A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Once a lesser-known category of software, databases have become a more and more important part of technical communication practice. Today databases often drive documentation collections, including content management systems and wikis. The most sophisticated databases tend to employ the SQL language.



Developing an Information Management Strategy: The Foundation Stone for an EDRMS   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

All too often organizations have a fragmented approach to Information Management Documents/data is duplicated in many places and users are expected to enter the same information many times. Developing an Information Management Strategy is the foundation stone that should be in place before considering cost justifying or implementing Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS).

Waldron, Martin. Business Information Review (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design>Databases


Developing with Apache Derby -- Hitting the Trifecta

Along with creating a database schema and populating tables with data, being able to selectively modify data is one of the most important skills necessary for a database developer. This article teaches you how to selectively delete or update data in an existing table and how to modify the structure of an existing table. To perform data modifications on a more complex database schema, you'll learn about embedded subqueries, both scalar and table, with data update and data insert operations. You'll also find out how to delete and modify data in complex schemas using the Apache Derby database.

Brunner, Robert. IBM (2006). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>Databases


Effective Data Filtering

This article discusses writing software that helps the user effectively work with large amounts of data. The approach that I will describe is called filtering.

Rowe, Robert. VBMySQL.com (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases


Envisioning the Whole Digital Person

As a human society, we're quite possibly looking at the largest surge of recorded information that has ever taken place, and at this point, we have only the most rudimentary tools for managing all this information--in part because we cannot predict what standards will be in place in 10, 50, or 100 years.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Centered Design>Information Design>Databases


The Essentials of a Database Quality Process   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

Many steps are involved in the process of turning an initial concept for a database into a finished product that meets the needs of its user community. In this paper, we describe those steps in the context of a four-phase process with particular emphasis on the quality-related issues that need to be addressed in each phase to ensure that the final product is a high quality database. The basic requirements for a successful database quality process are presented with specific examples drawn from experience gained in the Standard Reference Data Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Blakeslee, Dorothy M. and John Rumble, Jr. Data Science Journal (2003). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Usability


Everything You Wanted to Know About SQL Injection

If you are a CMS user or web developer then you should know what SQL injection attacks are and how to protect your web applications against them. Hackers are using more SQL based attacks, getting smarter about how to attack a website and using better tools. You have to get a good understanding of how their attacks work if you are going to choose the right software and keep your website secure. Here I will review several types of SQL injection attacks and how they occur. Then take a look at what web developers and end users can do to prevent them.

McDade, Carl. Hiveminds (2006). Articles>Web Design>Databases>SQL


Examining XML

Buzz about the value and implications of XML has reached an all-time high, with lofty claims of its potential to transform business and society, doing everything from simple document formatting to curing the common cold. I don't recommend you empty your medicine cabinet just yet. However, do take seriously the developments surrounding XML and its associated technologies. While XML might not merit all the hyperbole, it remains useful. Knowing how to apply this simple meta-language can help you create solutions that will give you a strong competitive advantage.

Trytten, Chris. FileMaker Advisor (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


Excel 2007 Quick Reference Card   (PDF)

A basic introduction to the new functions in Microsoft Excel 2007, which changed the user interface significantly from its earlier (2003) version.

CustomGuide (2009). Articles>Software>Databases>Microsoft Excel


Expanded Information Retrieval Using Full-Text Searching   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The value of full text for expanding information retrieval was examined. Two full-text databases were used: Textpresso for neuroscience and ScienceDirect. Queries representing different categories were used to search different text fields (titles, abstracts, full text and, where possible, keywords). Searching the full-text field relative to the commonly used abstracts field increases retrievals by one or more orders of magnitude, depending on the categories selected. For phenomena-type categories (e.g. blood flow, thermodynamic equilibrium, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by about an order of magnitude. For infrastructure-type categories (e.g. equipment types, sponsors, suppliers, databases, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by well over an order of magnitude, and sometimes multiple orders of magnitude. Use of combination terms along with proximity specification capability is a very powerful feature for retrieving relevant records from full-text searching, and can be useful for applications like literature-related discovery.

Kostoff, Ronald N. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Search


Extend Enumerated Lists in XML Schema

The addition of new values to a list is a common and necessary requirement. Schema designers often seek to build into the architecture a means to permit additional values that were unknown at design time. How can schema designers create an enumerated value list that is extensible and easy to implement? Discover several approaches used to achieve this goal.

Kiel, W. Paul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>Databases


The (Free) Script That Saved My Website

I recently purchased a music streaming website, powered by MySQL database full of links to the musical content. In order to transfer the website to my hosting I was going to need to import the database. Unfortunately, I host with GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy offers phpMyAdmin to control your databases which is a great program but it limits imports to 2MBs. My database was over 70MB. I tried it anyways with my fingers crossed but as expected, it wasn’t going to work.

Haig, Anders. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Databases


Generating and Hosting a SQL Server Reporting Services Report Using SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio

A step-by-step must read article on SQL 2005 Reporting Services which creates a report and hosts it on an intranet server.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. ASPAlliance (2006). Articles>Information Design>Databases>SQL


How to Create a Mail Merge

Mail merge is for simplifying repetitive documents and tasks. Mail merge can be used for creating many documents at once that contain identical formatting, layout, text, graphics, etc., and where only certain portions of each document varies. Mail merge is also used for generating mailing labels, envelopes, address lists, personalised training handouts, etc. As well as hard copy mailshots, it can be used to generate multiple emails and electronic faxes. And it can even be used to create a 'friendly' front-end to spreadsheet or database information.

Melton, Beth and Dave Rado. Word MVP Site, The (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Databases>Microsoft Word


How to Develop and Implement a Usable Training Database   (PDF)

The results of a Motorola human resources survey revealed an inadequate procedure for selecting training programs pertinent to specific job functions and individual career aspirations. A cross-functional team was formed to remedy the situation within one division. The team selected skill and knowledge criteria for career paths (early, middle, and late) in specific technical disciplines, such as applications engineering, technical communications, applications support, etc. The new training database also includes training, book, and article evaluations that other employees can review. In addition, the database provides access to the Motorola University training catalog and the Motorola technical libraries.

LeVie, Donald S., Jr. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Education>Instructional Design>Databases


I Have a "Name" Column Which I Want to Split Into "FirstName", "LastName": How Can I Do It?

Word's sorting capability is fairly rudimentary, especially for those migrating to it from WordPerfect (though it's surprising how many people don't realize Word can sort paragraphs, not just tables – or maybe not so surprising, given where the item is in the menus! The ability to sort on word 2 in field 3 would certainly be very useful (in Excel as well). But there are various things you can do in the meantime.

Rado, Dave. Word MVP Site, The (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Databases>Microsoft Word


The Importance of Chunking for Sorting

If you want to be able to sort information by various classification schemes, such as by most popular, or by role, or by problem, your content has to be chunked in a granular enough way to facilitate the various means of sorting.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2011). Articles>Information Design>Databases


Integrating Messaging and Databases to Implement Service Architectures

There has been much debate over two quite different approaches to implementing XML services. The "web services" approach leverages a rather large and not yet stabilized stack of formats and protocols built on top of SOAP that promise secure, reliable operations; the "REST" or "Plain old XML over HTTP" approach keeps the basic formats and operations quite simple, but puts the burden for any security or end-to-end reliability on the application developer rather than the computing infrastructure. This presentation considers a third approach which complements many of the ideas in both WS and REST but uses an XML-capable DBMS as the messaging hub or service broker. This makes it feasible to support asynchronous, loosely coupled communications between service requesters and providers.

Champion, Michael. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


Interview with the Creator of the EServer TC Library

Tom Johnson has an interview the site's creator, Geoff Sauer, who explains some of the details behind the site. I found the discussion of their taxonomy particularly interesting, as it's a problem I've struggled with in my own site.

Soltsys, Keith. Core Dump (2008). Articles>TC>Information Design>Databases


Introduction to Databases for Web Developers

Unlike previous versions of data warehouses (people and books), that might be considered the australopithecines of the database lineage, libraries crossed over into the modern-day species.

Extropia. Design>Web Design>Databases>SQL


Introduction to Relations in XML Schema

This is the first article in a series concentrating on implementing relations for designing robust XML schema definitions.

Chaterjee, Jagadish. Dev Articles (2006). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


The Library Brand

It's likely that few professionals worry more about how their services are perceived than librarians. Lawyers may have more reason for concern, but many of them laugh all the way to the bank. We have little if not our reputation. So the new report published by OCLC, '€œPerceptions of Libraries and Information Resources,' deserves notice. Do libraries still matter? On what level? Will library use likely increase or decrease?--generated heartwarming comments but also much to cause concern.

Tennant, Roy. Library Journal (2006). Careers>Information Design>Databases


Making Your Mail Merge "Intelligent" by Using IF Fields

Almost any mail merge will work better if you use IF fields, as the frequently used scenarios discussed below attempt to illustrate.

Rado, Dave. Word MVP Site, The (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Databases>Microsoft Word


Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Installation Made Easy

The article discusses the precaution thta one can take in installing the Microsoft SQL 2008 Sever (Developer Edition). Links to downloading a sample database with how-to note is also provided. Some of the initial problem solving in cleaning up the .NET miscellanea is discussed in this blog at : http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2008/01/you-were-cleaning-up-net-framework.html

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Packt (2008). Articles>Software>Databases>SQL


Microsoft Word 2007's Mail Merge with a SQL Anywhere 10 Database

SQL Anywhere 10 database and Microsoft Word 2007 are the latest software from the respective companies. This step-by-step tutorial not only shows how you can merge a mail document from customer information in a Sql Anywhere 10 database, it also shows how you may work with the database. If you are a office worker using 'Office' products this is a must article for you.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. OfficeUsers.org (2007). (Afrikaans) Articles>Software>Databases>SQL


Migrating from Microsoft SQL Server and Access to MySQL

In this article I will cover the basics of migrating an application from an Access or SQL Server database to MySQL. We'll start with various reasons why you should (or should not) migrate your existing Access or SQL Server database to MySQL, then cover the planning stages of an application migration. Next we will look at the tools and methods for migrating your actual data from Access/MSSQL to MySQL, followed by some general guidelines for modifying your client application from a Microsoft database to MySQL. Finally, we'll look at some considerations to make when deploying your new MySQL database and application.

Hillyer, Mike. MySQL (2007). Articles>Information Design>Databases>SQL



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