Unit 4: Database Design & Development

Unit code                            H/615/1622

Unit type                             Core

Unit level                            QCF Level 4/ NFQ Level 6

Credit value                       15



Organisations depend on their databases to provide information essential for their day-to-day operations and to help them take advantage of today's rapidly growing and maturing e-commerc e opportunities. An understanding of database tools and technologies is an essential skill for designing and developing systems to support them.

Database systems continue to demand  more complex data structures and interfaces, as applications get increasingly sophisticated. Most organisations collect and store large volumes of data, either on their own systems or in the cloud, and this data is  used not just for the operational running  of their business but also mined for other more intelligent and complex applications. Databases stand as the bac k-end of most systems used by organisations for their operations.

Database design and development is a fundamental and highly beneficial skill for computing students to master, regardless of their specialism.

The aim of this unit is to give students opportunities to develop an understanding of the concepts and issues relating to database design and development, as well as to provide the practical skills to translate that understanding into the design and creation of complex databases.

Topics included in this unit are: examination  of different design tools and techniques; examination of different development software options; considering the development features of a fully functional robust solution covering data integrity, data validation, data consistency, data security and advanc ed database querying facilities across multiple tables; appropriate user interfaces for databases and for other externally linked systems; creating complex reports/dashboards, testing the system against the user and system requirements; and elements of complete system documentation.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to use appropriate tools to design and develop a relational database system for a substantial problem. They will  be able to test the system to ensure  it meets user and system requirements and fully document the system by providing technical and user documentation. For practical purposes, this unit covers relational databases and related tools andtechniques. A brief  overview of object-oriented databases will also be covered.

Students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.


Learning  Outcomes

By  the end of this unit students will be able to:

LO1.     Use an appropriate design tool to design a relational database system for a substantial problem.

LO2.     Develop  a fully functional relational database system, based on an existing system design.

LO3.     Test the system against user and system requirements. LO4. Produce technical and user documentation.

LO4.     Produce technical and user documentation.