Database Management Systems
I work part time in a marketing research organization, which deals with research in the pharmaceutical industry. The total function of this department is to bring out a market research report, every month. This report is circulated to the pharmaceutical companies, and contains information on the sales of various drugs in the categorized geographical areas of the nation. An important stage in preparation of this report is giving a numeric code to the drugs prescribed by the Doctors. The prescriptions are gathered from various doctors, appointed on the panel, throughout the country. Each symptom, diagnosis and the drug is given a unique code. Our department has a computer program, which stores these unique codes and offers the facility for retrieval of the code, as and when required. For example, a patient has Fever as a symptom, and the diagnosis is Malarial fever. This patient is prescribed a quinine drug known as LARIAGO. Its coding goes as follows: Symptom: 1286 Diagnosis – B54X Drug - 06532-76 The program is based on a computer programming language known as Foxpro. Many reasons underlie the choice of this language, for this program. Few of them are as follows: •
This program was required only two basic facilities, namely storage of names, specifications and numeric codes, and retrieval of it. The additional feature required was addition and deletion of records in the database. For example, if a particular drug is discontinued by the company, this record gets eliminated from the database.Hence the functional necessities were very limited. •
The database is fully textual in nature, and is not very large. The total database hardly runs into a few MBs, mainly because it does not have any graphic interface or pictorial matter in it. This eliminated the need for any Object oriented language or graphic interface. •
When this program was designed, in the mid 1990s, Dbase III was slowly...
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