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.



The The 10 Commandments of Software Maintenance Plans

What’s the best way to write a Software Maintenance plan? Software Maintenance Plans are different than other technical documents in that the focus is on how to modify software AFTER it has been released and is now in operations. Most other documents focus on planning, development or testing.

Walsh, Ivan. Klariti (2011). Articles>Software>Software>Databases


Top Five Best Database Management Tools

For a database administrator, DBM (database management) tools make tasks related to maintaining relational databases efficient and fast. Prior to the popularity of these tools, most DBA’s had to use the command line to create, edit, and delete databases. In this article, we present to you the top five most popular/most voted for database management tools.

Gube, Jacob. Six Revisions (2009). Articles>Information Design>Software>Databases


Transactions in MySQL

Protect your data from crashes and the confusion of multiple user requests with a transaction-capable database.

Greenspan, Jay. Webmonkey (2002). Design>Web Design>Databases>SQL


Transferring a Table in a MS Access 2003 Database to PostGres Using SQL Server Integration Services   (members only)

Describes the use of Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services to transfer a table from MS Access 2003 to Postgres on EnterpriseDB. Some of the problems are discussed.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. SSWUG (2009). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Microsoft Access


Turning Word into a Pseudo-Database by Using Mail Merge Query Options

Purists might argue that the power it gives ordinary users isn't necessary because they should use Access queries for this sort of thing and link the merge to the query. But in my experience, many people who are very comfortable working with Word and Excel find Access (or any full-fledged database application) very difficult to work with, and can get the job done far more quickly and easily using a combination of Word and Excel. At the end of the day, getting the job done is what matters. The vast majority of the world's databases (in terms of number of databases, rather than in terms of amount of data) are stored in Excel spreadsheets.

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


Using a Database as a Feedback Mechanism   (PDF)

The success of any technical document depends on the reliability of information presented in the document. A database can provide an informal mechanism for exchanging information about product development and support, The database system should have a user interface that is easy to use and does not require too many operations. Factors that must be addressed in the design, testing, and implementation of the database include the type of information, ownership, system maintenance, access control, and system development tools. Writers, who have special expertise in information gathering, can take the initiative and build support for the project.

Govindan, Anumarla and Nancy E. Jacobs. STC Proceedings (1993). Design>Documentation>Assessment>Databases


Using the SQLXML Data Type

If you're a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) developer, you'll want to preview the SQLXML technology, currently in development. Check out procedures to create an XML document, store an XML document in a relational database, retrieve an XML document from a database, and navigate an XML document with the SQLXML Java data type.

Vohra, Deepak. IBM (2006). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


Using Topic Maps to Extend Relational Databases

Topic Maps provide a very flexible and robust way to add arbitrary data to a relational databases at runtime. Moreover, Topic Maps come with a predefined exchange mechanism (the XML Topic Maps (XTM) interchange syntax) to allow data to be exported to XML.

de Graauw, Marc. XML.com (2003). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


Using XML in Databases

Today, we can find many applications to manage XML content that demonstrate the power and flexibility that can only be achieved through XML-native databases. Information intensive companies such as the airline and manufacturer described in this paper have achieved significant technical and business benefits from their use of XML standards and database technology over alternative approaches.

Waldt, Dale. Gilbane Report (2004). Articles>Content Management>Databases>XML


The UX of Data

This article will focus on a core aspect of cloud computing, the storage of a users' data outside of their personal devices. This is a very disruptive shift that enables user experiences that would be impossible with only local storage, and creates a new facet of design: the UX of data.

Jenson, Scott. UX Magazine (2011). Articles>User Experience>Ubiquitous Computing>Databases


UX Techniques Bank

A comprehensive collection of techniques available for use on UX projects. Mix and match to create a UX process best suited to the project at hand. We'll be updating this page regularly with additional content, links and tutorials about how to apply these techniques.

UX Mastery. Resources>User Experience>Databases


Validity Checks

Work with your fellow employees to understand how they enter data so you can determine the best way to present their choices; they won't forget who's responsible for their improved accuracy and speed, particularly around performance appraisal time. Of course, you'll also earn your own manager's gratitude once you're no longer wasting time fixing preventable errors.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1999). Articles>Usability>Databases>EPSS


VB.NET Application with SQL Anywhere 10 Database

This article by Jayaram Krishnswamy shows how you can develop a VB.NET 2.0 application using the integration features provided by the SQL Anywhere database. The SQL Anywhere tools are directly accessible without going out of the Visual Studio 2.O IDE. The article describes a window application with two examples developed with this easy to use integration interface.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Packt (2007). Articles>Information Design>Databases>SQL



An online resource for people developing database-driven web applications using Visual Basic and MySQL.

