Sales is probably the most fundamental and comprehensive activity you need to consider when modeling a business, because almost everyone is selling some sort of product, whether it is manufactured in-house or purchased from another company. This chapter concentrates on companies that perform direct sales, whether they manufacture the products themselves or acquire them from a supplier or parent organization.
Sales is also a broad and varied subject—too broad and varied to consider the nuances for all sales options in one chapter, so here we give you the foundation for building a database tailored to your needs by using generic examples that can be applicable in concept and structure to whatever type of organization you are modeling.
Because you are modeling, at least in part, a process, this chapter provides an example of a transactional application. That means you will capture data about events as well as objects. Events (or processes) can age, and this chapter's example provides a way to manage that.
Almost every sales process will involve three core subjects: the customer, the order, and the product. As we create the database, the data related to these will be organized into tables. In addition, you need to consider the vendors that you purchase products from, business rules associated with a franchise, and any other factors that control or impact sales. Also, the sales processmight include the need to create quotes and issue invoices. You will also want to be able ...