If you’re new to using databases in your work, it can be challenging to learn the best practices and take time to master using databases. Help is at hand, however!
Get started by checking out the following six beginner-friendly tips.

1. Learn Basic SQL

Structured Query Language, which is more commonly known as SQL, forms the core of all relational databases and provides an interface for not only SQL Server but also Oracle, Microsoft Access, and other relational databases.
Therefore, as a database beginner, it’s a very good idea to complete an introductory SQL course.
You can then learn things like how to measure SQL database performance with the appropriate metrics before moving on to learning more specific database software.
Sure, it will take time to learn. But when you build a foundation, you can much more easily use databases at work.

2. Always Create a CRUD

You’ll probably need to update databases at your place of work, but when you update data directly, despite being the fastest method, you could remove data validation elements.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you use a CRUD form or API.
CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete. Your CRUD form or API takes care of those four actions for you.
When you use a web form like CRUD, you gain control over the content being inputted into databases and you can validate the inputs before they’re actually placed in the database.

3. Use Default Values

When you see the word “null” in a database, it basically means that the null value is unknown. So, null doesn’t mean “zero.” It also doesn’t mean there’s no appropriate value. It simply means that the value is unknown.
However, it’s actually best to avoid using null values in your database; one reason being that it’s one less check that you need to perform in the code. Therefore, you can save substantial time.
The majority of database engines enable you to specify default values to given columns dependent on data types.
Basically, null is too vague for a value. So, it’s better to use default values, which can prevent null-check errors from frequently happening.

4. Save and Catalog Queries

As you become more familiar with the database you use at work and the overall schema, you’ll find you have more queries to write for various tasks.
A complex aggregate function query that you wrote some months ago, for instance, could be what you need to get a current task completed.
So, it’s a good idea to use note-taking apps to save and catalog your queries as you go.

5. Use Tools for Going Further, e.g. Database Performance Analyzers

As your database knowledge and skills develop over time, your work performance is sure to improve and you should consider going further by using tools like database performance analyzers.
For instance, you can prevent database performance from being a guessing game when you optimize your database’s performance.
You can quickly identify bottlenecks, pinpoint root causes of problems, and prioritize actions. Then, you can find solutions to proactively optimize poor-performing applications and other issues.
If you’re new to using a database performance analyzer, you can become familiar with them by first choosing a demo version. For instance, you can request a demo from SolarWinds.

6. Meet Your Database Administrator

Finally, if you work for a large company, you probably have a designated database administrator. The person will have full knowledge of your database system. So, it’s a good idea to meet your database administrator so that you can turn to him or her in your hour of need.
If you encounter problems when you have tight deadlines, it can be very useful to be able to contact your database administrator so that issues can be solved quickly.


Claire Ward