Data Dynamics Northwest Database development based on the client's needs and state-of-the-art technology

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Off The Shelf

Should I buy an off-the-shelf program or create a new one? If an off-the-shelf program from Comp USA or will meet your database needs, then by all means, grab it off the shelf. The cost of developing a program that has thousands of users is spread out among those users makes for a low price for each copy. On the other hand, the cost of developing a database program for a small number of users is much higher per user, of course.

Some things to consider in this regard along with the purchase cost is the technical support you anticipate from the developer and the training cost for you and your employees. Are there classes for the off-the-shelf program available locally and what do they cost per attendee? Often a custom program will have little or no training required because it is developed with certain users in mind.

Such an off-the-shelf program could be, for example, Symantecís Act. It is a program designed to collect contact or customer data. It works for many businesses.

If the off-the-shelf program will not completely work for you, you need to look into creating a database program that will meet all of your particular requirements.

If from scratch, then do I develop it by myself or with help?

If I create a database from scratch, should I do it myself or hire a programmer to do it for me? If the database program you need is fairly basic, you could tackle it yourself. You need to allow for the learning time it takes for you to get up to speed in learning Microsoft Access on your own. And you will be slow to start with, but everyone who is an expert now was once a beginner. Familiarity with databases is a plus. Familiarity with programming is a plus. Familiarity with Windows and Microsoft Office is a plus.

On the other hand, if your need is fairly complex, you should consider getting professional help. Many, many projects never do get finished, even after many hours are devoted to them, because they were too much to tackle considering the complexity and the skills needed.

Existing Data

Customized Section

Off The Shelf

What happens to my existing data when I have a new database developed? If everything goes right, your existing data will be incorporated into your new database. Either you or the developerís staff will input your existing data. It needs to be collected carefully from the different files that contain it and, most likely, new data will have to be added. It may be appropriate to keep both the old files and the new database updated for a while to make sure that the old information can still be obtained from the new database. On the other hand, with a carefully staged project that is tested and reviewed several times as it is developed, the new database can be relied on by itself.

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