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This chapter opened with a discussion of the interview process. You learned why interviews are an important part of the database-design process and why it's important to learn how to conduct an interview properly. You now know the difference between an open-ended question and a closed question, as well as when to use each kind of question. We ended this discussion by reviewing a set of interview guidelines, and you learned that you should use them to help you ensure that the interviews are productive and successful.

The mission statement was our next topic of discussion. We expanded upon the Chapter 4 overview by looking at how the mission statement states the specific purpose of the database. You now know that the process involves conducting interviews and learning about the organization, then formulating the mission statement from the information you gathered during these steps. We defined the characteristics of a good mission statement, and you learned that a well-defined mission statement establishes a clear focus for your design efforts.

Next, we discussed mission objectives, and we expanded upon the Chapter 4 overview once again. As you now know, mission objectives represent the tasks performed against the data in the database, and you define them after the mission statement. We then explored how to define a mission objective. Here, you learned that you conduct interviews with users and management and that the information you gather from these interviews provides the basis for each mission objective. We also discussed the characteristics of a well-written mission objective, and you learned that a clearly defined mission objective will help you define various structures within the database.


Part II: The Design Process