The database development life cycle
The database development life cycle

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

The database development life cycle

1.3 Requirements gathering

Here we are concerned only with the requirements that relate specifically to the data. Establishing requirements involves consultation with, and agreement among, all the users as to what persistent data they want to store along with an agreement as to the meaning and interpretation of the data elements. The data administrator plays a key role in this process as they overview the business, legal and ethical issues within the organisation that impact on the data requirements.

The data requirements document is used to agree requirements with users. To make sure that it is easily understood, it should not be overly formal or highly encoded. The document should give a concise summry of all users' requirements – not just a collection of individuals' requirements – as the intention is to develop a single shared database.

Below is an example of a statement from an Open University summary database card:

Each course which is available for study is given a course code, a title and a value for credit points – either a 30-point course or a 60-point course. A course may have a quota – the maximum number of students that can be enrolled on the course in any one year; each quota is reviewed regularly and the last date of review is recorded with the quota. A course need not (yet) have any students enrolled on it. Students may not enrol for more than 180 points’ worth of courses at any one time.

You should note that the above says nothing about how the data are processed, but it does state what the data items are, what attributes they have, what constraints apply and the relationships that hold between the data items.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus