What is a Database Application?
A database application is a computer system that allows multiple users to log in, collaborate, and share data. Since the arrival of online database software and software as a service (SAAS) for businesses of different sizes across all industry types, database applications have provided a more cost-effective, streamlined, and secure way to manage business data.
There is a wide range of uses for database applications. Currently, most companies store their data using database applications. Examples of database applications range from basic client information systems and daily task management to complex comprehensive research management tools.
Building a database application used to take a team of experienced developers and programmers, or extensive knowledge of programming languages to design a database. With the current era of citizen developers, many companies offer end-users the tools and ability to design their own database applications without any programming skills.
Tips to design your own database applications without programming
There are five easy steps: Think, Scribe, Browse, Build and Try.
The first questions you need to ask yourself before starting to build your database application are very simple. What is the essential data my company needs to track? What do I specifically need to know about this data?
For example, almost all B2B or even B2C businesses need to keep track of their prospects and clients’ information. But the data you need to track about your clients is industry-specific and even business-specific. When it comes to database application design, one size does not fit all. You first need to sit and think about the information you need to track in your database application. and what fields need to be visible. Do you need to know the height and weight of your clients? Their age? The number of employees their company employs? Take some time to brainstorm your data architecture, it will save you a lot of time down the road.
Get a pen and paper and map your database application on paper. What information should come first? What goes where? Do you need sections? This is basic data architecture combined with best practices. For our client tracking application, name and title would typically come first, but not always. It all comes down to ease of use. Again, take the time. Draw a few drafts and discuss them with your team.
Search through the field’s dropdown to find what type of field you want for each piece of data. If you need to attach files, are you already using Dropbox or Google Drive or are your files on your hard drive? Do you need to assign each item to a member of your team? Is it important for you to know when a specific item was created or last saved?
Each type of field has specific properties. A text field is best for free-form entries like names or comments. Use dropdowns or trees to give some preselected value choices to your team. Make fields mandatory, read-only or write-once. Browse through the field and property choices you’re given.
Now is the time to actually build your database application. How exciting! Create and format all your fields and take a close look at all the properties you can select for each field. Remember, with most online database software, there is no need for programming skills. If you have a basic understanding of computing, you’re good to go!
Now that your database application is done, play with it! Create a few new items and question yourself on the ease of use of your creation. Your first version may not be perfect. Don’t stress, you can always go back to your database application and customize it some more. We strongly suggest that you roll out your new database application with a few of your team members. Remember, introducing change in the team can create waves of discontent. Take things slowly, and be prepared to invest in training so all database application users are confident and well versed in collecting important business data.