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proposing a database application
When you are planning to propose a database application, you should start with the RDBMS (Relational DataBase Management System) you intend to use; in many cases, that’s MS Access. You need to know how the information can be stored and managed in order to design. Microsoft Access has many built-in tools which make development easier. Based on MS-SQL, Access can import and export from other SQL-based databases such as Oracle and generate charts from within the DBMS without extra application add-ons. Every company, small to global, has Access available. Access allows for a good number of users and has a built-in security system.
The next thing you want to do is perform a Needs Analysis. Find out all the reports or dynasets the client wants to glean from the information. Lastly, find out how the client has been collecting the input.
While doing the Needs Analysis, keep in mind that clients tend to think of all kinds of extra analyses and reports once they start seeing how amenable the database is. While you won’t want to succumb to scope creep, you should design the database with expansion in mind.
Make your proposal as professional as possible. This means good grammar, no spelling mistakes, but no predefined format. You want to prove to your client that you understand his/her needs, and that you know how to meet those needs. This means telling the client, in a general way, what tables and queries you think will be needed.
This not only convinces the prospective client that you know what you’re doing, but also such development is usually charged according to the number of tables, reports, forms and queries that are to be designed. The proposal would effectively be a Requirements document and therefore a contract between you and the client. This way, the client cannot keep tacking on requests – such added features can be addressed in an upgrade.
Suggested content of the proposal: Consider the client. Define the needs of the client clearly – What sort of business is it? What does the client want from the database application? What kinds of reports will the client be looking for? Then explain how you expect to meet the client’s needs -- What types of queries do you think will be needed? Which tables? What information will/could be imported? In other words, give the client a plan of action. If you feel it would ‘sell’ the project to have a sample database, charts, diagrams or photos, feel free to add them.