you use a big multi line text field for your comments, adding them as you go in the same box, you will never know when the last addition was made and by whom.

The addition of a section for your comments solves this problem in the blink of an eye. You create the section, add a field for the actual comment, add a date-time field with the “created on” property and a user list field with the “created by” property and you are good to go. The system will then automatically log in the information, making this space in your application an actual sharing tool. If you want to notify the other users that you just entered a new comment, you can even add one more user list field and use the properties “send notification” and “multi-select”.

5. Create only one app

I know I just say that sections are great but there is something that is even greater: the item link. You may want to manage your clients, tasks assigned to them and ant their contracts. If you create only one client application and you put the tasks and contracts in sections, you will soon end up with a very long page where you will have to scroll down to search for your information.

Instead, create three applications and link them together. Then, when you check your client information, you go to your “link tab” and you can see two grids, one for all the tasks attached to this client and one for his contracts. Creating a few apps and linking them together also facilitates your searches and reports creation.

6. Forget about the default searches

Remember that your application is the mother ship. It is the template for your different projects and numerous items. The searches you create at the application level will automatically be created for each of the projects you will derive from this app. It is a great way to save time and to make sure all users are starting with the same well-designed foundation of searches.

As you create your projects, sure can add some project specific searches and each user can also create its own. Remember that all searches bases on user lists must be created at the project level since your permissions are granted according to the projects, not the apps.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of those mistakes that can ruin your database application? If you do, don’t worry. These are easy to fix mistakes and if you need help to fix them, Kohezion’s support team is always ready to help. Don’t be shy, drop us a line!

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Marie-Josee Porlier

Sales Director at Kohezion
Marie-Josée Porlier is the Sales Director and main blogger @ Kohezion. Ask her your questions about the cloud computing industry, online database software, database applications, legacy systems, business solutions and business productivity. She can be reached at mjporlier(at)kohezion(dot)com.
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