Whether you own a fleet of moving trucks, taxi and limousine services or need an inventory tracking and Control system for secure equipment monitoring, your best bet for a successful implementation of a GPS system with associated software is accomplished by first completing your requirements specification document.
But instead of confining the requirements to a static document, you might consider implementing the specification dynamically and establishing a pre-recorded set of customized database fields with your requirements translated into specific values. These values thereby become readily available for dynamic operational testing and specific performance task measurements.
The question of what role a custom field might play in the scenario articulated here can probably best be answered by defining how we view the subsequent use of such an item.
A customized field in our case is a field that does not behave in a manner described by any particular software you might be using. This means the custom record fields need to be addressed programmatically by an additional script and most likely by some external storage area not associated with the software designs original intent.
This need not become a problem since all additional custom fields added to a web based system are easily accommodated by data streams that include the new fields seamlessly.
In the case of databases, a new table can be set up and addressed by the new script. The same applies to a text file storage system. The new fields can be programmed via the script which can incorporate any number of supplemental data files to accomplish the task at hand.
The HTML page and form can be edited to include the new fields or entirely new sets of forms can be created and called in an appropriate sequence to accommodate the changes. This arrangement will allow you to measure current data stream readings against the pre-recorded test values and determine the level of performance your system is operating at and whether requirements are being met.
The addition of customized fields to keep pace with constantly changing business needs can also save your company additional money when considering the costs associated with an entire software replacement that may not be necessary. Not necessary because once you learn the technique of translating requirement specifications into real posted values, your knowledge gives you a wider perspective of what kind of modifications actually need to be made.
And all of this comes to fruition because you took the time up front to dynamically involve your GPS software application in the process of testing the requirements as a condition for acceptance by using real test values as viable signs of your specified business needs.
Tom Gruich is a professional database designer with 40 years experience in systems analysis and design of database software applications. For more database business mapping thoughts and design ideas please visit Database Solutions or his Smart Database website at => http://www.adaptcode.com