Asset management database design is not an easy undertaking for the IT department of any company, let alone a company that specializes in software development. In order to properly collect the necessary asset information for a business it is important to incorporate a number of design goals, some of which are unique to the asset database design process. More than just listing the assets an organization owns, a database for asset management must be capable of maintaining accurate data to track financial details in regards to depreciation, maintenance, licensing fees, insurance costs and total cost of ownership.
To properly build an asset management database (DB) solution the following considerations should be included in its design:
- An asset database should be designed with the ability to track a number of different types of assets (physical inventory, users, network assets, hardware, software, etc.).
- DB design for asset management should include an easy to use interface so that designated users can access the tracking and reporting features of the system.
- A database design for assets typically needs to incorporate a system for remote data retrieval and storage, usually through software installed on personal computers (PCs) or terminals that reports asset data back to the server.
If your goal is to create asset management database software for commercial use, be careful not to design a solution that is too limited (just tracking PCs, just tracking network assets) or that is modeled to a single company's workflow. When you create asset management database programs, it is important to include enough features and flexibility in the design to meet the needs of most businesses. Additionally, the application should be flexible enough to allow for future expansion, and--ideally--customization, to continuously meet the needs of a company as it grows and changes.
Follow the steps in this guide to design an effective asset management solution.
Use Access for creating a basic asset database design
Because Microsoft Access comes with Microsoft Office, many companies already own it. Creating an easy-to-use interface in the software is not difficult, which makes it a good choice, especially for smaller companies. If your company decides to design an asset management database solution in Access, there are several sites online where you can download samples and build on to them.
Consider using an asset management SQL database design
Access is a good entry level database, but there are limitations to its capabilities that can become an issue as the number of users and assets increases. The good news is that sound SQL database design for asset management principles are not restricted to Access and the Internet is a good place to find asset management database design guidelines samples for many types of databases. If you are not going to use Access, use the Internet to learn how other companies are implementing their asset management database design schemas. While the principles of good database development are universal, it is best to start with sample code from a database you will be using.
Learn from asset management database design companies
The art and science of asset management database design has been around for some time. This has allowed several asset management database design companies to emerge as leaders in the industry who now sell their products on the Internet. This is important because these companies have faced the challenges of creating a proper asset management database design and have developed effective solutions which are commercially viable. Even if you are building an application for internal use only, it is useful to explore the features that other companies offer, to decide if you should include them in your own design. If you realize that the features they have included were added to address specific problems their customers have experienced, you can design a solution to avoid these potential problems.
- Be aware of the data storage and multiple concurrent user limitations of Access. Depending on how the solution will be used, Access may not be an adequate asset management database design option.
- Access and SQL Server appear to be the best supported SQL databases in terms of database design for assets example code. Unless you have to use a different database, strongly consider these two applications.
- If you decide to create asset management database software from sample code, be sure to give credit to the original creators and comply with their licensing requirements.
- If you need further help, consider hiring a company that provides asset management database design services which may be able to create a custom solution for you.