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Database Business Proposal for ACME Auto Parts Report

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Updated: Sep 19th, 2022

Abstract

ACME Auto Parts Corporation is an emerging firm in the auto parts industry. The use of technology for every firm has become mandatory to utilize its resources optimally and provide a consistent quality solution to its customers. The database of any firm is a very important entity because it not only manages the complete business but also creates a log that is very important for the business in the long run. The proposal discusses various aspects of a good database that will be suitable for ACME auto parts and it also discusses what features would be required for the company to set up the database and run within the production environment. The current database used by ACME auto parts is not scalable and thus will require a complete upgrade. All the limitations of the current database will be kept in mind, in the new design. Moreover, the future requirements will also be kept in mind so that the database can be operational in the long run for the company and it would provide consistency and high productivity that is very useful for the company.

The proposal comprises a technical section that discusses how the network is going to be, and how the backend server is going to operate in the production environment. What would be the requirements of the system? A discussion about the base technologies being used for the database will be discussed and how the integration of the competition will be scheduled in such a way that the production environment gets the best results out of the database. The technical section will comprise six important categories that are relevant to the database. These include Network design, Database server, Security of the server and the database, Performance of the database and Cost estimation.

Objective

Currently, there are many problems faced by ACME auto parts that are related to its digital data storage and for the same purpose a database is required that is not only able to handle the routine data generating from everyday activity, but will also provide in depth analysis of the business that will help the management to predict the consumer buying behavior and come up with promotional offers that can increase the sales and optimize the utilization of resource. Security is a very important aspect of every business because usually the business information that is generated on daily basis is kept private and confidential and organizations take strict measures to keep the data secure so that its financials, strategies, and plans are not disclosed to open public(Blanning, 1986).

The new database system will be based on Open Source technology that will be centralized based on Relational Database Management Concept. The backend database will be based on MySQL that will be configured in a cluster mode, connected through redundant internet link with other database servers located in a remote location. The first server will be placed in the head office that will have the core database and will act as the primary server, whereas the second server will be placed in a remote location that will act as a backup. The cluster configuration will be Beowulf cluster configuration, where the secondary server will only become operational when the primary server fails to perform operation. The primary and secondary servers both will be connected to each other will 24/7 connectivity through IP Address that is the internet. The connection between the two servers will be based on VPN Virtual Private Network that will allow encrypted packets to travel over the internet that cannot be decoded easily by any hacker (Castano & Martella, 1995).

Approach

The database development will be based on five phases, where the first phase will include the requirement gathering phase. This phase will include meetings with all the stakeholders of the database that will include users from the board members to the end-users who will be operating the database. The first phase will result in the Software Requirement Specification that will describe all the functionalities that this database will possess, and will provide all the schedules on how and when the database will be handed over to ACME auto parts.

The second phase will consist of the planning and distribution of work. The planning will ensure that the resources are utilized to an optimal level and database is designed in such a way that it can cater to all the existing requirements and the requirements that will emerge during its operation. The planning will also comprise the distribution of the complete system into smaller modules that will be categorized as independent and dependent modules. All the independent modules will be started from the first day of database development. The critical path of the development will be looked upon with more focus because the finish of this database development will depend upon it. As a result of this phase Entity-Relationship (ER) Diagram will emerge that will portray the complete infrastructure of the database (Chen, 1976).

The third phase will be the start of the database where the backend will be developed and coded into smaller modules as distributed in the earlier phase. The database designers will follow the same ER diagram to ensure that development is right on track. The result of this phase will provide smaller modules of the database will be functional. For instance a module of contact details of the clients will be developed that will be operational independently.

The fourth phase will be the integration phase where each independent module will be integrated to the base system and at every milestone or integration the functionality of the database system will be checked so that it does not deviate from the initial plan. An alpha testing will be conducted over this database that will include the database users from ACME auto parts as well. This will also serve as a training session or initial awareness session with the database from the company. The result of this phase will be an operational database that will be ready to implement into the production environment.

The fifth phase will continue to run till the client is satisfied and ensures that the functionality of the database is similar to what had been decided earlier in the SRS. The fifth phase will include Beta testing and stress testing where in the beta testing the clients will be provided the database and it will be tested within the production environment. The stress testing will test the limits of the database where the database will be checked for its abilities and potential. Since the database will be used in large number of security transactions, stress testing in such cases becomes very important. Quality Assurance team will test the database will its tools and techniques to identify the loop holes of the database. Generally during stress testing some loopholes do come up, that will be rectified by the developer at the spot of the moment. The database as a result of this phase will be operational in the production environment and ACME auto parts will continue to work on the database with all its business operations.

The sixth phase will continue to exist until he life of the database ends. This will include updates, patches and fixes of the database. Usually in every business new requirements come up that are a result of the business operation expansion. Similarly, if the company expands and the database needs to be scaled at a larger level or some newer technology comes up that can enhance the database operations, patches and fixes will be released by the company that will be executed at the client’s end (McCarthy, 1979).

Network Design of the Database

The database will be a relational database that will have servers remotely located in geographical dispersed location. The network in such cases becomes very important as the business operations will depend upon it to great extent. The network of the servers will be based upon VPN technology that will have redundant link. Two of the top internet backbone providers will be contacted for the internet link that will be at least 2Mbps each. The links will be terminated at firewalls on both ends from where a virtual private network will be created over IPSec tunnel. This will ensure high security over the network and the redundant link will be ensure that the connectivity between the two servers and the web server that will be used as the front end in not broken.

