IT 349: Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

 Overview

The final project for this course is divided into two parts: configuration and optimization recommendations, and a job aid.

As a database administrator, it is essential that you understand the foundational concepts of data, database management, and database maintenance. While each database tool may appear different, the same concepts stretch across tools. Thus, your success in this course will be contingent on your ability to apply foundational database administration concepts to a specific database, as well as perform the common maintenance tasks necessary for improving functionality and ensuring security and integrity of data.

Your assessment for this course requires you to place yourself in the role of a database administrator as you evaluate an existing database environment and make recommendations for configuration and optimization. Additionally, you will create a job aid that will be used to onboard new database administrators  This will allow for a practical approach to applying database administration concepts and performing essential administration and maintenance tasks. Refer to the prompt below for the specifics. You will need to download your database from this link and import it into the environment located on your virtual desktop to complete this final project.

 

The project is divided into five milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. The final product will be submitted in Module Seven. 

 In the final project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:

  • Configure relational database environments to align to a defined set of business requirements
  • Perform common database maintenance and administration tasks on various database management systems that improve functionality
  • Optimize databases for scalability and performance based on the business environment and in accordance with business needs
  • Perform database backups and successfully restore data operations in accordance with best practices in database administration
  • Manage secure database by performing common security administration and access procedures

Scenario

Imagine that you are a database administrator for SNHU Car Parts and Accessories. Currently, the organization has a relational database running on Microsoft SQL Server. The company sells car parts and accessories out of its Manchester, NH, location and through its online e-commerce website, and is thinking about expanding to other areas of the country.

You have recently been promoted to senior database administrator and have been tasked with two projects. Knowing that the business is planning on growing and expanding, you have been asked by the information technology (IT) director to:

  1. Support the business’s initiatives by recommending methods for configuring and optimizing the existing database environment to ensure scalability and reliable performance as the business grows, and to align with the following business requirements:
    1. Optimize the database/website to support ongoing growth
      1. Recommend a scalable solution
      2. Define security standards
  • Include user tracking and an auditing system iv. Provide order fulfillment and order tracking
  1. Website should be able to support 100 simultaneous users
  2. Include search functionality
  3. Render website content in multiple languages
  4. Meet ADA requirements
  1. Create a job aid that will be used to onboard new database administrators when you are unable to devote your attention to their training.

 Prompt

Final Project, Part I: Configuration and Optimization Recommendations

Analyze the existing database environment, located on your virtual desktop. As the IT professional, make recommendations that will allow the database environment to align to the specified business requirements while also ensuring scalability and reliability of performance as the business grows.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

  1. Introduction:
    1. Provide an overview of the scenario, including an analysis of the organization, the current state of the business environment, and any industryspecific information you feel is relevant. Be sure to describe the business environment in terms of what might be important for consideration in the recommendations you will make to improve the database environment, providing specific examples to support your claims.
    2. Are there any particular assumptions or conclusions that you have made about the scenario, the business environment, and the database environment that are important to note? What led you to these assumptions and conclusions? Provide specific detail to support your considerations.
  2. Business Requirements and Needs: Given what has been provided in the scenario, discuss the specific business requirements that need to be met by the database, as well as the business needs that exist. Remember that the business needs may not always be included in the requirements, as often businesses establish requirements without full knowledge of future growth or technological aspects. Part of your job is to plan ahead and make educated predictions on what the business needs may be in the not-so-distant future. Establish the business needs in correlation with the defined requirements, and explain your conclusions.
  • The Existing Database: Where is the current database falling short of expectations, needs, and requirements? Explain your conclusions with scenariospecific context and specific examples. Some things to consider include but are not limited to the performance speed of various aspects, the quality or reliability of the program, and the impacts of certain functions or programs on the database environment.
  1. Configuration: Recommend ways to configure the database environment so that it aligns with the defined business requirements. How do you know that your recommendations will meet these requirements? Be sure to support your recommendations with relevant sources and examples.
  2. Performance: You have established the business requirements and the needs as informed by your analysis of the given scenario. Given the information you have gleaned and your predictions for future needs, outline your recommendations for ensuring continued performance quality. In other words, what will need to happen to maintain or even improve the levels of performance, and why do you feel these steps are necessary and will be successful? What evidence exists to support your conclusions?
  3. Scalability: Given the information you have gleaned from the scenario and the predictions you have made about the future of the business, what is your recommendation for ensuring scalability? Specifically, as the business grows and expands, how do you know that your recommendations will allow the database environment to grow in a manner that will meet the business’s needs? What evidence supports your recommendations?

