Businesses and other organizations maintain databases where they keep the information required in their operations. The databases are regularly updated, and users retrieve the information as they need it. Database forms are the interfaces used by those gaining access to the database, and they are designed according to the purpose intended. Data input forms may not be the same as the ones used when retrieving it.
The forms are necessary for the management of a database because they enhance its management in a manner that is friendly to users. Some users have very limited knowledge of how to manage a database, but an interface makes it possible to use the database.
Who Needs A Database Interface?
Database forms are not mandatory for every information system but improve the usefulness of the system if implemented. Decisions on whether to have the interface can be based on the following factors among others.
- The Number Of Users – A database with multiple users needs an interface to control access to the data. A sole user does not require the use of the forms.
- Security – Some of the information held in the database is sensitive, and control over its accessibility should be exercised. The use of forms limits access and gives authority on accessing some areas of the database.
- User Proficiency – The forms are designed to make it easy for all users to access the information they require without interfering with other contents of the system. The forms can be designed according to the purpose required for each user.
Types of Database Interfaces
- Data Entry – They are used to make modifications as required in the database. They make it easy for users to make the desired changes without affecting any other part of the database.
- Inquiry Forms – These appear on the screen showing reports of inquiries made to the database by the users. The users are only allowed to view the reports but cannot make any changes to them. These forms also filter the range of information to be viewed.
- Dialog Boxes – When users want to communicate with the database, they use dialog boxes. The boxes allow users to make inquiries to the system and get feedback.
- Menu Screen – These forms let users navigate the database without getting access to the background design.
Reasons for Using Database Interfaces
Apart from database forms, other options such as datasheet screens can be used for data input. However, the forms are better than other options for the following reasons.
- The forms filter the data to just what is needed. Thus, it reduces chances for users to interfere with data that already exists.
- A form allows users to view all the input boxes they require on one screen. In other options, users need to scroll as some of the boxes may be out of the screen.
- The forms can be customized to suit particular needs of the users as their requirements change.
Having database interfaces is important to an organization. It allows users to manage the database easily while securing its contents. As organization data requirements keep changing, the forms can be redesigned to suit each situation.