As a retail company for consumer goods, ABC Company is concerned with the management of data about users and products. The company has been able to embrace the use of database applications with the aim of interacting with its organizational databases, thus meeting its corporate need. The DBMS applications used in the company are Microsoft Access and Oracle. The following sections analyze the use of these applications within the company.
A database is a group of data that is related in some way. Unlike the file system with different unrelated files, a database is made up of sensibly related data stored in a single file, normally stored on the computer. A Database Management System (DBMS) is a program that helps users to create and maintain a database; it eliminates most of the files system’s data discrepancy, data anomalies, data dependency, and structured dependency problems (Stair & Reynolds, 2006).
ABC uses Access and Oracle because both databases are relational DBMSs that provide efficient and nonredundant storage. The features of the database applications as used within the company include the following: data is entered and stored once in a table without repetition; sharing of data from remote storage through the network is possible; they ensure that only related data is displayed hence eliminating irrelevance and ambiguity, and they reduce the volume of data in a table only to related fields. Hence data search is fast and easy.
Microsoft Access: Description and Usage
Microsoft Access is a component of Microsoft Office supplied by Microsoft. It is a relational database that has Microsoft Jet Database Engine and development tools that can be easily accessed by users (Begg & Connoly, 2003). Access is a feature-rich program that can handle related data about products. It also enables application users within ABC to share data with other office applications, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Besides, Access 2007 makes it easy for the company to publish its information to the Internet via the World Wide Web. This increases company productivity.
Microsoft Access: Advantages
Access is a program that is easy to use because it does not require any fundamental knowledge in programming. With an enhanced user interface familiar to Office users, tables, queries, forms, and reports about products can be generated easily. In addition, since ABC is a retail company, Access ensures that the database is updated correctly when product information is changed. Another advantage is the availability of templates, which makes it easy to create new databases. Furthermore, Access allows users to connect to SQL serves and Excel tables with the aim of retrieving data.
Microsoft Access: Disadvantages
The common disadvantage of Access is that it cannot handle many users working at the same time; it is limited to around 50 users. Second, the application is unable to handle databases with sizes exceeding 2GB. Third, it is difficult to publish dynamic media when using Access because it can take time and space; static files work well with Access. Lastly, it is difficult to set privileges when using Access; thus, security is a problem.
Oracle: Description and Usage
Oracle uses SQL to manage data relevant to an organization. ABC uses Oracle Database 10g, which is efficient and secure. The Oracle application can accept and process functions automatically. It can also be invoked by other programming languages, such as java, which rely on Application Programming Interface (API). The storage of Oracle is through a logical repository in the structure of tablespaces and through data files. This gives a database administrator an easy task in the management of databases (Oracle, 2010).
Oracle is an effective application that enables administrators to store and control data access from a centralized location. Security can be enhanced because the Oracle server offers optional access control, which ensures that information access is granted through privileges. Oracle enables to store and manage large amounts of data as compared to Access. Furthermore, standardization and consistency among different versions have helped Oracle SQL to be appreciated within organizations (Gilani, 2010).
Oracle is not compatible with regard to time and data and letter representation. The database requires expertise in database design because of fewer syntax and semantic rules. Another disadvantage is that the SQL used in Oracle is limited to database applications only; it is a special-purpose language.
DBMS is essential in managing an organization’s data towards its business goals. The two database applications used by ABC are Microsoft Access and Oracle. To better acquire any application, ABC should consider the cost, security features, recovery facilities, user interface, and memory requirements. The shortcomings of the two applications can be dealt with through proper integration of their benefits. Since Access performs well with less data, employee information can be managed using this application. For product information, using Oracle would be appropriate. Therefore, ABC should also upgrade its database applications or purchase new versions of databases, such as Access 2010 and Oracle 11g, to enjoy new database features.
Begg, C. & Connoly, T. (2003) Database Systems. 3rd Ed. Delhi: Pearson Education Limited.
Gilani, N. (2010). “Advantages & Disadvantages of Oracle SQL.” eHow.com. Web.
Oracle. (2010). Oracle Database 10g. Web.
Stair, R.M., & Reynolds, G. W. (2006). Fundamentals of information systems. (3rd Ed.). Boston: Thompson Course Technology.