Database Design Mistakes: How to Avoid Common Bad Practices
by Jennifer Connell // 07.02.2018
Do not Wait for the Crash. Prevent Common Database Design Mistakes Early
Are you one of those database designers that make the same simple mistake over and over again? Well as database pro’s we know that the initial design does have an impact on the success of the consequent result. The question really is whether you as an old pro knows that common database design mistakes can be avoided. Well, after you have spotted them from following our guide below.
Poor System Design can be Detrimental
When you start e new project, it is essential for you to consider what a particular database instance is going to support. Not only will a lacking system design cost you in the long run, this bad practice affects the scalability of your application directly. Try imagining the requirements of the database in 3 years’ time. Is there room for future expansion? You also need to take into consideration how the database with be backed up and restored. Other considerations must include how the database design will assist in the incident recovery plan. Our best advice to seasoned developers out there: Approach your database design as a big picture, and not simply the sum of its parts.
Carefully Consider Primary Key Use – And its Effectiveness
It can happen that the Primary Key is misused, or not used at all. This is arguably the worst database development mistake to make, and not just a bad practice. According to ITPro “Good database design starts with the right primary key”. Here are a few valuable reminders about primary keys to take away:
- To maintain scalability, allow the system to manage primary keys as much as possible.
- Never change the Primary Key Values once they are implemented.
- Do not base the Primary Key Value off of the data in the row.
- The Primary Key Value shouldn’t have meaning therefore application data shouldn’t be used.
Stick to the Naming Standards and Documentation Best Practices
Although everyone seems to know that the bad practice of poor naming standards can cause an array of issues, most developers don’t adhere to a standard consistently. When it comes to good database design practices – and the management thereof, make sure that your naming standards are logical. No one has the time to cross reference to through pages upon pages of documentation whenever they encounter a different object name. In addition to that, avoid including metadata in the object name. Keeping proper documentation throughout the process is equally vital . Good practices includes all naming standards and definitions, no matter how obvious it seems to you.
Improper Normalisation Can be Fatal
This has been around for many years in database design and is all about how you organise your data into tables. Normalising your data is crucial. This will provide you with good performance as well as ease of development. Most designers either overdo it, or don’t do it enough. Make sure you find the sweet spot somewhere in the middle.
Do not Overuse Stored Procedures in your Database Design Practices
Its common knowledge that stored procedures can be your best friend when it comes to using SQL servers effectively. On the other hand relying too heavily on them can lead to serious issues. The use of modern ORMs, (Object Relational Mappers), will not only make your process more efficient, but is also is more nimble in the development process. Remember this next time when you are considering all of your system design options.
And most importantly… Test your database during development.
Don’t be lazy and don’t try taking shortcuts. Once the system goes into production the database is always blamed if a system start running slowly. When it comes to app development services, we at Zapro Digital take extra care with our database designs – ensuring our programs are not only robust, but scalable in it’s simplicity. We believe that one should combat that perception and TEST everything. Interested in more development topics? Web Development Process: Web Design Vs User Experience