Archive for the ‘Greener Coding’ Category

Efficient Database Design – Tips!

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Information Overload!  I have lots of useful information gathered on Green IT and environmental topics which I will share in a number of ways.

Database Overload? As a customer, I had someone recently tell me about their slow database. Patience.

What is the cost of having slow systems and incorrect data held in IT systems?

I hope the table below will help people understand what simple steps to take to ensure an efficient database is designed.

1 Group Data Logically You will firstly want to group data into ‘tables’ (Techie Speak). Use a diagram!
  1. Table – Countries
  2. Table – Cities
2 Identify Data Relationships A city exists in a country. Bear in mind, one city can exist in more than one country.
  1. City – Coventry
  2. City – Reading
3 Ensure you are able to view who has maintained the data. Of course everyone uses their own logon details…YES WE DO

It helps to identify the person who originally created the data/document. Think of security and trust as well.

Who (have a table to store contact details)

  • Created it
  • Updated it
  • Viewed it
  • Deleted it

When was it (date/full timestamp)

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Viewed
  • Deleted
4 When data is actually stored in the IT system/database, ensure unique numbers are used (increment this automatically) to identify the record. Change will happen! You may want to display the record in a drop down list or Radio buttons on front-end/data-entry screens.
Milan and Milano (the same)
5 Use synonyms (database) and have descriptions. MIL (Milan) and MLN (Milano)
6 Ensure there is validation (on the database or in the code) to avoid duplicate records being created. Prevention is better than cure.
7 The person who is writing the code (developer/programmer) will be linking back to the database. Try to build code dynamically such that you have one piece of code and are passing parameters to it. You may want to change the currency exchange rate for each country on a regular basis and will therefore want one command to update the data/record
UPDATE (parameter 1 passed) SET COLUMN 1= (parameter 2 passed)
WHERE COLUMN 2= (parameter 3 passed)

There’s lots more to consider – large Media files, Archives, audit trail, etc. Hopefully this helps!

Whether it’s Oracle or Business Objects (any business intelligence/database/CRM/reporting tool), I would advise investing time in understanding what data is being stored and for what purpose.

As with most things, review what you’re doing at least once a year. Prioritise with all projects/tasks you have – time, budget and people available.

And remember, there’s always a temporary solution/workaround before the perfect solution is implemented!

Keep it simple…

Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website:
Professional profile:
Date created: 11 December 2012 2.00pm
Date updated: 2 April 2015 4.45pm

Categories: Green IT, Greener Coding

Green Coding – Best practices to ensure reduced costs, carbon footprint and energy usage

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

What is meant by Green Coding?

Having efficient systems and well written code is a must, as there will be many benefits delivered.

IT application systems that have data entry screens (where you would input values) or reports used by its customers/employees will be written using a coding language.

Whether it’s the IT Development or IT Support team, both will regularly need to look at the code.  The impact of having code not well written for the systems will cause many problems for the organisation in the long-term.

The systems developed must always be supportable and easy to maintain, especially when the Developer/IT Support employee is not in, has left, is no longer working on that project, etc.

The code always remains the intellectual property of the organisation. It must be documented well, structured and easy to maintain.

  • How many IT systems do you have which require knowledge of the current VAT percentage? This does change.
  • How are calculations made? For example, calculating the energy usage?
  • How many business processes require knowing when bank holidays/holidays are?
  • How are names stored (first name, surname)? The surname and marital status can change.

I’ve decided to keep the questioning short in this blog post.

Hopefully, the diagram below will illustrate some best coding practices, to ensure there is Greener Coding.


1. Previous Blog Post on ‘Business at risk from mountains of unstructured data’ – written  19 August 2011
2. Previous Blog Post on ‘The importance of structuring’ – written 19 July 2010
3. Giving Time and Solutions Ltd


Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website:
Professional profile:
Date created: 22 September 2011 6.00pm

Categories: Green IT, Greener Coding