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Database Design / Development

 

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Complete Microsoft Access database design, development and implementation.  We handle all types of databases, but our specialties are accounting, sales (proposals, invoice generation) and legal applications to help law firms manage their piles of paper.    

What sets Software Simplified apart from the crowd is our ability to set your company apart from the crowd.  We maximize and build on the strengths your company already has and help you gain control over the details.

 

Deliverables

Benefits

Process

Notes

Reference Accounts

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View Samples (WARNING: this file may take a while to download and requires the Adobe Acrobat Viewer)

Deliverables

When you team up with Software Simplified, you'll get as much or as little as you want.  Every aspect of our service is tailored to meet the specific needs of your unique business.  One size does not fit all, and we recognize and appreciate that.  We'll work with you to determine what your needs/expectations are, and help you mix and match from the following deliverables to meet them.

  • MS Access Database in the version of your choice or as a run-time application (Software Simplified supports Access versions 2.0, Access 97, Access 2000, Access 2002) (click for more)

    • Related Tables

    • Queries

    • Forms

    • Reports

    • Pages

    • Macros

    • Modules

    • Visual Basic code

  • Security level of your choice

  • Online help (internal)

  • User documentation (external)

  • Technical documentation (external)

  • Training in the new database application for as many or as few staff members as desired

  • Phone and/or on-site support

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Benefits to Your Company

  • Streamline your business workflow (more)
    • Reduce or eliminate duplicate entries among multiple applications
    • Use information entered in one area for one purpose to produce reports in another area (more)
      • EXAMPLE: Information entered to create a proposal can later be used to generate an invoice
      • EXAMPLE: Information used to generate invoices can be used to generate reports for your sales staff to help determine where to concentrate marketing efforts
  • Document your business workflow (more)
    • User documentation speeds the learning curve for new hires
    • Technical documentation allows your company or outside contractors to readily interpret and understand the application in order to make modifications or add modules
  • Limit access to information (more)
    • Users can be given access to subsets of the data or application based on criteria you specify, safeguarding confidential information from prying eyes.
    • Users can be limited in their ability to view/modify/delete specific parts of the database
  • Produce analysis reports for management
  • Readily make changes to your application as business needs change or as additional funds become available
  • Accessible phone support

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Database Implementation Process

While each project is different, there are similarities to all database projects.  A general outline of the steps involved in implementing a new database (or revising an existing one) from start to finish and beyond, is shown below.

Not every step is necessary for every project, but this outline gives you an idea of database development process.

  1. Consulting session(s)
    1. Review needs, wants, constraints
    2. Gather existing data sources, forms, reports
  2. Produce specifications for review by client.  Revise as necessary.  (These specifications define the scope of the project and break it down into subprojects, if necessary.)
  3. Produce a development plan and obtain approval from decision makers to proceed with execution.
    1. In general, approval is in the form of a signed contract.
    2. The development plan may implement one component at a time, adding components as budget or other constraints allow.
  4. Create/modify database per specifications and test.
  5. Provide database to client users/testers for testing with real-world inputs and obtain feedback (alpha test).
  6. Modify database as necessitated by any errors/modifications needed found in alpha test.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6, as needed.
  8. Provide documentation and/or training, if desired.
  9. Load live data, have client users/testers use new database and old method concurrently for a set period of time to make sure that database produces expected results (beta test).
  10. Make final changes, if necessary, to database, documentation and training.
  11. "Go live." 
  12. Maintain new application.
    1. Phone support.
    2. On-site support.
    3. Add subprojects/new projects as warranted.

This process may look challenging at first, but it is the best way to guarantee a fully functional, reliable and highly useful database application that will meet your current and future needs.  Taking the time to design well from the start ensures functionality and flexibility.

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Notes

Documentation and training aren't necessary in all instances.  Under circumstances where the application and/or user community is very small, or when the end-users are also the people who assisted with design and testing, oftentimes no additional documentation or training is needed.

At minimum, documentation is recommended to facilitate bringing new users up to speed in the event of employee turnover.  It is also recommended when the application is of a type that is used irregularly rather than day to day.  For instance, an application that provides annual reporting or monthly inventory records.

In general, help systems are provided within the application itself and external documentation may not be absolutely necessary for applications that are used on a daily basis.

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Reference Accounts

This is a new area of our site.  Software Simplified would NEVER breach the confidentiality of our customers.  Therefore, this section is under construction until we obtain express permission from some of them to use their names and link to their sites.  (-Barbara Meyer, September 9, 2001)

As an incentive, we will also provide links to their websites here to (hopefully!) generate some additional traffic, and therefore revenue, for them, too!

In the meantime, some overviews of prior projects are listed below.

Roofing company co-located in Ohio and Florida

Created an invoicing and A/R module for their existing customer database which they were using to generate sales proposals. Cleaned up pre-existing data structures and relationships in order to maximize future flexibility.  Their database is now capable of tracking sales and prospects, creating gorgeous proposals and invoices, tracking accounts receivable and aging, and monitoring work flow and follow-up activities. In addition to being able to get more information out of their database, they can also perform their day-to-day activities more quickly and with less effort, freeing them to build sales revenue.

Insurance agency located in Solon, Ohio

Created and modified reports and forms for an existing Access database which manages claims.  The client already has a person who is very technically adept who designed their database and most of its functions.  These days they contact Software Simplified for quick modifications and when they occasionally need some pointers.

International corporate headquarters of a building materials company in Beachwood, Ohio

Created, documented and currently maintain a database used for tracking, archiving, locating and maintaining legal documents.

Bankruptcy law practice in downtown Cleveland, Ohio

Modified their existing customer contact and A/R database so that it would work properly.  It had crashed and they didn't have a recent backup or access to the database's creator.  Later, updated the structure of the tables and forms, incorporating referential integrity and additional features.

Corporate holding company headquartered Mayfield Heights, Ohio

Created and currently maintain two databases for Legal and Human Resources departments.  1) A database which is used to track and report on employee contact and benefit data.  2) A database which generates non-standard form letters for their Board of Directors to provide them with information pertinent to upcoming board meetings.

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Copyright 2001-2008 Software Simplified
Last modified: 08/26/08

 

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Software Simplified, est. 1994
7703 Treelawn Drive
Brecksville, OH 44141
440-546-1554
info@softwaresimplified.com

 

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