Determining what to track
What you track depends on your business processes and rules that deal with data and events. Gather requirements for an application from users, managers, and other administrators who have a stake in the business process and how the application supports it.
When analyzing a business process and business rules, identify transition points in the process, where data moves from one state to another. Consider how groups of people in your organization handle the data during state transitions. Because the BMC Remedy AR System application that you develop can control transitions and enforce business rules, you need a clear and correct understand of them.
When analyzing your data tracking needs, gather the following information:
- What is the life cycle of the data: data capture, data storage, data retrieval, data update, data archival, and data retirement?
- What types of information can be tracked together?
- Where does the data come from? Other systems? User data entry?
- Where could redundant data entry occur?
- Where can data be just referenced or displayed instead of entered or modified? Where can data be reused?
- What kinds of reports and information do users need from your application?
- Following normal business practices, when will the application's data become irrelevant?
You can address these questions when designing your application and deciding how many forms define the processes that you identified. The number of forms that you create depends on the smallest unit of data that you want to track and how you want that type of data to relate to other types of data. For example, to keep all data about assets in a single form, your asset form needs fields to accommodate information about manufacturers. Instead, to avoid duplicating information about manufacturers for each asset, your application could have a form for assets, and link it to a separate form for manufacturers through workflow and logical joins.