Final Project, Part II: Job Aid

Create a detailed job aid to help train the new database administrators that the company will hire. You will be working your way through the following tasks to create process documentation that new hires can follow.

There are two options for submission, both of which will apply to the itemized prompt listed below. Please view the Guidelines for Submission for more information on the submission expectations and rubric that will be used to evaluate submissions of both option types at the end of this document.

The first option is a written job aid that contains screenshots to illustrate the processes/tasks and written explanations to highlight the purpose, importance, and steps necessary for successful completion in alignment with the company’s needs and standards. In assembling the job aid, you should provide written instructions to facilitate understanding of each process and a table of contents to make finding each appropriate process easier.

The second option is more technology dependent, but would allow for non-written submissions. This option requires the use of a tool, such as Jing, that enables you to record yourself working through each designated task while capturing your verbal explanation of steps and importance of processes. While you may use another tool, Jing has full IT support and is free, while many other tools are not. The SNHU Help Desk will not be available to assist you with the use of a tool for this option; therefore, Jing is highly recommended. Should you run into difficulties that you cannot address, it is your responsibility to revert to option 1 in order for your submission to be on time. Late submission because you were not successful in using a tool for option 2 will result in the normal late penalties established for this course.

Specifically, your job aid should include the following critical elements, most of which are tasks common to the database administration scope of responsibilities:

  1. Introduction: This is where you will inform the audience of general business requirements/standards for database administration that currently exist for the organization. Specifically:
    1. Communicate the properties of the database (size, location, file names) visually and verbally/in writing.
    2. When are the peak use hours of the database? Explain how you determined this, why it matters, and what to do if peak hours change.
    3. What backup software does the company use? Why? What relevance does this hold for the new team members?
  1. Administration, Optimization, and Configuration: There are several tasks that the average database administrator will need to be able to perform. Attend to the performances listed below by walking your audience through each task, providing a visual representation of the process, a written/verbal explanation of the steps, their relevance, and when a new administrator might need to perform the task:
    1. Create new tables, views, and stored procedures. As you create the tables, views, and stored procedures, be sure to include identifiable information, such as your name, your imaginary employee ID number, and so on. Be sure to communicate any particular standards that new tables need to meet in order to ensure data integrity and consistency across your database.
    2. Create a copy of the database. Where is the data stored? Should you have a copy in a remote location? Why? c) Detach and attach a database to the environment
    3. Import data from external sources (i.e., flat files, Excel, and extracting data)
    4. Baseline the database (use the SQL Profiler): Why does this matter?
    5. Set the database to grow automatically by a certain percentage. Provide your justification.

 

  • Maintenance, Backup, and Recovery
    1. Determine the timeframe for committing and truncating the database log files.
    2. Back up the database. How often should the database be backed up? Why?
    3. Explain how to monitor disk utilization of the server.

 

  1. Security
    1. What security groups are present? Who has access to the database? How do you know this, and where do you go to gather this information? b) Include how to add/remove users and groups
    2. c) Assign database permissions to users in groups

 

 

Milestones

Milestone One: Database Optimization Recommendations, Part I

In Module Two, you will submit a two- to three-page paper that provides an introduction addressing the specific business scenario identified for the final project. Specifically, you should:

 

  • Analyze the business environment
  • Identify assumptions
  • Establish requirements and needs
  • Analyze existing database

 

Discuss the roles of staff, vendors, consultants, and the organization in making the database improvement process successful. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.  

 

Milestone Two: Database Optimization Recommendations, Part II

In Module Three, you will submit a two- to three-page paper discussing configuration and performance monitoring. Provide recommendations for configuring the database to meet the needs of the organization. Also, discuss how the performance will be monitored to ensure quality control. Provide support that is professional, scholarly, and reputable within the industry. In preparation for the final submission, begin to consider how the database could be scalable as the organization grows.  Please note that this milestone will not be submitted as part of the final project submission. This milestone provides an initial overview of the key concepts that will later be introduced as part of the final requirements.

