These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Database Growth Tracker

Executive Summary

There are countless “companies” out there that consist of a single programmer developing a clever app in his or her spare time in his or her pajamas. KickingApp is one of these “companies” that recently released an app on the Windows 8 app store (called GroupThink).

The app allows users to share, find, rate, and comment on ideas with other users. It is driven by the data that users submit while they are using the app. Because this is the case, the best way to understand the growth and usage of the application is to look at the growth of the data in the database. 

The developer behind GroupThink could look at the number of downloads, but this gives no indication of how users are actually using the application (if they are using it at all). Besides this, glancing at the number of downloads gives no indication of the growth rate. It is simply a snapshot at the current time of how many downloads have occurred in history, even if all of them were more than a year ago, for example.

Additionally, KickingApp plans to release GroupThink for Android devices within the next month. Again, data in the database is the best indicator of growth in usage because this will be an aggregation between the Android app and the Windows 8 app since both use the same database. If the application were released on several platforms, tracking several different developer consoles to see how many users have downloaded the app would be a terribly inefficient (and pointless) way to determine if and how people are using an application.

The Excel program described in this document, Database Growth Tracker, will allow small developers the ability to track the usage of their data-driven applications quickly and easily. No longer will the developer of KickingApp have to check the number of downloads or log into the database through a webbrowser and run SQL statements to see a snapshot of how much data has been collected. The Database Growth Tracker can be run quickly and easily once per day to download and store the size of database tables. Overtime, developers will have a useful dashboard that describes the growth of the usage of their application.

This is meant specifically for small developers that do not have access to more expensive and complex dashboard resources. It is very easy to set up and very quick to run on a daily (or less, as desired) basis.  It gives useful information quickly and easily.

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