Determining the Database's Purpose
Designing a database can be the hardest part of the whole process, and it's one many users try to skip, to their own regret . Few developers are so smart and so in tune with the data that they can skip this task and still build a successful database application. If you learn nothing else from this chapter, remember thisdo not skimp when designing your database.
After you've decided that you need to design your database, rather than just throwing things together, write a short mission statement on the purpose of your database. Don't sweat over this part; the statement can be a simple sentence if that's all that's required. "Store and analyze wooly worm sightings for predicting subsequent winter conditions" says quite a lot. By the end of the process, you might need to update your mission statement, but that's the whole point of the design process.
For the purposes of this book, we'll create a database that stores gardening information. Specifically, we'll track flowers, plants, and vegetables. Using the previous sentence as our mission statement, we'll get started. We'll use this database for the rest of the bookbut don't be surprised as we modify and enhance the database in later chapters. Most of the time, you'll need to change your initial database design as you work with the database and understand new requirements.