Hillyer, Mike. VBMySQL.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>Databases>SQL


Vendor View: An Interview with Greg Simidian   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Interview with Greg Simidian, Managing Director of company information vendor Perfect Information. Discusses the company itself and how it has changed over the years, concentrating particularly on its customer relations. Considers relations between vendors and intermediaries generally, covering contract negotiation and the impact of end users, and also considering recruitment and skills issues for the information industry. Speculates on the future of the industry, considering social networking in particular. Reflects on Greg Simidian's previous career, considering the benefits of working for both mainstream and niche information providers.

Simidian, Greg. Business Information Review (2007). Articles>Interviews>Databases>Case Studies


Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Anywhere 11 Integration

Describes how Panorma (now SQL Anywhere 11) is installed as well as the integration features with .NET Framework.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Hodentek (2008). Articles>Web Design>Databases


Web Enabling Data on a SQL Anywhere Server using a Native Web Service

Exposing server data to intranet/internet, an attractive and much needed method has become possible due to the native web services, services that can be created on the database itself to which HTTP or Soap requests can be made. SQL Anywhere server, even in version 9.0 [present version SQL Anywhere 10] possessed this built-in capability of being able to expose data on the database server to HTTP requests.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Code Project, The (2008). Articles>Documentation>Databases>SQL


Why (Almost) Every Web Site Needs an RDBMS

When your Web application reaches a certain size, it needs a good database design behind it. And in fact, this 'certain size' is much smaller than almost every small-site developer thinks. Relational Data Base Management Systems (RDBMSes) need not be restrictive or over-architected, as their bad reputation sometimes brings developers to fear. A bit of thought toward what your site does quickly turns into a sensible schema design, and it is easy to leave open expandable storage mechanisms like a configuration table within an RDBMS back end.

Mertz, David. IBM (2007). Articles>Web Design>Server Side Includes>Databases


Work with XML in Microsoft Access 2003

If you are a Microsoft Access user, you'll be happy to know that you can export Access 2003 data as XML.

O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Microsoft Access


Working With External Data Sources in FileMaker Pro 9

FileMaker 9 opens up ODBC data in a revolutionary way, via the new feature External SQL Data Source. You can work with external data in your FileMaker Pro solutions as if it is FileMaker Pro data.

Stars, Jonathan. FileMaker Advisor (2007). Articles>Information Design>Databases>SQL


Working With External Text Files in Microsoft Access 2007

Step-by-step procedure explained with a large number of screen shots. Both linking and importing are described.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. OfficeUsers.org (2007). Articles>Software>Databases>Microsoft Access


XML Design for Relational Storage   (PDF)

Design principles for XML schemas that eliminate redundancies and avoid update anomalies have been studied recently. Several normal forms, generalizing those for relational databases, have been proposed. All of them, however, are based on the assumption of a native XML storage, while in practice most of XML data is stored in relational databases. In this paper we study XML design and normalization for relational storage of XML documents. To be able to relate and compare XML and relational designs, we use an information-theoretic framework that measures information content in relations and documents, with higher values corresponding to lower levels of redundancy. We show that most common relational storage schemes preserve the notion of being well-designed (i.e., anomalies- and redundancy-free). Thus, existing XML normal forms guarantee well-designed relational storages as well. We further show that if this perfect option is not achievable, then a slight restriction on XML constraints guarantees a “second-best” relational design, according to possible values of the information-theoretic measure. We finally consider an edge-based relational representation of XML documents, and show that while it has similar information-theoretic properties with other relational representations, it can behave significantly worse in terms of enforcing integrity constraints.

Kolahi, Solmaz and Leonid Libkin. WWW 2007 (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>Databases


XML Development Resources

XML will change the way you develop and integrate your databases.

Trytten, Chris. FileMaker Advisor (2002). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML


XML, Queries, and Databases

XML has dramatically changed the way we exchange and store data, and a new crop of standards promises to change the way we query data. On today's Internet, most data is queried and stored using relational databases, exchanged as XML, and displayed as HTML. For those who need to use XML and databases together, the last five years have been chaotic, creative, interesting, and often frustrating. Every major database vendor has added XML support, but each vendor takes a very different approach, and sometimes changes that approach dramatically from one version to the next. Today, the vendors seem to be lining up behind XQuery and the SQL/XML mappings - is this just the latest wave of marketing hype, or has the industry now found its way?

Robie, Jonathan. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML



XQuery speeds up the process of finding information contained in an XML document, which is very handy when dealing with long XML documents. This article, the first of two parts, will teach you how to write XQuery expressions.

Dev Articles (2006). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML



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