Database defintion from an Excel Spec?

  • ian.hadlington

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 232

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Database defintion from an Excel Spec?

  • katesl

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1743

    I know the big vendors want to hold programmers captive in their IDEs (studios) but I'll never give up the programmer's editor that I use -- Epsilon. Using Epsilon macros and its regular expression search-and-replace, it's so easy to make scripts from text and to clean huge datasets.

    _________________
    "Look, those sheep have been shorn."
    data analyst replies, "On the sides that we can see.."

  • Samuel Vella

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8055

    Nice article but why do you say you will never need to use this again?

    I've been using Excel to design tables for a few years, table designs can then easily be shared with the rest of the team, comments can be added and changes easily made. Its also fairly easy to lift the data from Excel and drop it into Word for the design documentation.

    Once the design is final its a quick job to build the create table/index/foreign key scripts as your article details.

  • P Jones

    SSChampion

    Points: 12323

    When the software is a major application designed and tested by a third party, that third party is required to install it on our servers and prove it working before it can be signed off (and they get paid).

    No way would I get into that awful situation in the first place but well done for finding a solution.

  • Neuro

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1063

    Nice Spreadsheet, in my job , I Tend to get the Data in the Tables rather the the Spec's , it is up to me/the team to decide the specifications

    Eventually , as I seemed to be doing it on a daily basis I ended up writing some VBA which Analyzed all the Data in the Columns and then built the Tables around the information , this tended to save me much more time. I haven't used it since I upgrade to Excel 2007 and Therefore I have not updated the Context menu's that let me execute this

    But at some point I'll do that and put up Post for it

    There is usually some minor alterations , like setting Keys and and Adding a couple of Columns , but most of the leg work is done so its just tweaks

  • Bill Preachuk

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 75

    In the old version of Kimball's Data Warehouse Toolkit" book there is an excel spreadsheet that can be used to design databases and create/execute DDL. That goes back to 1997 and I recall it's pretty good.

    Just a thought...

  • dcawvive

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 466

    That's a good workaround but there are modeling tools available that will build a database, logical and physical models from a spreadsheet. Then again, some of the contractors I have dealt with would gladly bill 80 hours to type in table definitions. Why would you deal with a vendor that wouldn't supply a build script? Did the person that purchased this product factor in the additional 10K in cost just to begin to set up the program?

  • Neuro

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1063

    you mean I could get 10k just for writing a script ... right im on that 🙂

  • Samuel Vella

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8055

    With some vendors, once you get past the shiney sales patter and have been convinced into signing on the dotted line, can be very obstructive.

  • Samuel Vella

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8055

    hickymanz (11/12/2009)


    you mean I could get 10k just for writing a script ... right im on that 🙂

    Unfortunately only the big consultancies can get away with charging £1000 per day for consultants.

  • Lambchop4697

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 487

    I liked the article. Easy to follow and understand. I have been consulting for more than 20 years and I have only found this situation a few times. But those were always ugly and the conditions by which the "politics" occured was equally unique. I disagree with the earlier criticism about 3rd party vendor control and our ability to demand information. I have faced these exact problems in state and federal government situations as well as private sector. The fact is, I do not think you have a lot of outside exposure if you believe you can impose your own policies on the parties you are working with. Keep in mind, and this is to those who are wanting to be judgemental, if it was easy, you probably would not have been called in the first place. Always good to ask for the simple to be possible, but accept the reality that in most cases, people are usually not that stupid and they *always* have their reasons. Otherwise, go work for a single company and then you can impose your policies according to your stupendously supportive boss 🙂

    upwards and onwards!

  • dcawvive

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 466

    I was basing the 10K on the 80 hours estimated in the article @ $100 /hour plus a few hours of debugging, tweaking etc.

  • Samuel Vella

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8055

    dcawvive (11/12/2009)


    I was basing the 10K on the 80 hours estimated in the article @ $100 /hour plus a few hours of debugging, tweaking etc.

    Currency conversion issue

    I'm working in £, you're dealing with $ 😉

  • katesl

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1743

    What I meant to say in my first post is that programmers should know what a programmer's editor can do and when to use it. Time estimates based on document editing when what's needed is a programmer's editor are way high-- unconscionable to contemplate charging your client for many hours of work when half an hour will do it.

    _________________
    "Look, those sheep have been shorn."
    data analyst replies, "On the sides that we can see.."

  • Neuro

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1063

    katesl (11/12/2009)


    What I meant to say in my first post is that programmers should know what a programmer's editor can do and when to use it. Time estimates based on document editing when what's needed is a programmer's editor are way high-- unconscionable to contemplate charging your client for many hours of work when half an hour will do it.

    £50 an hour no way, I wouldn't get out of bed for that

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