Business Intelligence Software Introduction This paper proposes a business intelligence software to be adopted in the Riordan Manufacturing' website allowing them to post their order through Internet. For each item in Riordan's materials ordering system there will be one or more vendors for the item, including a history of previous orders of that item from that vendor. These histories will include a rating of the quality of materials, cost at quantity, speed of delivery and similar factors necessary for a making a decision regarding which vendor to rely upon. once a selection is made a link takes the buyer to the vendor's website and depending on the interface, may log onto the vendor's site and take the buyer directly to the page to complete the order. Note that the purpose of this database is to facilitate Riordan's ordering of materials from other companies. The database does not contain the products that Riordan sells to its own customers.
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Purpose of the Database Plan This project is designed to support several of Riordan's strategic initiatives, including (1) develop JIT process for components required for the custom plastic fabrication (Pontiac Plant), (2) obtain a 99% on-time delivery of electric fans from local Chinese supplier and reduce safety stock requirements on polymer material, (3) deliver user friendly tools which enable organization to integrate ERP and MRP systems across the entire global enterprise, and (4) develop ERP and MRP processes and tools that reduce cost by 10% and cycle time by 15% (Riordan Scorecard Goals, 2005).
The Businesses Involved in the System The China plant's main material need is for the motors for their fans. on-time deliveries for these motors over the past year have averaged only 93%. The China plant's other main material need is for plastic polymers, which it obtains locally from various vendors. The Albany plant manufactures plastic bottles. It main material need is for plastic polymers which it obtains from various vendors. The Pontiac plant, on the other hand produces a wide range of custom-made plastic parts. It also creates the metal dies used in manufacturing these parts. Therefore, the Pontiac plant has a much wider range of material needs than the Albany plant. Beside plastic polymers, it needs metal, paint, and dyes. Riordan's Research and Development department has relatively minimal material needs. Riordan obtains its material needs primarily from suppliers of plastic polymers, metal blocks, paint, and dye. These companies have various internal inventory and order processing systems.
The Project Plan E-R Diagrams The Normalization of the Database According to modern database theory normalized databases are easier to maintain and are more efficient. The tables for Riordan's business-to-business database were designed to meet proper standards of normalization. Each table in the database has a key that uniquely identifies that record in the table. None of the attributes are directly dependent on another non-key attribute. For example, a separate table was created to contain each part's category. According to the Polysciences (2006) newsletter PolyFacts, commercially available plastic polymers are divided into four major categories with many subcategories and finally numerous chemical compounds, which can be purchased in their basic state or in various mixtures. In some cases Riordan may need to order a very specific polymer (for example, dimthyl 3,4 furan dicarboxylate) or it could use any polymer in that category of polymers (in this case 3,4 disubstituted furans). If a part's category was included in the parts table, then the category (3,4 disubstituted furans) would be determined by the category name (dimthyl 3,4 furan dicarboxylate), a field that is not a key field. The orders table does not include a field to record the date that the order was completed in full. This date can be calculated based on the latest date in the order Detail records' Received Date or Cancelled Date. If an order Detail record exists without either a Received or a Cancelled date, then the order is not fully completed. When all of the order Detail records contain a Received Date or a Cancelled Date, then the latest date in this set of dates is the date the order was completed. An even more efficient database design would have included a single End Date in the order Detail record with a check box (a logical field) to designate that the order detail was ended because it was cancelled and not because the item was received. If Received Date is not null then Cancelled Date must be null and vice versa, therefore, they are partially depended on one another. This violates normalization principles, however, user interface design considerations sometimes take precedence over having a highly normalized database and few databases are as normalized as much as they could be because of efficiency trade-offs.
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Use Case DiagramDatabase Administration and Disaster Recovery Riordan's business-to-business database will be a valuable asset that needs to be protected for accidental or intentional problems. The database will be backed up in full each night and transaction log backups will run each hour according to industry stand time schedules. The database backup files and transaction log backup files will be stored on a separate file server until they are backed up to tape nightly. The backup tapes will be encrypted and stored off-site. The systems administrator will automatically be paged if a nightly backup fails. Weekly maintenance plans will be run on each database to re-index the database and perform necessary maintenance. For the first year once a month and quarterly thereafter, a set of these tapes will be used to restore the database to the server that Riordan plans to use as the backup should the standard server fail. This will insure that the backups are indeed useable. Both servers (the application server and the database server) will have redundant power supplies and arrays in a RAID 5 configuration for the data partition. A Raid 0 array will be created for the operating system partition and log files (where pertinent). Each server will be connected to a UPS that is capable of keeping the server running for 45 minutes to give ample time for an orderly shutdown in the case of a prolonged power outage. Riordan will maintain a staff of certified database administrators and systems administrators. They will be given the necessary hardware and software tools to maintain the hardware, the application, and the database. on-call schedules will be staggered so that someone knowledgeable is always available but that no one person is scheduled on-call too often.
Database Security The information stored in this newly architected database is crucial not only to the company but to the vendors with whom Riordan is associated. The database server will be located in a separate network from the application server, which will be located in an un-trusted DMZ. In order to achieve this, the database will be located on its own server and the application that controls the database will be on a different server. Microsoft Active Directory security groups will be used to control access to both by using integrated Active Directory authentication. only the IT staff responsible for the well being of the database will have direct access to the database. Complex passwords (above 9 characters, upper-case, lower-case, special characters) will be used for all users and will follow the password policy set in Active Directory for the domain. The SA account for the database can be renamed or additional steps will be taken to create an ultra strong password outside the normal password policies. End user ID's will give them access to the application and the application will log into the database with a user name and password unknown to the end users. End users will be automatically logged off of the application after five minutes of inactivity. The database server will also be protected from connections outside predefined IP addresses and networks. Using firewalls and router Access Control Lists (ACLS), only servers and workstations set by the Network Engineers and sanctioned through Information Security, will be allowed connectivity to the database server. The application servers who request information from the database and those employees who manage the database server are allowed direct access to the database server.
Conclusion This paper suggests the development of a business intelligence software that is secure, scaleable, efficient, easy to use, and highly reliable The creation and maintenance of this system will require a commitment of staff time and expertise from the IT department and from operations at all Riordan Manufacturing's locations. The results of this effort will be a significant return on this investment through cost comparisons, timely ordering, and efficient tracking of orders.
References Polysciences. (2006). PolyFacts 1(1). Retrieved from the website http://www.polysciences.com/shop/uploads/70082.pdf Raghu Ramakrishnan, (2002) Database Management Systems, McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math; 3 edition Raghu-Gehrke, Johanes Ramakrishnan (1999).Database Management Systems, 2nd Edition, Boston,MA:McGraw-Hil Higher Education,1999; 2Rev Ed edition University of Phoenix. (2007a). Riordan Manufacturing. Supply chain. Retrieved, from the website https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/Riordan/Ops/RioOps002.htm University of Phoenix. (2007b). Virtual organizations. Service Request SR-rm-005. Retrieved, from the website https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/PortBus.htm
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