Requirements Gathering

The system presently running is completely manual and is running on Microsoft Excel. The current system is quite time consuming and it will become quite hectic for the ACME auto parts if there is any kind of expansion in the business then the current system will be more complicated and it will be difficult to carry on the routine transactions in the similar fashion as there will be more chances of errors in it. The main problem that the Acme auto parts is currently facing is lack of integration due to which their inventory management is not upto the standards and they have to suffer heavy losses in case of the loss of inventory due to poor data management (Codd, 1982).

In order to automate the ACME auto part we are making a system that will manage their inventory consisting of auto parts. This application will provide a computerized system for buying, selling and for available auto parts in the stock. This system will then be integrated with the billing and accounts section of ACME auto parts to keep the check and balance of the selling and buying of auto parts.

Existing System

  • The current system running in ACME Auto parts is totally a manual system.
  • The MS Excel sheets are currently used for the management of inventory.
  • There is no backend database of the inventory.
  • Since the auto parts are the main assets of the organization but due to absence of proper database system in the organization it is very difficult for the management to keep a check and balance.
  • Problem arises in recording or tracing the available inventories in the stock.
  • Due to this there is a chance of misplacement of auto parts.
  • Amount of work force has also increased due to work load.

Database Server

The previously developed database system needs to be migrated into a new system that will be developed on mysql and php. The backend of the database will be developed on mysql where as the front end will be developed on php. The previous system being developed was not scalable and there was less choice of expanding the previous software, hence the decision was taken to migrate the previously developed database on php and mysql. It is generally seen that systems being developed presently are mostly developed on mysql so it will be beneficial to develop the database on this technology as there will be no compatibility issues in the future as well and lot of expansion can be done on it. Furthermore the tables developed on mysql can be modified easily when there is a requirement by running simple queries of update.

In order to migrate the previous system to mysql it is significant to develop an entity relationship diagram which will define the relationship of different entities of the auto parts system with each other. This diagram will further tell about the number of tables to be develop in the database. Apart from this diagram data flow diagram is also developed which will show the flow of data from entity to another. The data flow diagram will further simplify the scenario and it will make it easy for the developer to know about the flow of data and to do the development accordingly. After the completion of ER diagram and data flow diagrams then comes the phase of development. In the first phase of development the tables will be created on mysql, after the creation of tables on mysql tables will be integrated with the frontend or php. The choice of selection of php for this purpose is the development of online application for the ACME auto parts so that it can be accessed from any place and it is easily accessible by the users who are granted with the permission to access the database (Codd, 1979).

User Characteristics

The basic user of the database will be the person who manages the inventory. He has the right to make any changes (insertion, updating and deletion) in the records. Different user Ids with their respective rights will be granted to the users so they can access the system from anywhere.

Operating Environment

  • Hardware platform: Pentium 3 and above versions of the microprocessor.
  • Software platform: Windows platform.
  • Software requirement: MY SQL, PHP, Web browser.

Functional Requirements

  • The system will store information about buying and selling of auto parts.
  • Generates summary of number of auto parts present in the stock.
  • Generate report for the sold auto parts
  • Generates emails for reminder of out of stock auto parts.

Nonfunctional Requirements

  • The response time for information to appear to the user should be less.
  • The system should be able to perform large number of transaction.
  • The capacity in the expansion of the system should be high.

System Requirements

  • Windows 2000 SP2, Windows NT SP6a, Windows XP, Linux
  • Pentium II or higher
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 15 MB of available hard disk space
  • Internet connection

Emergent System Properties

  • The emergent system can be improved in future by adding the feature of alarming system, so that in case of auto parts have ended in the stock alarm for that particular auto parts will be generated
  • The system in future can act as the module of the ERP and be integrated as part of ERP in order to improve the performance of the system
Emergent System Properties

Security

The security will be an important aspect of the database because there would be high volume of transactions executed over the database. Moreover, there will be important details of the clients that would not be disclosed. The database will also contain private and confidential information of the business strategies and plans therefore the information will be secured through authentication access to the database. And only relevant database will be access to the corresponding user that will ensure that the actual data is not modified by any irrelevant person.

Performance

While the database will have high volume transactions there are chances that the data might get corrupt or experience some abnormal activities to which it can be crashed. The stress testing phase will ensure that the performance of the database will be up to the required standard. Moreover, the performance of the database will also be periodically checked and if any services are required it will be performed on the database so that the smoothness of the database remains intact in the long run.

Cost

The cost of the database will be another important aspect. The open Source technology will ensure that the cost is not very much. The configuration of the database will also be developed on open source platforms therefore the installation cost of the servers will be very less. The servers will have significant cost of about $3000 collectivity of primary and secondary server. However, the highest cost will incur in the development of the database that will be around $8,000. Moreover, the free maintenance for six months will ensure that no further cost is incurred on the database while the system runs smooth.

References

Blanning, R. (1986). , Decision Support Systems.

Castano, S. & Martella, G. (1995). Database security, Pierangela. Publication: ACM Press Books, Wokingham, England.

Chen, P. (1976). The entity-relationship model—toward a unified view of data, ACM Transactions on database systems. Web.

Codd, E. (1979). , ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS).

Codd, E. (1982). , Communications of the ACM.

McCarthy, W. (1979). , The Accounting Review.

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IvyPanda. "Database Business Proposal for ACME Auto Parts." September 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/database-business-proposal-for-acme-auto-parts/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Database Business Proposal for ACME Auto Parts." September 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/database-business-proposal-for-acme-auto-parts/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Database Business Proposal for ACME Auto Parts'. 19 September.

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