Systems analysis

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Here are two examples of database systems designs. One theoretical simply modelled, the other was a live project.

Transport management database

The following analysis came from a project to build a transport management database for a transport association. The organization transports people in financial difficulty, in return-to-work situations, with social problems, or mobility impaired workers on low wages.


The organization owns a certain number of vehicles and organizes regular transport for people with low incomes. They wished to have indicators for the number of runs they do, to serve as proof of service to their funding organizations.

uml analysis of a transport system


The organisation receives public funds and contributions from employers, employs drivers and owns vehicles. The journeys of the people they transport in daily rounds are financed by public organisations.

Activity Reporting

The transport management database reports enable the association to compare journeys, people transported by financing organisation to justify funds against trips, and could calculate budgets for each financing organisation.

dashboards for trasnport system

Contact management

The transport management database manages contacts within each organisation, holding data on the persons who authorise users’ journeys. The module to manage users holds their financing status, and simple statistics on user profiles.

The following entity relationship model was used in the draft design of a Microsoft Access transport management database.

part of the relational model of a transport system

Service Site Model

This is a theoretical UML model of the relationships between potential customers and service providers. The idea is to register both requirements and services provided.

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The service site model is aimed at B2B and B2C relationships and in theory could be applied to any market and customised vertically. The working model is the artisans business model where the business problem is about getting materials at the best price.

The market place receives standard supplier offerings and autoregualtes pricing through reverse auction bids. Users can upload materials requirements.

This model is part of an overall approach to projects, which is “try and model and see if it flies”. If you can’t model it, you can’t build it. However, the inverse is not necessarily true. It’s not because you can model it, that you can create it. Building takes resources, a business case, funding, skills and time.

Class diagram for service site

class diagram for service site

The first step in project management is to define the project, and an excellent way to do that is to model the business context, focusing on the question in hand. The modelling raises questions which form the basis of the project issues database. Once the modelling complete, one can try and start the execution phase.

The concept of a service site

A lot of work is needed to move the model forward from a conceptual one to a live system. The concept is already in use but there continue to be opportunities available.

service site mode, matching registered needs with service offerings

To which market to apply such a marketplace, bringing together service providers and customers could apply to many markets.

Potential service site markets

The concept could be used for the direct sale of farm goods by producers or as a parts catalogue between automotive parts producers and buyers. Such a system may be the basis of a property swap or estate system – registering both supply and demand.

potential markets for service site

One idea was for artisans in the building trade and suppliers of materials, or for Bio House Building materials.

Amazon marketplace, Cdiscount marché, RDC marketplace, or even Ebay and Price Minister have all implemented market places for products. Eazylang and TM-Town have established market places for translation segments.

potential markets for a service site

Potential customers register a need, and are matched with a provider. Both pay to register and pay when their need is fulfilled.

The system can be used as a market maker because you can evaluate both demand and supply.

By marklewis

Mark Lewis is an Access developer, business analyst turned technical translator, fluent in French and English