Someone asked about line spacing for the assignment. I don't have a particular requirement other than you should produce something that is easy to read.
> I read through hw1 but I have no idea how to start on it i.e. how the case
> can fit into different database. Can you give me some hints such as things
> to read or stuff to look at.
In class we discussed two ways of storing data within an organization: (1) using a database and (2) not using a database (or "traditional"). We also discussed four levels of database applications: personal, workgroup, department, and enterprise. Advantages and disadvantages were discussed for each. The slides are posted on the web site, www.andrew.cmu.edu/course/70-455.
For the homework, I've asked you to consider three products, Excel, Access, and Oracle or MS SQL Server. Excel would be a nondatabase way of storing the data while Access and Oracle or SQL Server would be databases. Access would generally be more appropriate at a personal or workgroup level while Oracle or SQL Server are generally used at the department or enterprise level.
This should help to give you some direction for the advantages/disadvantages portion of the assignment.
For the recommendation, you should evaluate the advantages and disadvantages against the situation as it applies to Happy Valley Kennels (HVK). Just because something is generally an advantage or disadvantage doesn't mean that it will apply in every case. Your recommendation for HVK should take into account the specifics of the situation as described in the case. You should consider the different features offered by each option. Your goal should be to present a well-reasoned argument for why HVK should use a specific database product.
The last thing is to consider what would happen if a web interface were needed and how that would change your recommendation. Here's some additional information on that. Oracle and MS SQL Server can be excellent databases for web applications. Access can work as a database for a web application but can't handle either large amounts of data or large numbers of users. Excel files can be posted to the web and easily read by people, especially if they use Internet Explorer as their browser, but having people update Excel files across the web could be done but would be difficult.
Between the slides from last Tuesday and the Oracle and Microsoft web sites, you should have the information you need to complete the homework. You should think of this as if your parents ran HVK or boarded the family dog there and volunteered your services to the owners since you are a student at CMU and "you know all about this stuff."