Database Design Help

By jeffw ·
I've been asked to create a database of sorts that will help our call center with troubleshooting. Over the years, I've accumulated over three hundred pages of problem/solution, tips, sop's, screenshots and log examples in a hyperlinked word document, which obviously has become a bit cumbersome.

We sell, service, and support point of sale equipment which includes registers, printers, videos and other peripherals. We also have various type of software for use at both the store and home office level. There are several series of register types that can run different versions of software. Adding to the fun, we have customers on different versions of back office software combined with credit card bridge software and...well, you get the picture.

We already use Front Range's Heat program for customer info and creating trouble tickets, but we need something that will help both newbies and veterans with the massive amount of operation and error info that we have to know about each scenario.

Ideally, my manager would like a type of drill down-yes/no system such as:
Hardware > Printer > No Power = Is power switch on? (yes/no) / Is power cord plugged into printer? (yes/no), etc. (sort of an interactive flowchart). I've been thinking about some type of code scheme to link problems with solutions such as:

Platform = 1-Hardware, 2-Software
Hardware Type = 1-Register, 2-Printer, 3-Video, etc.
Printer Issue = 1-No Power, 2-Print Quality, etc.
Printer Power = 1-Switched off, 2-Power cord not plugged in, etc.

A problem code like a printer not switched on would look like "1211"?. Of course the number would vary in value and length depending upon platform, type, issue, and so forth. Whether or not this is feasible is something else entirely because the hundreds of variations involved.

Another question at hand is whether or not this is better accomplished with Access (moderate knowledge) or java script (little knowledge). I've even heard that the Wiki format would be best. I like Access and am sure it could do the job, but my database design skills are a bit lacking. I can provide any other info as needed. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Access is a database interface and javascript is a web based language

by Slayer_ In reply to Database Design Help

Unless you meant "Java" which is it's own language, but Java and Access have nothing in common, they are two completely different things.

Please clearify what you are asking.

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Decision tree or Database?

by jerry~Beans&Bytes In reply to Database Design Help

After re-reading your post, it sounds like you want a decision tree, not a standard database. make sure you know what you are trying to build, then pick the tool.

OLD TITLE: how big a shop are you supporting?
OLD BODY(no jokes, please): me, i like building/developing databases in Access, with the option to roll into a more robust solution if/when it's needed.
i love being able to add stuff on-the-fly, and change stuff with minimal effort. but i am working with teeny user lists, and total control of network access.
remember that Access is really only capable of handling 3-10 simultaneous users, and it is not a secure environment, so if you have lots of people, the Access path becomes very risky.

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Use a Wiki

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Database Design Help

It will be way more flexible, all in one place, and you'll be able to expand it easily
You can even have support contribute to it adn build it up, with extra wrinkles useful questions, refering back to tickets....

Everything will be down to the layout.

A system like the one you describe wouldn't really be using a database, except for possibly recording successful decision trees, and thats of doubtful value in the environment you describe.

Above all if the people who use it, have a lot of ownership, they will evolve something that will work. As oppoosed to at best try to muddle their way something that someone else thinks should work.

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