Author Topic: Need Suggestions  (Read 4385 times)

cobaltwolfe

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Need Suggestions
« on: April 06, 2014, 03:30:37 PM »
Alright since I'm pretty sure that this requires sitting at a keyboard and also its not hardware I should put this question here.

I'm looking for suggestions on good books and websites for learning Databasing. If there is a decent program for setting one up I'm up for that as well. I am asking this because I have a friend who has asked me to help him out and create one for his landscaping company so he can have an easier time keeping track of everything.

Well I'm not sure what else to add except that thank you all in advance.

(and yes I've used google but there is so much crap out there and I've only ever played around with one a friend used for testing.)

statmonkey

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 07:10:06 PM »
It really depends so much on where you want to start and what you know already.  For books, I like the Sam's Teach Yourself books.  They offer a pretty broad overview with a step by step approach.  If you know nothing about databases they cover that as well and you can jump in at a mid-point if you know more.  I would recommend that you narrow things down a bit to start with if you haven't already:
1. Database you want to use (Mysql, Oracle, etc.)
2. Read about database structures either online (Yes, Google again) or in a book
3. Understand database design concepts (this might be the most critical).  My experience is that until I really "got" how to design a data structure to fit my needs I was just monkeying around.  Once you understand what the database will look like and how it will interact the actual work is pretty basic.

After you have an idea of what you want to use and a rough plan of what you want it to look like, you can target communities and people who use those tools and applications.  You will find that there are a ton of helpful people who are willing to assist.  If you don't get an idea of what you want to use, structures and design firmed out in your head first these same people can be pretty unhelpful.  Again, just my experience.  It's fun stuff, good luck.

ozitraveller

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 12:04:59 AM »
If it were me, I would be documenting everything. By that I mean, analysing everything his current manual process, e.g. what your friend currently does, what information needs to be retained, what information does he want to get out. You need to have a clean understanding of his current processes, before thinking about how/where to store it, UI design, etc.... Also the ongoing support and time commitment.

Just my 2c's!

Good luck.

statmonkey

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 01:18:02 AM »
Ha, Ozi with the human element angle and quite correct.  While the journey would be interesting you do need to realize the commitment you would be making as does your friend and user buy-in is really key.  Having embarked on a few of these with less than committed/focused/clear goaled EU's I can tell you there is nothing more frustrating than providing a whiz bang solution and getting a "well I really thought it would look like Amazon.com" or something else. Actually the "oh anything you think would work" EU is worse.

ozitraveller

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 03:50:26 AM »
Hey statmonkey!

Yes, the more work that is done upfront the better. The worst thing you can do is start on design path only to have to do a major shift because you missed something. Makes a bad impression. There is no point talking about data stores until you know what you're storing. And there are lots of methodologies for to get to the point where code starts.

cobaltwolfe

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 02:20:03 PM »
I have sat down an spoken with him about what he is looking to get out of this and written it down. Basically right now he is using Excel(well libreoffice equivalent) spread sheets to organize everything and update everything. I personally am leaning towards MySQL as of right now but that's also because I have one of the "for dummies" books on it and it had seemed pretty good while I had access to it. (its currently in my totaled car and towing company lost key so no access to get it). I have not even begun to start planning on what it is going to end up looking like because of the fact that I really don't know much beyond the simple things. I have discussed this with him and he knows that since it is something I have to learn it is going to take awhile so time for me isn't an issue. He is basically looking to be able to do everything he can with Excel and he wants to be able to update individual customer orders and add new ones from a single form. I guess the biggest thing would be (beyond the records he is looking for) is that he would like to be able to update the information himself in the easiest possible manner.

Also on another note I do fully understand how much time and effort is going to be going into this, There was a point where the DB admin of a company was training me for his replacement because he didn't want to. Back then I found it very interesting and not terribly difficult but that was more maintaining than building.

statmonkey

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 03:49:52 PM »
great.  Mysql should be able to meet your needs and I would recommend that you start here: http://dev.mysql.com/  There is a ton of information and I believe some pretty good tutorial stuff IIRC. Back in the day, I learned most of my database stuff from a Sam's book on data structures and algorithms plus the MySQL site and some forums.  I totally agree with Ozi that sketching out a structure first is pretty key but having said that reading through some of the tutorials and getting some hands on experience (or more since in sounds like you have some) is a good place to start.  If you have some specific ?'s I'll do my best to help out and in the interim I will look around and see what books I have here.  I am moving for the 3rd time in 2 years so it's a little hectic around here with things spread between two continents and 3 homes but sure I have something.

ozitraveller

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 01:41:04 AM »
Just a quick question.