This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric. 

Milestone Three: Job Aid, Part I 

In Module Four, you will submit a two- to three-page paper that provides an introduction for a new employee in the organization. Specifically, you should:

  • Communicate the properties of the database
  • Identify peak hours
  • Identify software used for backup

This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.  

Milestone Four: Job Aid, Part II  

In Module Five, you will submit a two- to three-page paper that provides a new employee with an in-depth description of the administration of a database. Specifically, you should explain the steps required to:

  • Create tables, views, and stored procedures
  • Copy a database
  • Attach and detach a database
  • Import data from external sources
  • Use SQL Profiler to correctly baseline database

Be sure to support your analysis with strong explanations, professional resources, and established industry concepts and practices. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Four Rubric.

Milestone Five: Job Aid, Part III

In Module Six, you will submit a two- to three-page paper that provides a new employee with an in-depth description for the continuation of administration and ongoing maintenance of a database. Specifically, you should:

  • Explain steps required to set database to grow automatically
  • Determine correct timeframe to commit and truncate the database log
  • Perform backup of database
  • Describe how to monitor disk utilization

Be sure to support your analysis with strong explanations, professional resources, and established industry concepts and practices. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Five Rubric

Final Project Submission: Configuration and Optimization Recommendations and Job Aid

In Module Seven, you will submit your final project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. Your final submission should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course, specifically the feedback received from Milestones One through Five. Your submission should also include the following critical elements not previously addressed in the milestones:

  • Recommend methods for ensuring scalability of the database
  • Identify user groups and how to locate information
  • Demonstrate how to add and remove users and groups  Assign database permissions to users in groups

 

The final submission should reflect a solid understanding of the needs and qualities of a database environment. The configuration and optimization recommendations will be graded using the Final Project Part I Rubric. The job aid will be graded using the Final Project Part II Rubric.

Deliverables
Milestone Deliverables Module Due Grading 
1 Database Optimization Recommendations, Part I Two Graded separately; Milestone One Rubric
2 Database Optimization, Part II Three Graded separately; Milestone Two Rubric
3 Job Aid, Part I Four Graded separately; Milestone Three Rubric
4 Job Aid, Part II Five Graded separately; Milestone Four Rubric
5 Job Aid, Part III Six Graded separately; Milestone Five Rubric
  Final Submission: Configuration and

Optimization Recommendations and Job Aid

Seven Graded separately; Final Project Part I and II Rubric
Final Project Part I Rubric

Guidelines for Submission:  The configuration and optimization recommendations must follow these formatting guidelines: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margin

Critical Elements Exemplary (100%) Proficient (85%) Needs Improvement (55%) Not Evident (0%) Value
Introduction: Business

Environment

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria and provides exceptional detail regarding the organization, industry information, and the current state of the business environment Discusses the organization, the current state of the business environment, and industryspecific information and gives examples that are relevant Discusses the organization, the current state of the business environment, and industryspecific information that is relevant, but misses necessary or key details, or discussion is not always relevant Does not discuss the organization, the current state of the business environment, and industry-specific

information

11.25
Introduction:

Assumptions

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and assumptions and defense reflect keen insight into the nuances of constructing recommendations for optimization and configuration Clearly identifies and logically defends assumptions and conclusions made regarding the business environment, scenario, and database environment with specific supporting detail Identifies and defends assumptions and conclusions that were made regarding the business environment, scenario, and database environment, but assumptions are not always clear, or defense of assumptions is not logical or not supported with detail Does not identify and defend assumptions and conclusions that were made regarding the business environment, scenario, and database environment 11.25
Business

Requirements and

Needs

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and established business needs evidence reflects keen insight into the organization and business environment in the

future

Establishes appropriate business needs in relation to the defined business requirements and with consideration of the business environment, with detailed explanation Establishes business needs, but they either lack relation to the defined business requirements, consideration of the business environment, or detail Does not establish business needs in relation to the defined business requirements and consideration of the business environment 15
Existing Database

