database design

table of content
  1. How to use this page
  2. Introduction
  3. Key Database Terms
  4. What is a database
  5. Database development
  6. Learning Apache OpenOffice Database class exercise
  7. Database inputs
  8. Database outputs
  9. Organising a Database
  10. Collecting and entering data
  11. Analysing data
  12. Presenting Information
  13. Assessment
  14. Careers
  15. copyright and acknowledgements
  16. Registration and programs
  17. Home

How to use this page

This page has all the subject content that you will need to complete the required study for IST. You will find a range of activities called “portfolio”, “essential tasks” and ” weekly homework”. You are required to complete all of these tasks as they all make up a component of your assessment schedule. You are also expected to present your completed work on a Googlesite sharing this site with your teacher.

There are due dates displayed with each task. The Portfolio tasks will achieve a mark full marks for a well completed task, half marks for a incomplete but mostly completed and a zero mark will be given for a non attempt.The Assessments details may be found here.

Your work will be completed within the Cloudshare environment, however, an important security issue exists and you are required to ONLY use your school credentials for all online use within Cloudshare or external for example Voki.

The series of YouTubes are important to view as these will present to you visual detail that you may not see in the text. The scheduled IST end of Semester Examinations will be created from the content found on this site.

essential task 1
a) Create your own website or add to your current sidebar using Cloudshare Sites by visiting here. Use your first name and initial of your family name so that others in the course will have a standard format to find your website. Never place any personal details on your website.

b) Share as an owner your website with your IST class teacher . This is a CEO policy for student websites.

c) Add to your website a avatar, embed a youtube video, with a A.I. theme. Add a sentence as to why you selected this video.

View this tube to view a tutorial on how to use googlesites.

View more Radford University tutorial tubes on how to use googlesites.

essential task 2

a) Create a pages titled “Database Design” then read this section of sushi “Digital Media” and summarise using all the headings provided. The addition of an appropriate image would be good.

b) Create a page titled “Database Design Key terms” and using the terms shown in this section of sushi and provide a meaning to each of these terms. Use this computer terms site here to find the meanings. The addition of an appropriate image would be good.

c) A page or series of pages will be required to place all of your work. You are expected to clearly label each task so that the task can be located.


Historically, information has always been important, and information was stored and organised on paper, on cards, in books and boxes and then saved on shelves. This was a manual process, that was time consuming and at times prone to errors and damage. As information became more vast, and demand for faster retrieval and more manipulation was required computer technology has provided a more efficient method of handling data.

Computer Technology has provided a range of hardware and software that can collect, organise, analyse, process, store and retrieve, transmit and recieve and display data as information. Storage of data is most efficiently handled by a database application. Throughout this document tubes have been added to assist you with your learning. Please do use these or refer to the text that we are currently using.

Key Database Terms

What is a database

we have looked at data in the past, and seen how data is raw material that the computer is able to digitise and then create information for a user, or in fact more data for another computer system. A need to organise and store this data has been with us for centuries. Books are databases. A telephone directory has had the white paper surfaces printed on with ink. the data has been organised using characters that have been organised alphabetically and numerically. These books though very useful are limited in that they are difficult to update or to correct errors.

weekly homework task 1
1. Why was manually storing information on paper and cards a problem?
2. Why is an online telephone directory better than a printed version?

Database management systems

Database management systems also known as DBMS are systems that allow the user to complete a range of actions on collected and stored data easily.

A DBMS provides the user with the ability to:

– find data
– input new data
– modify existing data
– delete data
– sort and display data

The DBMS uses a single file called a database but a range of file types may be linked to perform the task required. This means that you can add images to your database.

View the following tubes
View this tube to see an introduction to Open Office Base, and Creating your database. This is an alternative application to Microsoft Access

portfolio task 1
Create four linked html pages and using text, YouTubes, images and one java scripts per page outline these Key Database items. This can be Apache OpenOffice database or Microsoft Access. 1. Data Dictionary,

2. Table,

3. Form View and


Database development

A computerised database has developed from the traditional storage of data. Imagine a store that needs to keep records of its customers. There needs to be a container a record, a specific piece of information that is about the record and a language that we understand. So a computerised database is organised in the same way, with a file, a record, a field and a character.

– A file is the container for the data
– A record holds all the data with regards to one item of the database.
– A field is a single whole piece of data
– A character is the symbol that is used to represent the data which is found on a keyboard.

The data types used include text, numbers, yes/no or true/false, dates, currency and multimedia which include images, audio, hyperlinks, animations and video.

