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The Weakest Link in Business

Data Structure and User Reality

Business Events and Mathematical Modeling

What is User Focused Data Architecture?

Data Architecture as a reflection of User reality

Most developers have experienced the headaches that accompany a major system development project. Delays, rewrites, long hours, missed deadlines, and failed expectations are more the norm than the exception. In fact, according to the 2006 Chaos Report published by the Standish Group, 65% of software development projects are either “challenged” (46%) or “failed” (19%). Only 35% of the projects were considered a success. (Software Development Times, issue 169, March 1, 2007, www.sdtimes.com)

What accounts for this dismal record? With all the powerful system development tools, skilled programmers, and potent hardware, why does development remain such a sticking point? After decades of writing systems and helping other write them, we think we have a line on at least one of the problems: poor reflections. That’s right: dim, hazy, or dark reflections of the user’s situation.

Let us elaborate. We all know that most systems are based on relational databases: column and row (table) structures used for holding and manipulating information. The software that manages these tables are called relational database managers, and most technicians only think about these in terms of access speed or scripting power. But powerful as these aspects may be, this view overlooks the principal benefit of relational structures: that they reflect a reality. That’s right: the very structure of a set of tables reflects a reality of some sort.

This is getting a bit abstract, so let’s look at a description of a sample situation:


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