Hour 21. Database Documentation

Back in the days of mainframes and very formal, centralized management information systems (MIS) departments, documentation was a mandatory requirement for the completion of an application. Today, it seems as though all types of people are developing applications: administrative assistants, CEOs, sales managers, MIS professionals, and so on. Furthermore, even those of us who consider ourselves MIS professionals never received any formal systems training. Finally, the demand to get an application up and running and then to move on to the next application is more prevalent than ever. As a result of all these factors, it seems that documentation has gone by the wayside.

Despite all the reasons documentation doesn't seem to happen, it is even more important in today's complex world to properly document an application than it was in the mainframe days. The proper time to document is as you develop an application. Documentation provides you and everyone else who uses your application with these benefits:

  • It makes the system easy for you and others to maintain.

  • It helps state the purpose and function of each object in the application.

This hour covers the various ways in which you can document application objects and code. It includes the following topics:

  • Preparing an application to be self-documenting

  • Documenting tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules

  • Using database properties to document the overall database

  • Using the Documenter

  • Exploring the object dependency feature

    Part III: Creating Your Own Database and Objects
    Part V: Advanced Topics