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We have summarized our process for building database applications. A sound database design can literally mean the difference between success and failure. Consider the foundation for a house. If the foundation is sound, you may have a good house, depending on the subsequent work. However, a flawed foundation will ruin a house, almost regardless of the work that follows. So too, the success or failure of an application hinges on the quality of the database.

We listed inputs and outputs for application development, and sketched out the development stages. You first prepare a model of the real world in order to scrutinize and rigorously restate the requirements. During design, you should then devise an architecture and elaborate the model. The ultimate implementation with a database and programming language is largely straightforward because most difficult issues have already been addressed.

Even though our written presentation is necessarily linear, the development approach need not be sequential. We described several approaches to the development life cycle.

This is the first of several articles that show how to build database applications. Subsequent InformIT articles (References [3], [4], and [5]) flesh out details for the major stages of analysis, design, and implementation. References [1] and [6] provide additional explanation.

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