Database Prices: A Guide
When managing your organisation’s data becomes too large a task to deal with using shared spreadsheets, acquiring a database becomes essential. No company can function properly when their vital business data is subject to loss, prone to error or is locked to one user at a time – a database solves all these problems and provides a wealth of new options for data organisation, analysis and reporting.
The cost of database development can quickly escalate beyond initial expectations even for the simplest of database solutions. This guide to database costs will provide a list of things to consider when pricing up database development. With this advice you can ensure that the project remains within budget while still delivering the functionality you need.
Database Costs: Hardware
Very small companies might get away with hosting a database on a single desktop PC. This will however restrict use of the database to one person at a time. Larger companies where several users need to be able to share access to the database and all be able to both view and edit data at the same time will need the database installed on a server which other computers can access via the network. So if you don’t already use a LAN network you’ll need to set one up. You’ll also need to make sure your server has sufficient capacity to handle the database.
Database Costs: Software
A database for a company normally consists of a proprietary database platform which stores the data points and the relations between them and ‘front end’ which is customised to you particular organisation and which allows the retrieval of specific reports and running of specific tasks. Common platforms include Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2. These are commonly charged for via a licence per user and a server licence. Get these costs broken down in each quote for comparison – for small enterprises it usually doesn’t make a lot of difference which platform you use so try to find the cheapest.
Database Development Costs
Database developers will need to design and build the front end of the database so that it meets your organisations particular needs. They’ll also need to test the database, install it on your hardware, set up and train users and oversee the roll-out to troubleshoot problems and fix bugs. You’ll want a quote for the entire job that is broken down into constituent elements so that you can compare prices from different developers. You might also want to ask the developers for a per day or per hour database development price so that if the job is completed in a significantly shorter time you can ask for an appropriate reduction to be made.
Database Costs: Support and Maintenance
Your data is presumably very important to your business or organisation, (otherwise why consider getting a custom database built in the first place) so you’ll want a contingency plan in place for when things go wrong – the data needs to be backed up and you must have someone to call to fix problems. Regular maintenance will also keep the database running smoothly. Get detailed prices from the developers under consideration including standing charges as well as costs for call-out and labour.
Always get quotes from several suppliers for any database development project. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the functionality you need while keeping database development prices down through competition.
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