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and analysis is exceptionally detailed and supported Analyzes the existing database environment, providing specific areas of shortcomings or areas in need of improvement regarding the business requirements, and provides detailed explanations for support Analyzes the existing database environment, but identified areas are not specific to the business requirements or explanations lack necessary detail Does not analyze the existing database for areas of shortcomings or areas in need of improvement 15
Configuration

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and supporting resources and examples are of a professional, scholarly, reputable nature Recommends methods for configuring the database environment that align with the defined business requirements and needs, and supports with resources and examples Recommends methods for configuring the database environment, but recommendations do not align with the defined business requirements and needs, or resources and examples provided do not fully support the recommendations Does not recommend methods for configuring the database environment 15
Performance

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and recommendations are particularly insightful regarding ensuring performance quality over time, or supporting evidence is particularly strong Outlines recommendations for ensuring the continued performance quality, and supports with evidence Outlines recommendations, but recommendations would not lend to ensuring the continued performance quality, or evidence provided does not constitute support Does not outline recommendations for performance quality 11.25
Scalability

 

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and recommendations are particularly insightful regarding ensuring scalability over time, or supporting evidence is particularly strong Recommends methods for ensuring scalability of the database in accordance with the business needs, and supports with evidence Recommends methods, but methods would not lend to scalability, or evidence provided does not constitute support Does not recommend methods for scalability 11.25
Articulation of Response Submission is free of errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization and is presented in a professional and easy-to-read format Submission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization Submission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas Submission has critical errors related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas

10
      Earned Total 100%

 

Rubric Annotations

 

Term Context/Definition
Relevant To the scenario, business context, industry/organizational environment, and scope of this particular assignment (the recommendation for optimization and configuration)
Exceptional detail As is appropriate for the situation, relevant to the scenario, and showing keen insight or exceptional knowledge of the nuances of analyzing business environments for the purpose of optimization and configuration recommendations
Keen insight into the nuances of For context, it is necessary for student to make some assumptions in order to successfully tackle this project, or any project in the real, professional world. A key aspect is making assumptions that are relevant, logical, and can help lead students to a successful solution. If
constructing recommendations for optimization and configuration students can identify the areas they made assumptions and explain, logically, why it was appropriate to make such assumptions with exceptional detail and accuracy, they probably have a deep understanding of the nuances of making assumptions within the context of constructing recommendations.
Keen insight into the organization and business environment in the future The student’s explanation will evidence keen insight if they form educated and logical conclusions about the future needs of the business that will allow them to better prepare and configure a database environment. This is the idea that going above and beyond the business requirements that currently exist may be a requirement for organizational success.
Exceptionally detailed and supported While still completely relevant to the scenario and provided business context, the identified areas of improvement are sufficiently detailed, and accurate in that detail, to provide the baseline for a path to addressing the areas. Further, exemplary analysis is supported with strong explanations that are in line with scholarly, professional, and/or reputable established concepts and practices.

 

Insightful Showing a graduate-level conceptual understanding of the needs and qualities of database environment that successfully maintain quality performance in the long run
Particularly strong evidence Professional, scholarly, and reputable within the industry

 

 

Final Project Part II Rubric

 

Guidelines for Submission: There are two submission options for Part II of the final project:

 

  1. Written job aid featuring screenshots (or embedded videos) of performance tasks, as well as written explanations and answers to critical elements.

 

  1. Use of recording tool, such as Jing, to record yourself performing each task. Jing will allow you to record the activities you perform on your computer, while also recording your verbal explanations to files that are up to five minutes in length. The use of Jing requires an updated Flash driver, as all files will be saved as Flash files. Any issues that you may run into will have to be dealt with by Jing’s IT support, not the SNHU Help Desk. If you run into difficulty and feel you cannot use this option, please continue with the first option. It is your responsibility to make sure you complete and submit your assessment on time.

