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Prior to the advent of computers and efficient data base management software, official and private and public document were stored and kept manually in folders. Clerks and secretaries and receptionist carried these folders from one section of department to another. The carriage and transfer of this document via the method created a lot of problems such as frequent cases of lost documents, damaging of folders among others, manhandling of documents, and short life span of documents.
The introduction and development of database management systems created a whole lot of reliefs to these problems and thus simplified database management operations in addition to the database itself, a suite of programs are necessary to facilitate adding new data as well as modifying and retrieving existing data within a database. This set of programs is referred to as Data Base Management System (DBMS). (Donald H. Sanders (1993): Computers today, Mc Graw –hill, pages 71)
DBMS is defined as software that provides comprehensive facilitates for the organization and management of a body of information required for comprehensive facilities for some particular application of group of related applications, also DBMS is a software that coordinates the use of database to design a DBMS (Starr L E, Anderson KE (1991) A USGS perspective on GIS Maguire DJ, Good child MF. Rhind DW (eds) Geographical information systems principles and applications. Longman. London. pp. 11-22. Vol 2).
Three things are considered in creating database.
i. Users need
ii. Database Processing system
iii. Database itself
Database Management systems were first develop to run on main frames and mini computers of larger organizations. Most of these organizations had original acquired computer to process a few large volume jobs in a small number of departments. Other applications, treated independently, were added over the years. Each separate application typically has its own master file, its own input data and its own process program to update the fire and supply information.
The records in each fire were organized according to a single key field to be searched. For examples, to get the names of employees with certain educational background for a personal file organized by employee numbers required a search of all file records. If the personnel departments need for such information became a routine, a new file structured on the educational background key was created and a new program was written to process the file of course this second file duplicate much of the data stored in the first personnel file. At the time that new files were being created and data were being duplicated within a department, the same duplicate of related information was occurring between departments. Each department’s application and files were often created as the need arose without any serious thought being given to the total information needs of the organization. Several problems were also created by this departmental file oriented approach. Such as Data Redundancy, File Updating Problem, Data Independence.
Dissatisfied with the problems caused by the departmental file oriented approach, software designers began looking for ways to consolidate activities. The results of their efforts are found today in database management packages. The records in the database file are stored in Direct Access storage Devices (DASD). Data transactions are introduced into the system only once. These data are now readily available as needed to all unauthorized applications and users of database. All database records affected by transactions may be updated at the time of input. Database is also an updated storage of an applications world at managing software, which conceals from the user the physical aspect of information stored in a database, is accessible at a logical level without involving the physical components of implementation. Normally a database should cover all the information of application; there should not be two databases for one application. There are also many reasons for establishing database. These are:
1. Integrating existing data files
2. Share data among all user.
3. Incorporate changes easily
4. Simplify the use of data files to lower the cost of retrieving data
5. Lower the cost of storing and receiving data
6. Improve accuracy and consistency
7. Provide data security from unauthorized users
8. Exercise control over standards
The structure of the data within the database can be viewed in two different perspectives, physically and logically. The physical data strutre refers to the physical arrangement of the data on the secondary storage device, usually disk. Typically this physical structure is the concern of specialist who designs DBMS. The Logical structure concerns how the data is to be arranged and the meaning of the data elements in relation to one another. This structure or model is generally defined in terms of a schema, an overall conceptual view of the logical relationships between the data elements in a database. It includes the names of the major elements, their attributes, and the logical relationships between them. There are there types of DBMS, or the logical structures a data can take. They are:
1. Hierarchial structures
2. Network structures
3. Relational structures
HIERARCHIAL STRUCTURE: this is also referred to as tree structure. The stored data gets more and more detailed as one branch farther and farther out of the tree. Each segment, or node, may be subdivided into two or more subordinate nodes, which can further be subdivided into two or more additional nodes. However, each record can emanate from only one “parent”. To the user, each record resembles an organizational chart in which the segments or nodes fit into a well defined hierarchy or tree. This is only one segment or root, at the top.
NETWORK STRUCTURE: this is similar to the hierarchy structure with the exception that in the network structure a node may have more than one parent. The trade off between the simplicity of design of a hierarchy structure and the storage efficiency of a network structure is a very important consideration in database implementation. Network structure is a very important consideration in database implementation. Network structures are most commonly used with mainframe and minicomputer systems, rarely with microcomputers.
RELATIONAL STRUCTURE: here data is organized in terms of two dimensional tables. These tables offer great flexibility and a high degree of data security.
In offices found in organizations, the database is used in managing student’s employees information. A database management package/system permits people to search and query database contents to extract answers to non-recurring and unplanned questions-answers that aren’t available in regular reports..
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY - BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CADETS’ BRIGADE OF NDA
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) is the officer cadets training institution in Nigeria, which trains civilians into acquiring and developing all that it takes to become officers, and portray leadership qualities, in leading men, soldiers and equipment. It was established in January 1964 in response to one of the defence needs of the then independent Nigeria to train cadets for commissioning into the 3 armed services - the Army, Navy and Airforce. The initial training team comprised mainly of the Indian Army officers. Prior to this time, the institution was called the Royal Military Forces Training College(RMFTC). Upon independence, it was renamed the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC). In its 40 years of existence, NDA has undergone several significant transformations. In 1978, the training team became fully indigenized while in 1985 NDA was upgraded to a degree awarding institution.
