Posted on 23 May, 2022
Efficient data management is a vital aspect of your company’s success. This is one of the primary reasons why more and more businesses and organisations in the UK are investing in bespoke database systems. With a database tailored to your specific needs, it will be easier and more convenient for you to ensure the safety, integrity and accuracy of your data.
If you have been using an off-the-shelf database or Excel spreadsheets to manage your company’s data, now is the time to switch to a customised system. With a bespoke database, you will have more control over your system’s features and functionalities. In addition, you won’t have to waste money on database specifications you simply don’t need.
There are two ways you can have a database system tailored specifically to your requirements. You can ask your in-house software developers to create one or you could hire a third-party company to do the job for you. Unfortunately, unless you are already in the IT industry or run a multinational company, you are unlikely to have a team of software programmers at your disposal. This is why it would be more convenient and practical to enlist the services of bespoke database developers, such as our team here at Web Alliance. By outsourcing the customisation of your database to experts, you can expect better results and a greater return on your investment.
Regardless of the path you decide to take, you need to consider a variety of factors when customising your database.
Before anything else, you must first define the purpose behind your database. You need to determine how you intend using the system and which employees will be involved.
For instance, if you own a small business, you may only require a database that will help you keep track of your customers’ contact details so you can send them offers and reports. On the other hand, if you own a larger company, you might need a more complex database that several people can access simultaneously.
Identifying the purpose of your system is one of the fundamentals of database design. This will set the standards that will help your developers determine their approach to creating a database system that will help resolve your problems.
You also need to consider how user-friendly the database will be, particularly if you are expecting a number of people to use it. While some members of your staff may be tech-savvy, others may prefer or be more adept at entering and managing data manually. Therefore, you need to determine how usable the system will be from everyone’s perspective.
For example, you can ask the database developers to incorporate a drag-and-drop system to make it more intuitive. You could also set various levels of permission for each department or different personnel. Whatever features you choose, it is important to ensure that every member of your team will find the system easy and convenient to use as this will help promote increased productivity.
With identity theft being more prevalent in the UK in recent years, you need to ensure that the safety and security of your customers’ data is protected. Therefore, your bespoke database system must be able to store sensitive data and personal information in a secure location. Moreover, the system should comply with the relevant regulations to protect your data from being lost or stolen.
Besides protecting company data from the risk of hacking or corruption due to human error, you must also consider any physical threats, such as fires and floods. Try to ensure you can access data backups you can rely on in circumstances that are beyond your control.
One of the most significant benefits of a customised database system is that you can choose the features to incorporate and even control their future development. You can take full advantage of your software because it will have everything you need to store and manage your company’s data.
That being said, you need to consider which features and functionalities you require. Although you can ask database developers like our team here at Web Alliance to make certain adjustments or additions to your system at a later date, it would be more convenient and cost-effective to have everything you need right from the outset.
Ideally, your database should incorporate the following functionalities at the very least:
High-end bespoke database systems will always offer scalability. As you are likely to obtain more data over time, your database must be able to grow with your business. Although your data requirements may not be too extensive at the time of development, they can expand quickly, particularly if you have a growing customer base. As such, it would be more practical and beneficial to build a database system that can easily store and manage millions of data.
Build Your Own Database Now
Having a database system tailored to your specific needs will certainly give you a competitive edge. Not only will it offer you complete control, but it will also help you save money. As with any aspect of running your business, you need to consider a variety of important factors when developing a bespoke database. This will help ensure optimum functionality and a more significant return on your investment.
At Web Alliance, our goal is to provide our clients with database solutions designed specifically to meet their needs. If you are considering building your own database, our expert developers and IT consultants will only be too happy to lend you their expertise. Contact our team today so we can begin discussing your requirements.
Posted on 23 May, 2022
As with the majority of UK businesses, your company almost certainly accumulates a wide range of data over time. It is also likely that this data is stored in various locations across your organisation. Because data can be used as a foundation for making effective business decisions, it should be treated with the utmost care. For this reason, you should consider obtaining bespoke database solutions.
