Insofar as risk and operational pain are concerned, performing a stocktake rates very high on both counts.

Many organisations recognise that if they perform stocktakes badly, it will have significant impact on their general ledger, inventory, and warehouse management system.

I just came across promotional advertising from an ERP vendor offering a few licenses for a very low price. While this sounded like a very good offer, a closer inspection of what was included presented a few questions worth asking.

Digging into the "terms & conditions",  I discovered that this offer excluded many of the required components to run their system. I thought to myself, how can this vendor maintain their investment in R&D and offer the long-term commitment needed to support their customers?

Getting started
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the first point to consider when choosing a database is how easy it is to deploy. I recently started developing websites for several not-for-profit associations and decided on a database based of the ease of installation. To create a content management system for these websites, I simply installed the open source XAMPP web server stack and everything I needed, including MySQL, was there ready to go. Of course, the fact that open source software is free is an added bonus for a voluntary organisation.

As small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) incorporate complex IT systems into their infrastructure, they need to invest in a scalable database to act as a robust repository for their business-critical data. Many businesses still use spreadsheets to run some company processes, but as the enterprise grows, outdated methods no longer cut the mustard.

There are a number of reasons you might need a new database. Many software vendors require a database back-end for their business, for example. Or you may want to update or expand on a database you already use to support your website or accounting processes.

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