Business Rules and How They Affect Database Design

Establishing business rules is one of the early steps of database design. Your database’s rules should be dictated by the way your business or organisation uses your data. This usually means defining both field-specific and relationship-specific rules.

It’s important for decision makers to recognise that they might not have all the answers. These systems are best built with input from the workers who will actually be using the database regularly.

Administrators and management may have the best birds-eye view of business goals and overarching strategy, but they often do not spend most of their working hours elbows-deep in the company’s database.

Adopting a new database is also a good time to assess what is and isn’t necessary for your organisation to keep. One of the great things about Soutron is you can keep as much or as little of your existing data as you want. Some businesses don’t need every last scrap of data, while others will want to thoroughly document literally everything they do and maintain records going back decades.

Business rules will help define what data is kept, how hierarchical relationships between entries will be defined and data security.

Business rules in the context of database design are fundamentally unique. While businesses within the same industry may share many of the same characteristics, few are mirror copies of each other. That’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all database design solution.

Soutron’s databases are fully customisable to ensure businesses have the flexibility to build a database that adheres to their own internal business rules.

Business Rules in a Database

Business rules often seem blatantly obvious and even tedious, but they are necessary for building a database. For example, you might need a business rule that an ONBOARD DATE field can’t be earlier than the SET LIVE date. Obviously, a client’s contract can’t go into effect before they’re onboarded, but for the purposes of data integrity, it may be necessary to formally establish that business rule.

For example, you might need a special date field to record an event where the exact date is not known or set up a URL field that only permits URLs to be entered. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to receive an issue for May if the subscription doesn’t start until June.

These constraints prevent errors that might cause problems in the future or compromise the value of metadata and established hierarchical relationships. Business rules help prevent mistakes and increase the overall quality and reliability of your database.

Database-Oriented Rules and Application-Oriented Rules

Establishing and maintaining constraints within a database is fundamental to enforcing data integrity, but not all business rules are created in the same way or for the same reason.

In basic terms, a database-oriented rule is a constraint dictated by the business based on their unique data integrity needs. For example, requiring certain types of data, like the name of a state, be entered into certain fields, like a State of Residence field.

Application-oriented rules are ones that are automatically applied based on the design of a database. For example, if a business was applying data restrictions based on a user’s location, the application-oriented rule might automatically apply that restriction based on the user’s state of residence. It’s not a checkbox that must be clicked but an automatic rule imposed by the application.

Customising Your Business Rules

The experts you contract to design and build your database must take many variables into account when creating business rules. Because no two sets of business rules are ever identical, it’s necessary for your decision makers to work closely with your database developer in crafting a solution that addresses your needs.

It’s also important to consider current organisational requirements and plans that might affect how you use your database. It may be necessary to incorporate features intended to be implemented or used when new locations, products or services are brought online years down the road.

The team of database design, Microsoft SQL Server and .NET experts at Soutron have experience developing databases for all types of organisations. We’ve successfully brought prototypes live under unique circumstances, under tight deadline constraints, and managed complex projects with distinct requirements.

Our team can rise to any database design challenge and we’re ready to show you what we can do. Request a demo of Soutron’s database solutions today.