 

Critical Elements Proficient (100%) Needs Improvement (55%) Not Evident (0%) Value
Introduction: Properties

 

Accurately communicates and visualizes the properties of the database Communicates and visualizes the properties of the database, but with gaps in accuracy Does not communicate and visualize the properties of the database 6.25

 

Introduction: Peak Hours

 

Accurately communicates the peak hours, how they were determined, why it matters, and what to do if peak hours change Communicates the peak hours, how they were determined, why it matters, and what to do if peak hours change, but with gaps in accuracy or detail Does not communicate the peak hours, how they were determined, why it matters, and what to do if peak hours change 6.25
Introduction: Backup

Software

 

Accurately identifies the software used for backup and communicates the relevance and reasoning Identifies the software used for backup and communicates the relevance and reasoning, but with gaps in accuracy or detail Does not identify the software used for backup and communicate the relevance and reasoning 6.25
Administration,

Optimization, and

Configuration: Creating

Tables/Views/Stored

Procedures

 

Correctly creates a new table, view, and stored procedure while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and existing standards Creates a new table, view, and stored procedure while explaining the steps, relevance, and existing standards, but tasks are performed incorrectly or explanations are not accurate Does not create a new table, view, and stored procedure while explaining the steps, relevance, and existing standards 6.25
Administration,

Optimization, and

Configuration: Copying

 

Correctly copies the database while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Incorrectly copies the database or inaccurately explains the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not copy the database while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Administration,

Optimization, and Configuration:

Attaching/Detaching

 

Correctly attaches and detaches a database while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Unsuccessfully attaches or detaches a database or inaccurately explains the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not attach or detach a database correctly while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Administration,

Optimization, and

Configuration: Importing

Data

 

Correctly imports data from external sources while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Imports data incorrectly from external sources or inaccurately explains the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not import data from external sources while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Administration,

Optimization, and

Configuration: Baseline

 

Uses the SQL Profiler to correctly baseline the database while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Uses the SQL Profiler incorrectly to baseline the database or provides an inaccurate explanation of the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not use the SQL Profiler to baseline the database while providing an explanation of the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25

 

Administration,

Optimization, and

Configuration: Automatic

Growth

 

Correctly sets the database to grow automatically by a certain percentage while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Incorrectly sets the database to grow automatically by a certain percentage or inaccurately explains the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not set the database to grow automatically while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Maintenance, Backup, and Recovery:

Committing and

Truncating the Database

Log

 

Correctly commits and truncates the database log files while accurately determining the correct timeframe and explaining the steps and relevance Incorrectly commits and truncates the database log files, determines an inaccurate timeframe, or provides an inaccurate explanation of steps and relevance Does not commit and truncate the database log files while explaining timeframe, steps, and relevance 6.25
Maintenance, Backup, and Recovery: Backup

 

Successfully performs backup of the database while accurately explaining the steps and relevance and determining an appropriate frequency for backups Performs an unsuccessful backup, or explanation and determination of frequency are inaccurate Does not perform a backup while explaining steps, relevance, and frequency 6.25
Maintenance, Backup, and Recovery: Disk

Utilization

 

Accurately explains how to monitor disk utilization and why it is important, while providing a correct visualization Explains how to monitor disk utilization and why it is important, while providing a visualization, but explanation is inaccurate or visualization is incorrect Does not explain how to monitor disk utilization and why it is important, while providing a visualization 6.25
Security: Groups and

Access

 

Accurately identifies present user groups and explains who has access while visually showing how to locate the information Identifies present user groups and explains who has access while visually showing how to locate the information, but explanations or identifications are inaccurate Does not identify present user groups, explain who has access, and show where to get the information 6.25
Security: Add/Remove

Users and Groups 

 

Successfully adds and removes users and groups while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Unsuccessfully adds or unsuccessfully removes users and groups, inaccurately explains the steps, relevance, and when to perform Does not add and remove users and groups while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Security: Assigning

Database Permissions

 

Correctly assigns database permissions to users in groups while accurately explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform Assigns database permissions to users in groups while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform, but performance is incorrect or explanations are inaccurate Does not assign database permissions to users in groups while explaining the steps, relevance, and when to perform 6.25
Articulation of Response Submission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization Submission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas Submission has critical errors related to citations, grammar,

spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas

6.25
      Earned Total 100%

 
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