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Disadvantages of Traditional File System

A traditional file system has the following disadvantages.

1) Data Redundancy : Since each application has its own data file, the same data may have to be
recorded and stored in many files.For example, personal file and payroll file, both contain data
on employee name, designation etc. The result is unnecessary duplicate or redundant data items.
This redundancy requires additional or higher storage space, costs extra time and money, and
requires additional efforts to keep all files upto-date.

2) Data Inconsistency : Data redundancy leads to data inconsistency especially when data is to be
updated. Data inconsistency occurs due to the same data items that appear in more than one file
do not get updated simultaneously in each and every file. For example, an employee is promoted
from Clerk to Superintendent and the same is immediately updated in the payroll file may not
necessarily be updated in provident fund file. This results in two different designations of an
employee at the same time. Over the period of time, such discrepencis degrade the quality of
information contain in the data file that affects the accuracy of reports.

3) Lack of Data Integration : Since independent data file exists, users face difficulty in getting
information on any ad hoc query that requires accessing the data stored in many files. In such a
case complicated programs have to be developed to retrieve data from every file or the users
have to manually collect the required information.

4) Program Dependence: The reports produced by the file processing system are program
dependent, which means if any change in the format or structure of data and records in the file is
to be made, the programs have to modified correspondingly. Also, a new program will have to be
developed to produce a new report.

5) Data Dependence : The Applications/programs in file processing system are data dependent
i.e., the file organization, its physical location and retrieval from the storage media are dictated
by the requirements of the particular application. For example, in payroll application, the file
may be organized on employee records sorted on their last name, which implies that accessing of
any employee's record has to be through the last name only.

6) Limited Data Sharing : There islimited data sharing possibilities with the traditional file
system. Each application has its own private files and users have little choice to share the data
outside their own applications. Complex programs required to be written to obtain data from
several incompatible files.

7) Poor Data Control : There was no centralised control at the data element level, hence a
traditional file system is decentralised in nature. It could be possible that the data field may have
multiple names defined by the different departments of an organization and depending on the file
it was in. This situation leads to differentmeaning of a data field in different context or same
meaning for different fields. This causes poor data control.

8) Problem of Security : It is very difficult to enforce security checksand access rights in a

traditional file system, since application programs are added in an adhoc manner.

9) Data Manipulation Capability is Inadequate : The data manipulation capability is very limited
in traditional file systems since they do not provide strong relationships between data in different

Needs Excessive Programming: Anexcessive programming effort was needed to develop a new
application program due to very high interdependence between program and data in a file
system.Each new application requires that the developers start from the scratch by designing new
file formats and descriptions and then write the file access logic for each new file.

Advantages of the Database Approach =

1. Data Independence :
The data is held in such a way that changes to the structure of the database do not affect any of
the programs used to access the data.

2. Consistency of Data :
Each item of data is held only once therefore no danger of item being updated on one system
and not on another.

3. Control Over Redundancy :

In a non-database system, the same information may be held on several files. This wastes space
and makes updating more time-consuming. A database system minimizes these effects.

4. Integrity of Data :
The DBMS provides users with the ability to specify constraints on data such as making a field
entry essential or using a validation routine.

5. Greater Security of Data :

The DBMS can ensure only authorized users are allowed access to the data.

6.Centralized Control of Data :

The Database Administrator will control who has access to what and will structure the database
with the needs of the

7.More Information Available to Users :

Users have access to a wider range of data that was previously held in seperate departments
andsometimes on incompatible systems.

8. Increased Productivity :
The DBMS provides an easy to use query language that allows users to get immediate response
from their queries rather than having to use a specialist "programmer" to write queries for
them. whole department in mind

= Disadvantages of the Database Approach =

1. Larger Size :
More disk space is required and probably a larger and more powerful computer.

2. Greater Complexity :
For optimum use the database must be very carefully designed. If not done well, the new
system may fail to satisfy anyone.

3. Greater Impact of System Failure :

"All eggs in one basket."

4. More Complex Recovery Procedures :

If a system failure occurs it is vital that no data is lost.

5.Initial setup- expensive to install the database.


Database Justification

There is a threshold where it is of benefit to your organisation to employ a database to manage

your interactions with your clients and report back to your sponsors. Here we suggest some
objectives and their benefits of utilising a database.

To justify the investment of time into defining and selecting a database you would probably
consider some simple objectives that a database must achieve before you start looking in earnest.

Which ever way you look at it a database has to deliver some definable improvements to your
organisation, especially in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, therefore, in simple terms, if 3
or more of the list below apply to you then a database could deliver service improvements to
your organisation.

Your records are not in one place

You have 2 or more advocates who need to access and share client information
You have 2 or more teams or departments
Your service is offered from 2 or more sites, offices or buildings
You have 5 or more client telephone calls a day
You have 5 or more clients dropping into your offices a day
You receive funding from 2 or more organisations who require detailed information
Key workers work with clients for 3 months or more
Team members need to access information while off-site in an emergency
Team members do not go to the office every day
You have over 100 individuals details a year to add and keep up to date
The need to standardise processes
The need to deliver our service consistently
You have a legal obligation to maintain records for 6 years that will extend to over 500
You organisation spends more than 1 hour a week trying to find information or produce

There are other, more subtle and less quantifiable, benefits that a database will also bring to your
organisation and should be considered in conjunction with your objectives, which are:

To give your data or information more structure so you can find information quickly
To increase communication between staff especially between key workers
To access key information in an emergency
To make it easier to provide holiday or sickness cover for key workers
Team members do not have to go to the office everyday
To encourage continuity as the same protocol or processes will be used by all
To reduce errors because many fields are pre defined and selectable
To free up time that was used to find information for reporting to funders, boards or team