Database Dictionary
A database dictionary looks like an Excel spreadsheet, with rows and columns. This Database Dictionary is essential as it sets up the rules for the way the database will perform. What is allowed and what is not. It will define the types of data permitted, and how it is stored.

The data dictionary at a basic level includes:

– The name of each field
– The data type in a field
– The number of characters a field contains
– A description of the data in each field

The data dictionary is also used to create the data form and report for a database management system.

Extension task 1
Create a Voki that provides the purpose of a data dictionary here

You have 60 seconds to record, so plan your explanation.

Learn how to create a Voki here here

weekly homework task 2
1. Name the main data types used in a database
2. What does a data dictionary do?


What is Apache OpenOffice Database 

How to create an Apache OpenOffice Database 


Learning Apache OpenOffice Database class exercise

The following learning path will provide you with the ability to create database using Apache OpenOffice Database

  1. Database Basics

Please do each of the following instructional tasks.

  1. Create a new database
  2. Create tables
  3. Create forms
  4. Create queries
  5. Create reports

portfolio task 2
Reflective task.

  • 1. A data dictionary is an important part of any database management system.
  • 2. The use of the correct data type in a data dictionary is very important.
  • 3. The design of the form is essential for the database management system to be effective.
Write five lines on each of the three statements.

Working with Tables

Working With Forms

Working with Queries

Database inputs

Data sources

A database may be created for your own use or for a commercial purpose. The database does though have the same concerns of copyright of other media. The data that is placed in your database, if not your own, needs to be acknowledged. The data also needs to be reliable, therefore, ensure that the data is accurate and up to date.

Data input and error checking

When you create a new database, you need to input data into the records and fields. The database will have rules that have been set by the data dictionary that the user will have to follow. The data type and size for example must be correct according to the rules set by the data dictionary.

Data input needs to be accurate. There are a number of ways to ensure data is correct. One method is verification check, this checks that the data is accurate. This is a manual process that will check for spelling errors and incorrect values. An example of data verification is when you are asked to type a password twice to ensure that the user has input the data correctly. Validation checks is used to ensure that the correct data type is used. You will recall that data types are set in the rules of the database by the data dictionary. Data validation checking ensures that you do not type in the incorrect type of data or size. An example would be typing a alphanumerical value in a numbers only field or entering a data value which exceeds a the rule set.

Database outputs

Apart from organising and storing data, the important process of display of the data as information occurs. The DBMS can display the information in a number of ways, these include the display in a List or Table view, as a Report or as a Form.

The database serves to store, organise and retrieve and display data in a form that we can understand. This input of data when outputted becomes information. This output may also become input for another information system to use.

A database needs to be able to display the information. This may be done as a list, a table, a report or a form display.

The List or table view allows the user to view the data in the file in a series of rows and columns. It will look like an excel spreadsheet. The database file is able to be modified in this form. The user is able to view many records and fields at the same time.

The Report view is more convenient to view the data on than a List view, which often will extend off the screen. The Report view displays selected data. This for example may be a list of clients and their phone numbers only, excluding all other data that may be contained in the database file. A Report is produced by a Report generator.

The Form view unlike the List view displays only one record at a time. The Form is able to be modified using DTP principles and only fields are able to be modified by a user. The Form is handy as you see only the records you require and the user is able to scroll through data.

weekly homework task 3
1. What are 5 concerns that have to be considered when a user inputs data into a database?
2. List and describe the three ways that information may be displayed by a database.

View this tube, 1.2 Creating a Simple Form in Apache OpenOffice database


portfolio task 3
Development task

Create a data dictionary for a car dealer. Source car details here. The dealer has sold 12 cars to 12 people. He wishes to keep in contact with these so that each two years he can contact them hoping that they wish to upgrade to a newer car. Fields would be:

  1. names,
  2. phone number,
  3. brand of car,
  4. model,
  5. registration number,
  6. date of purchase and
  7. photo of car.

You may decide upon more.
Present the data in a form view.

Organising a Database

The DMBS allows you to organise the data for almost any purpose. The Database developer does have to go through the development process; you would have studied this in Design and Technology, as the Design Process.

The Database developer needs to decide upon the actual problem to solve. What is the purpose of the database? What data is to be collected and how? How the data will be identified?

If a database of a collection of cars, you may wish to identify the data by naming fields such as make, year, model, serial number, registration number, odometer reading, condition, image of car.

Then the data type will be decided upon. That is the data text, numbers, or ole. The filed size is also important. The default size if left will cause the database to require more storage than should be required.

Collecting and entering data

Data may be entered either in table view or in form view. During the input of data regularly check that all fields have been filled, that the spelling is correct and the size of fields is appropriate.

