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on Steroids

This is an index of our:

Database Basics and Database Best Practices articles

Because Crystal Reports works with a large number of databases, you encounter some good, and some bad database designs. Letís share our mistakes so we donít keep repeating them.



Some thoughts on databases

Many companies start off with a desktop system on somebody's computer. Typically, it's Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access. As it becomes increasingly apparent that these programs can't handle the company's database needs, someone takes the plunge and buys a database suitable for the enterprise. Maybe Oracle or SQL Server.

Three cheers! We're now all set with a database that does everything we want! Or are we? The typical problem with this upgrade is the company decides to save money at great cost. So instead of hiring a database consultant, some poor schmuck inside the company gets tasked with setting up the system.

But database design is a highly specialized area of knowledge, so the newbie makes dozens of mistakes including infrastructure type ones. These mistakes are very expensive to fix, a year down the road when it becomes obvious the situation thus unleashed is intolerable.

If your company is moving into a serious database, don't fall into the DIY trap. In home remodeling and repair, the DIY (Do It Yourself) problem often means it costs twice as much to complete the job than it would if a skilled tradesperson had done it from the start. If you don't have the specialized training and experience required for good database design, OK, adequate database design, don't attempt to do DIY the job. It'll only cost more that way.

But also realize not all database consultants are equal. Hire one the same way you'd hire somebody for any other job in your company. Look at credentials and experience. When interviewing the person, avoid the typical interview games and instead ask relevant questions. Your goal is to see if the person is confident (but not overconfident) and genuine.

Once the database is designed, that may not be the end of database work. When interviewing database consultants, ask for their general plan of attack for installing a system--what are the half dozen or so major steps to doing that? Then ask about ongoing work such as maintenance, repairs, and modifications.


Tuning, tweaking, optimizing

Get your database tuned, tweaked, and optimized by using Report Analyzer to look for anomalies. Originally designed just for Crystal Reports, Version 5 allows you to analyze any data source or file system.

For pricing and/or purchase, click here.

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Report Analyzer is the ultimate documentation and analysis tool for Crystal Reports users and developers. With a comprehensive library of analysis and documentation reports, Report Analyzer provides you with complete documentation, analysis, and performance suggestions for your Crystal Reports projects. Keep your investment in Crystal Technology at its best performance using Report Analyzer!


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  • Crystal Reports is a subsidiary of Business Objects, which is owned by SAP.