How much data are you looking to store? This might narrow down the number of possible data stores, as some sense of scale is useful.
1 - 100,
100 - 1000,
1000 - 10,000,
100,000 - 1,000,000,
1,000,000 +
records?

What sort of data you are wanting to store would be useful too? Medical, financial, inventory, .....

Is there a time frame to getting something work?

Just a broad starting point. :)

cobaltwolfe

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 09:10:44 AM »
great.  Mysql should be able to meet your needs and I would recommend that you start here: http://dev.mysql.com/  There is a ton of information and I believe some pretty good tutorial stuff IIRC. Back in the day, I learned most of my database stuff from a Sam's book on data structures and algorithms plus the MySQL site and some forums.  I totally agree with Ozi that sketching out a structure first is pretty key but having said that reading through some of the tutorials and getting some hands on experience (or more since in sounds like you have some) is a good place to start.  If you have some specific ?'s I'll do my best to help out and in the interim I will look around and see what books I have here.  I am moving for the 3rd time in 2 years so it's a little hectic around here with things spread between two continents and 3 homes but sure I have something.
looks like a really really nifty website thank you for that it's hugely appreciated. I can also say I know what you're talking about with the moving 3 times in 2 years. just in the past year I've gone from moving back to New Hampshire from Tennessee down to Florida back up to New Hampshire.

Just a quick question.

How much data are you looking to store? This might narrow down the number of possible data stores, as some sense of scale is useful.
1 - 100,
100 - 1000,
1000 - 10,000,
100,000 - 1,000,000,
1,000,000 +
records?

What sort of data you are wanting to store would be useful too? Medical, financial, inventory, .....

Is there a time frame to getting something work?

Just a broad starting point. :)
is her a time frame he didn't really give me a specific one so that's one good thing. and most likely it's going to be like you know customer name address to assigning a customer ID you know the financial records cause he does do payment plans with certain people so he wants to be able to record what people have paid how much the left have left a oh yeah stuff like that pretty much its it seems like it should be a pretty simple one like nothing overly extensive.

also if there are typos please forgive me I am using the speech to text on my phone at 430 in the morning.

statmonkey

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 02:43:48 PM »
If it's in .csv you probably will be able to import the structure but that is getting ahead of things.  I believe that what Ozi was trying to get to was how many records will you have or unique identifiers.  The size of the database, retrieval speeds, number of fields, etc. will all impact the database utility you use or your choice.  If it's a simple db with a couple of hundred clients (in this case) and four or five fields that is different than something with 300,000 clients and 100 fields.

So if you can give us an idea of how many (roughly) we can probably guide you a little better.

Yes, that cross country thing is no fun.  I am actually back in the states at the moment caring for my parents.  We have a home in Arkansas and I am moving them out of their home of 40 years in Iowa to another smaller place in Iowa, meanwhile I still have my home in Thailand.  I actually find myself looking for things in the house in Iowa while in my mind I am thinking about where they are in Thailand or Arkansas and vice a versa.  It  seems like I never am where I think I am ::)

cobaltwolfe

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 02:49:03 PM »
If it's in .csv you probably will be able to import the structure but that is getting ahead of things.  I believe that what Ozi was trying to get to was how many records will you have or unique identifiers.  The size of the database, retrieval speeds, number of fields, etc. will all impact the database utility you use or your choice.  If it's a simple db with a couple of hundred clients (in this case) and four or five fields that is different than something with 300,000 clients and 100 fields.

Well that is the good thing he is well under 1k for how many clients he has.

statmonkey

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 02:52:55 PM »
Ok that is a good thing.  Then I believe you said he was using a spreadsheet for the present so that means the number of fields is limited to a few and your structure is going to be simple.  There are some specialized smaller databases that would work but I personally like Mysql for people starting out.  It is really well documented and fairly robust within the limits that you are looking for.

VastOne

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 02:53:46 AM »
I'll toss in my two cents and support for Mysql... it is well supported and documented

Welcome back statmonkey!   8)
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cobaltwolfe

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Re: Need Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 12:36:05 PM »
I want to say thank you to everybody who responded it is greatly greatly appreciated. at the moment I'm doing a lot a lot of research and reading.