An important issue of concern with regards to a database is security. Your database needs to be like other documents created stored in a secure location usually password protected, to ensure unauthorised access does not occur. Virus protection is also worth while utility software to have on the workstation.

As will all data the database should be backed up. A read only copy may be available to others, or provide various levels of access through passwords, encryption and permissions.

weekly homework task 4
1. Provide an example of the considerations of a database developer, in planning a database.
2. What is an important issue of concern with regards to a database?

Analysing data

Analysing data is the most important features of a database. This data analysis allows a user to sort and search data to find information such as patterns. Companies do this from collected data to develop powerful marketing tools, such as using demographic information.

Quite simply, a user who wishes perhaps to view a particular movie actor, is able to search the DVD collection of movies using the name of the actor. The database will display all movies that have been placed in that database in which the actor appears. The user may only wish to see a display of an actor in a certain year. Therefore, a database may be searched with more than one criteria. This can be done using data filters.

Examples of data filters may be viewed in your text on page 73. If the user wishes to view all students in a class who scored above 75 in an exam, the filter would have the symbol for greater than “>” and only records above 50 would be displayed. Adding the data filter “Like” enables the data filter to search and display data that starts with, ends with or contains a character. An example of this could be “Like G*” then text starting with the letter “G” would be displayed.

The user is also able to add the term “AND” to link two filters. For example “Like F* And >45”.

Searching with a query is excellent for continued or future use, as a query may be saved and used again. Queries are based on the tables that are in the database.

Presenting Information

Databases allow a user to store, organise, search and importantly display data as information. The database can display data as information in two ways, as Forms and as Reports.

A Form is usually displayed on a screen, but may also be printed as a hardcopy. This is similar to a Report, however, a Report is more likely to be displayed as a hardcopy, than on a screen. An advantage of the Form view is that it may be used to modify data and is interactive.

Both the Form and the Report are based upon the database Table. Both can also be used to display the result of a query.

weekly homework task 5
1. Analysing data is the most important features of a database. What does this feature allow the user to do?
2. Name the two ways that information may be presented using a database.



Project development


The planning, production and overall development of a project has six steps.

  • understanding the problem
  • making decisions
  • designing solutions
  • implementing the solution testing the product
  • implementing the solution maintaining the product
  • implementing the solution evaluating the product


If you do not know what is required to be completed to solve a problem, then the resultant solution is very unlikely to be correct. It is therefore, important that the task be understood. this may be done by asking questions of the potential participants of a solution.

Once that you decide upon the problem, then you need to decide on a solution. Probably thinking about one design only is not the best, create a few designs so that you can decide upon the best.

Once that you have decided upon a solution you may then commence to create a solution or product that will solve the problem. Make what is known as a prototype first. a prototype is a model or limited functioning product, to see if the solution is appropriate. a storyboard is also a sound design tool to develop a product, especially a video or audio product.

Once you have decided upon the solution, then make it. evaluation of the product is a continual process and should be completed through out the design and implementation process. maintainance will also be required to be carried out as the product is used.



Assessment Portfolio

You must complete these portfolios. The portfolio tasks are to be added into your site.

 portfolio 1  Due week 2  Research task
 portfolio 2  Due week 4  Report
 portfolio 3  Due week 6  Data dictionary and form
 portfolio 4  Due week 8-9  Major Assignment

Assessment Task


portfolio task 4
Major Assessment
This Major Assessment requires the student to create a database using the criteria set in the portfolio guide. The database may be a sporting team, game characters, music or arts. Download portfolio guide here

Careers and responsibilities

Careers in information and software technology

As technology and user demands grows more and more IT careers are created. Some careers in IT have not even been thought of yet as the technology may still be undiscovered or still in the development stage.

Careers include Data entry Operators, Programmers, Multimedia Specialists, Technicians, Web Designers,Systems Support and Sales. The abilities and duties range from TAFE to Advanced Tertiary courses at University.

If you are thinking that IT maybe a career option, check with TAFE Colleges and Universities to see course entry requirements. Google IT careers to find out actual roles.

Registration and programs

Programs & registration for teachers are here.



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Licence: Available here.

The personal or classroom educational use, provided there is a link to TeacherTube here. TeacherTube terms and conditions state that videos may be downloaded for

The YouTube terms and conditions state that videos may be embedded in the media, provided there is a link to YouTube and that the appropriate non commercial use is made here

Reference to the text and included cd-rom, IST, information, software and technology 7-10 , author Peter Ware et al. isbn 0-7314-0168-9 is made as students are expected to purchase both items.

Reference to the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus documentations are made, with documentations available from here