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Development Process

Technical Documentation

A relatively formal development process was used. This results in a comprehensive set of high-level technical documentation. Nearly all that documentation is provided in the technical documentation downloads for the database. The level of described detail far exceeds the typical poor documentation of non-profit databases. This should make it much easier for 3d party developers to work with the system when needed.

Data Model

The data model used in the Plant History DB was designed in response to needs of the Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon

We find accurate data model diagrams essential for use and continued development of a database. We use specialized data modelling software (CASE*Studio) during development to ensure this accuracy. The software allows generation of scripts to automatically create data tables in a variety of database packages including Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, Access, SQL*Server. When database tables are generated in this fashion, the data model will be a very accurate representation of the resulting database. Furthermore, this software offers the required capacities at an affordable price - making it possible for other developers to work with the data model using similar techniques.


A major portion of the original development was funded by Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon.

Although open source tools would have been preferred, Microsoft Access was a good choice for Hoyt Arboretum. All conceptual and high-level design of data model and application modules was performed in a fashion that was independent of platform choices. The basic application design can be moved to other platforms with an appropriate effot.

Class Modules

The Select Control class modules used in the open source Select Control Database distributed by Bednar Consulting are also used within the this database.