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Database blog part one – The best business database

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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 Many businesses still use spreadsheets to run some company processes, but as the enterprise grows, outdated methods no longer cut the mustard.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.

In these two blogs, I will cover the features you should be looking for when choosing the right database, and how software vendors can fulfil these expectations.

Database candidates
If you start researching databases, you will immediately come across market leaders such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, IBM DB2 and the open source MySQL. You will likely have heard of these big-hitters before, and feel comfortable engaging with them. You may even already use their software. If you have been working on Microsoft Office, for example, Microsoft SQL Server will seem familiar to you, even if it is unrelated to the Office suite.

For larger organisations, your choice of database may be dictated by the skills of your IT team. Alternatively, you may already have a database or other software in your business that you want to build on or ensure compatibility with.

One throat to choke
To make sure future system installations and upgrades are as pain-free as possible, it’s a good idea to reduce the number of your IT providers. That way you are less likely to encounter incompatibility issues and, if something does go wrong, you only have one port of call to get it fixed.

I personally learnt this lesson the hard way. I wanted a new PC so I focused on buying a central unit, choosing the latest and greatest operating system around: Windows 7 64-bit . I was still happy with my screen, keyboard and other peripherals so I didn’t consider replacing those.

I had great expectations of my new equipment, but after turning on the computer, I quickly realised my multi-button mouse and programmable keyboards had no drivers for Windows 7 64-bit! I had to go out again to buy a new mouse and find a driver that worked for my keyboard. I then faced the same problems with software, with an anti-virus program that just couldn’t run on the new operating system. Of course I solved the problem in the end, but I lost a few hours of my life that I will never get back!

Ensuring that your IT infrastructure is compatible is only the first step. As you will see in part two, smaller SMEs will little or no complicated infrastructure need to focus more on ease of instalment and achieving peace of mind.

Paul Goepfert
Marketing Manager, Pronto Software

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert is the Marketing Manager for ERP vendor Pronto Software. @PaulGoepfert

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