A Decision Support Method for Evaluating Database Designs

Erki Eessaar, Marek Soobik

It is possible to produce different database designs based on the same set of requirements to a database. In this paper, we present a decision support method for comparing different database designs and for selecting one of them as the best design. Each data model is an abstract language that can be used to create many different databases. The proposed method is flexible in the sense that it can be used in case of different data models, criteria, and designs. The method is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process and uses pairwise comparisons. We also present a case study about comparing four designs of SQL databases in case of PostgreSQL database management system. The results depend on the context where the designs will be used. Hence, we evaluate the designs in case of two different contexts – management of measurements data and an online transaction processing system.