The total strength of cadets at inception was 62 only. Presently the number of cadets is about 1700. The duration of training for the Regular Combatant course is five years. NDA has since 1981 also been involved in the training of cadets from some other friendly nations based on bilateral agreements. The countries include Gabon, Benin Republic. Liberia, Sierra Leon, Togo and other western African countries.
The cadets Brigade is further divided into five battalions which are Abyssinia, Dalet, Burma, Mogadishu and Ashanti Battalion for training of the Short Service cadets. Each of this battalion is headed by a commanding officer with the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and its equivalent in the other forces. He is assisted by other officers like the 2ic (Second in command), Adjutant, the three company commanders and a Battalion Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), with some soldiers who carry out minor day to day works in the battalion. The major role of the cadet brigade is to move the academy to greater heights, be responsible and answerable to the commandant on cadets matters such as; discipline, feeding, turn out, administration and other general welfare of cadets. The major role of the cadets brigade also include documentation (Cadets Brigade has the responsibility of documenting all cadets from the moment they report to the academy to the moment the pass out of the academy as officers); granting of leaves and passes (Cadets Brigade processes and grants the cadets and personnel leaves, passes to enable them stay away from the academy whenever the need arises); pay and allowances (in liaison with the Directorate of Finance and the banks, the Cadets Brigade organizes, supervises, monitors and maintains records of cadets pay and allowances); and discipline (the bedrock of the military is discipline, which is the most important responsibility of the cadets brigade, it has the primary and basic responsibility of maintaining and enforcing discipline on cadets).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the cadets brigade (CB), flat files are still being used for information storage. The cadets brigade faces major problem of storage and retrieval of information about the personnel and cadets in the Academy. There are some information that are required to determine the allowances that will be paid to the personnel of different rank, granting of passes and for writing the personal evaluation report (PER) of the officers and soldiers. Personnel records are stored in folders. One will virtually go round the whole departments to gather information as they are scattered around different offices and departments. This is time consuming and there are also tendencies of not getting all the data/information, and also the cost of storing it. This is a major setback in information storage and retrieval, and many documents also suffer the risk of getting damaged, may be due to fire outbreak, liquid being poured on documents and sometimes rodents attacking the paper files. There is no doubt that these are affecting the personnel negatively. For instance, for a personnel to get his clearance the will have to carry papers to almost every office in the academy to get clearance this is very awkward.
This study was necessitated by the fact that both management and officers of NDA face a lot of problems on detail/information management. Hence, this study is an attempt to identify the bottle necks in the present system, and come out with a better system that will effectively solve the problems of the current system.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim is to design and implement an effective personnel database information system using cadets’ brigade as a case study.
· The objectives are to eliminate the problems officers face in the process of getting their records when posted out of the academy or after commissioning as officers.
· Also to make it easy for the services to get accurate information or records of officers when being considered for some various appointments.
· It also aims at providing a well secure database management system Most importantly, this project work aims at eliminating the problems encountered in the manual system of personnel management operations by the use of this computerized Personnel Management System software.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this study is that it manages data efficiently and allows users to perform multiple tasks with ease. This database management system stores, organizes and manages a large amount of information about the whole cadet of Nigerian Defence Academy with just a single software application. Use of this system increases efficiency and accuracy of cadets’ records and reduces the risk of damage records.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This project is an effective personnel database information system using cadets’ brigade as a case study. However, focus is on personnel information management. The study will identify problems faced by officers in the management of the academy in this regards. An effective information management system will be designed and implement to replace the old and obsolete manual method.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The major limitations faced in carrying out this project are time factor. Some materials and information that are required from the Directorate of the Cadets Brigade but due to the privacy grading of certain information, there was no access to such documents and information. But all other aspects that was accessible in the Cadets Brigade was worked on and considered.
1.7 PROJECT ORGANIZATION
· Title Page
· Table of Contents
· List of Tables
· List of Figures
ii. Chapter One: Introduction
iii. Chapter Two: Literature Review
iv. Chapter Three: System Analysis, Methodology and Design
v. Chapter Four: System Implementation, Testing and Integration
vi. Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
viii. Program Appendix
ix. Source Codes
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.8.0 DATA DEFINITION: Creation, modification and removal of definitions that define the organization of the data
1.8.1 UPDATE: Insertion, modification, and deletion of the actual data.
1.8.2 DBMS: This is the collection of software product that is designed to provide a systematic, integrated and flexible approach to organizing and accessing data.
1.8.3 INFORMATION: This is a processed data
1.8.4 DATA: This is the raw fact
1.8.5 RECORD: This could also mean the lowest level of logical unit that can be accessed from a file.
1.8.6 PERSONNEL: The people who work for an organization or one of the armed forces or a department in a company or organization that deals with employing and training of people.
1.8.7 INFORMATION SYSTEM: This is the combination of human and computer based capital retrieval, communication, and use of data for the purpose of effective management, planning, decision making, reporting and control of operation in organizations.
1.8.8 RETRIEVAL: Providing information in a form directly usable or for further processing by other applications. The retrieved data may be made available in a form basically the same as it is stored in the database or in a new form obtained by altering or combining existing data from the database.
1.8.9 ADMINISTRATION: Registering and monitoring users, enforcing data security, monitoring performance, maintaining data integrity, dealing with concurrency control, and recovering information that has been corrupted by some event such as an unexpected system failure
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