Process for Designing a Database

To implement a multidimensional database, you install Essbase, and then you design and create an application and databases. You analyze data sources and define requirements carefully and decide whether a single-server approach or a partitioned, distributed approach better serves your needs. For criteria that you can review to decide whether to partition an application, see Guidelines for Partitioning a Database.

Using a case study, this chapter provides an overview of the database planning process and discusses working rules that you can follow to design a single-server, multidimensional database solution for your organization. See Creating Applications and Databases.

Figure 26, The Database Design Cycle illustrates the cyclical process of designing a database, which includes the following basic steps:

  1. Analyze business needs and design a plan.

    The application and database that you create must satisfy the information needs of your users and your organization. Therefore, you identify source data, define user information access needs, review security considerations, and design a database model. See Analyzing and Planning.

  2. Draft a database outline.

    The outline determines the structure of the database—what information is stored and how different pieces of information interrelate. See Drafting Outlines.

  3. Check system requirements.

    How you meet system requirements and define system parameters affects the efficiency and performance of the database. See Checking System Requirements.

  4. Load test data into the database.

    After an outline and a security plan are in place, you load the database with test data to enable the later steps of the process. See Loading Test Data.

  5. Define calculations.

    You test outline consolidations and write and test formulas and calculation scripts for specialized calculations. See Defining Calculations.

  6. Define reports.

    Users access data through print and online reports and spreadsheets or on the Web. If you plan to provide predefined reports to users, you design report layouts and run reports. See Defining Reports.

  7. Verify with users.

    To ensure that the database satisfies your user goals, solicit and carefully consider user opinions. See Verifying the Design.

  8. Repeat the process.

    To fine-tune the design, repeat steps 1 through 7.

Figure 26. The Database Design Cycle

This image illustrates the eight basic steps for designing a database, as described in the text preceding the image.