But what is a bespoke database and how do customised solutions work?
Also known as a “custom database”, a bespoke database can be developed to meet the specific needs of your business organisation. Unlike off-the-shelf products, a custom database will give you complete control over which features and specifications to incorporate. You will also have a say over their future development. As a result, you can save money by excluding features you don’t need. More importantly, there will be no need for you to adapt to the database because it will be tailored to fulfil the exact requirements of you and your staff.
Main Advantages of a Custom Database
Besides being cost-effective, a custom database can offer your business a whole host of other benefits.
One of the most significant advantages of a bespoke database is that all the information you need can be stored in one place. As you know, it can be quite difficult to manage data if it is stored across multiple locations. Not only do you have to spend time looking for a particular piece of data, but it can also be challenging to ensure that it is secure.
Fortunately, with a bespoke database, you no longer have to worry about data tracking and security; you can quickly access all your data in one safe, secure and easy-to-find location.
2. Ensure data integrity
It is common practice for businesses and organisations to use Excel spreadsheets to manage their data. However, spreadsheets were never intended to be used as a database; although they can be easily created, they have limitations that could harm your business.
For instance, a BBC report revealed that more than 15,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 were not included in the government’s contact tracing and infection counts. The culprit? The spreadsheet that the UK authorities were using to handle this data. These Covid-19-positive patients were excluded from the final tally because the spreadsheet ran out of space.
Using an appropriate database system will enable you to avoid this type of problem. As there is no limit to the amount of information you can store in a database, you can ensure the accuracy and integrity of your company’s data.
Obtaining Custom Database Solutions
If you are interested in obtaining a custom database management system, here’s what to expect.
When you contact a bespoke database solutions provider, the first thing they will do is arrange a consultation. For instance, at Web Alliance, we utilise the consultation process to identify the specific needs of our clients. Because no two businesses are entirely alike, our team will pay particular attention to your unique requirements as this will enable us to analyse and identify the system you need.
Next, we will develop a brief/proposal based on this preliminary information. Our team will present and discuss the brief with you so that everyone in your company can develop a keen understanding of the proposed database and how it will work. We will also provide you with a detailed quotation to let you know how much the bespoke database system will cost.
Once you and your chosen developer have agreed on the database cost and parameters, the next stage involves software development. During the development process, the database developer should be in constant communication with you in order to keep you updated about the software’s progress and/or any challenges they may have encountered.
Furthermore, a reputable database developer will contact you, and seek your approval, before making any changes to the software that were not specified in the initial brief. They will also provide you with a timeline to ensure deadlines are being met.
Once the database has been built, the next stage is data migration. If you are using an old database system, all the previously stored data will be transferred to the new customised system. Usually, it is at this point that your chosen developers will teach your staff how to use your database management system and make the most of its features.
4. Hosting your database
You can either host your bespoke database on your company’s servers or those of your software developer. If you don’t have your own server, it would be advisable to allow the database developers to provide you with a hosting service.
For example, besides offering bespoke database solutions, Web Alliance will provide our clients with a safe and secure hosting platform. By hosting your database on our servers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is always in capable hands.
Generating more and more data can give your business a significant competitive advantage. The more data you acquire, the more opportunities you will have to analyse your business and your customers’ needs. This will allow you to identify the steps you need to take to ensure your company’s growth and success. However, your data should be stored and managed correctly.
A bespoke database system can provide excellent data security and integrity. As all of its features are tailored specifically to your company’s needs, you can enjoy maximum safety and convenience when storing, accessing and managing your data.
At Web Alliance, we provide custom database solutions for companies and organisations of all sizes. Contact us today and we will begin building a database system tailored to your exact requirements.
Posted on 03 May, 2022
The cost of custom database development is one of the key factors that business owners need to consider when hiring software developers to create a bespoke database, and for good reason. Companies, particularly those with a limited budget, want to ensure that they won’t have to spend more than is necessary. As the costs vary among developers, it pays to do some prior research to ensure you get an excellent return on your investment.
