20 Practical Solutions to Unleash the Power of Database
We have met a lot of clients here at DC Web Makers Company who have asked us, "What is the database, and do I need it?" The answer to this fundamental question will give business owners a new perspective regarding what is possible in the website and mobile App programming areas. Due to a lack of enough awareness and our progressive experiences as an IT consultant and an advance database development service provider, here we concisely introduce the database and twenty benefits that you can get from it.
A database is a place to save information, like the customer's first names or passwords for the future uses. If your website has a login form, you are probably using a database. For example, when a user logins to your website, your system will process whether the database saved username and password are the same as the one supplied by the user to give the user a green light. The most common database program used for websites and mobile applications is MySQL. You can save all kind of information, like pictures, videos, PDF files, or any website form data, like a site contact form data in your database. A database holds your information in different tables (for instance, one table for customer info, another for product info, etc) and each table has columns and rows, like what you see in a Microsoft Excel sheet. You may read other online materials for its detail structure. Because of a high flexibility of a database, the sky is your limit as to what you can accomplish in your website or mobile App. Specifically, here are twenty amazing things that you can do with a database (db):
1. Simple Authentication System
You can use the db for registering new users, authenticating returning users, and handling forgot password inquires.
2. Weekly Newsletters
You can use the db to manage the subscribed users and your weekly newsletter. If a user opts out from your newsletter, you just need to remove it from your db.
3. User Activity Tracking
You can use the db to track your logged-in user activities. In particular, you can save the user geographical info (zipcodes, states, etc), what pages they visit, the frequency of visits, the time of visits, the lengths of visits, etc. By gathering and aggregating this information, you can understand your user behaviors and target your ads or marketing more effectively to them.
4. Application Maintenances
This option allows you to save the information that are used frequently in your website, admin, or mobile App in the db and minimize your maintenance loads. For example, if you have five forms in which you collect the customer's billing address, it is better to save all states in one db table and reuse it in all five forms. That way, when you update a state table in the db, all of the five forms will be updated instantly.
5. Custom Social Sites
Business owners hardly know that the MySQL db is capable of delivering a custom social site similar to Facebook for them. Big companies or enterprises usually have custom social sites for their internal staffs.
6. Company Hiring
Not only can you store your job listings, but you also can save a candidate's application data in the db. It lets medium and large size companies add and edit countless positions and candidates in their db while reducing the staff overhead costs.
7. Company Blogging
You can use the db for staying in touch with customers or users via blogging. It allows you to add and edit unlimited number of articles at ease.
8. Custom Chats and Supports
You can setup a simple (or advance) chat system using a db for both the website customers and internal staffs. Likewise, you can save customer support inquiries in the db for a follow-up and customer relationship managements.
9. Company Inventory Managements
Traditionally, warehouse mangers used to use an Access db to save their inventory records. However, they can streamline their inventory system by using a website, a MySQL db, along with QR barcodes. They can even go further and synchronize the inventory levels across different regional warehouses, using an integrated db system for all warehouses. Another approach is to present the warehouse inventories to the final customers, by bypassing the retailers.
10. Dynamic Advertisings
It is advisable for high traffic websites to create one db for their site-wide Ads, and efficiently generate revenue from your website and/or mobile App Ads. The results will be very promising since you have total control over each Ad on every page. Specifically, you can analyze the number of clicks on each Ad per day, and the profit margin of your individual website or mobile App pages, versus the whole application.
11. Dynamic Content Managements
You can save all of the company contents, including pictures, videos, PDF files, etc. in a db. It lets you keep everything in your company organized. Since a majority of the companies are going paperless, and the volume of digital contents is increasing, it will be a great resource to your company growth in the horizon.
12. Admin Roles and Sub-Roles
Using a db, you can easily create roles and sub-roles for your company functions. For example, an IT company can define designers, developers, human resources, marketers, supports as roles and the chief-developers, associate-developers, etc. as sub-roles for the developer's role. Utilizing the roles and sub-roles structure in conjunction with an admin application can streamline the company productivity and growth.
13. Block, Suspend, or Delete Users
You can easily block, suspend, or delete users by using the db. As a result, a malignant or misbehaved user can not login to your site any more.
14. User Access Privileges
It is a good idea to set different access levels for your users if your site offers multiple services. For example, insurance companies can have one access level for their agents and one access level for end-user clients, and another for internal staffs. That way, each user category will only see the parts that are relevant to them.
15. Device-based Auto-redirections
Sometimes you need to force your users to view your company mobile App if they visit your site via a Smartphone or present Smartphone holders with mobile friendly version of your website. You can use a db to save the user device information to automatically redirect them and/or target special offers to them.
16. Time-out Login
You can save the user login time in the db and log them out if they are inactive for more than a certain time (for example, thirty minutes). It is highly recommended for a higher application security.
17. Remember-Me Login
You can use the db for auto-authentications where the logged-in user credentials will be remembered after your first login. It is the opposite of the Time-out Login option.
18. Forgot Password Security Questions
You can use the db to setup and save security questions, like what banks do, and use them for a website secure forgot password processing.
The foundation of all advance (or even basic) e-commerce solutions and shopping carts is laid upon a normalized and secure db. The more investment (time and efforts) in the db design and development, the higher pay-off you get in the horizon.
20. Brutal-force Attack
Brutal-force attack happens when a hacker tries to login to an account as many times as possible until they find the account credentials. Experienced programmers know that the best way to protect users against this attack is to save the login attempts in the db and block the hacker.
We like to mention that the power of the db is not limited to the discussed 20 benefits. Indeed, we have implemented many other creative solutions in MySQL that are not covered here. As a matter of the fact, no matter what you wish to develop or create in the online business, the db is ready to serve your needs. The more competent the db developers are, the more you can accomplish with your business ideas.