Before we discuss how much it will cost to hire a custom database developer, we first need to explore the benefits of using this type of software. As you know, spreadsheets have long been the go-to solution for companies in need of data management. However, when this task becomes too big or too complicated to handle, it can be difficult and time-consuming to process vital business data using spreadsheets alone. As a result, many businesses have turned to custom databases.
A custom database also eliminates the need to invest in unnecessary software features. Often, an off-the-shelf product will come with features that are not suitable for your business. Rather than spending money on something you don’t need, it is more cost-effective to have database solutions designed specifically to your requirements.
Finally, a bespoke database will save you time and resources. As all the data you need can be found in one easy-to-access program, you can significantly increase your overall business productivity.
So, how much does your company need to invest in a custom-made database? The truth is there is no definitive answer to this question. The cost and time required to build your database will ultimately depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your company and the complexity of its needs.
To give you an idea of how much bespoke database solutions cost, we have complied a list of factors that can contribute to the overall price.
If you run a small company, you may be able to make do with hosting a custom database on a single computer. However, bear in mind that this setup will only allow one person at a time to use the database.
On the other hand, if you manage a larger business, you will need to host your database on a server that other computers can access via a local area network (LAN). This is of course more expensive as network installation alone costs at least £250. Nevertheless, hosting your database on a dedicated server will enable several users to access the database simultaneously.
A typical company database usually comprises a proprietary database platform that stores data points. It also has a “front end” interface that can be customised so you can generate reports and perform specific tasks more efficiently.
Today’s most popular platforms include Microsoft Access, MySQL, Oracle and IBM DB2. You will need to obtain a licence per user and server to use these database platforms. Prices differ between platform providers so it is advisable to carry out some research first to see which will best fit your needs and budget.
Database developers will design the software’s front end to meet your company’s needs and make it more accessible to users. Besides building the database, their services typically include installing the software in your hardware, testing, overseeing the roll-out and troubleshooting. In some cases, they may also train your staff in how to use the software.
Similar to database platforms, the cost of database development differs from one software developer to another. Moreover, developers often have different payment preferences; some ask to be paid by the hour while others build bespoke databases on a “per project” basis.
Whatever your preferences, you must make sure that you ask for a quote that outlines the scope of the project in writing. You should also review the developer’s credentials so you can have peace of mind knowing that you have hired the best person or company for the job. Remember, never make a decision based on price alone. To achieve the best results, you should also evaluate the developer’s skills and previous experience.
At Web Alliance, our experience working with a wide range of companies has enabled us to develop the skills and expertise we need to provide reliable and highly efficient corporate IT solutions at a reasonable price. Like you, we hate hidden charges. For this reason, we will always strive to provide you with a fixed price quote so you won’t get any nasty surprises at a later date.
Because your data is crucial to the success of your company, you will need a maintenance plan and support system when things go wrong. Regular maintenance will also help ensure that your database performs to a high standard.
Many corporate software developers, and in particular our team at Web Alliance, provide database maintenance as part of their development services. In other words, this facility will be included in the final database development price. Other companies offer this as a standalone solution, usually for around £150 per month.
If you want to minimise your expenses, it would be advisable to choose a software developer such as Web Alliance that offers support and maintenance as part of their service. Whichever company you choose, setting aside funds for database maintenance will help ensure that your data is protected and that help will be available whenever you need it.
Having a database built according to your company’s needs can simplify your data management, allowing you to accomplish tasks much more quickly. If you haven’t done so already, you should consider hiring an experienced developer to build a database that will fulfill your specific requirements. However, before giving them the go-ahead, remember to conduct some research in order to ensure you will get excellent value for your money.
If you are currently in the market for reliable custom-made software, our team at Web Alliance will be happy to help. We specialise in corporate IT, providing businesses with reliable bespoke databases and other software solutions at a reasonable price. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can discuss the specifics of your project.