Journal of International Information Management


The transition from theory to practice is often challenging for sUidents. This paper considers this challenge within the context of implementing a database design in an end-user DBMS. The tradeoffs are examined between adhering to the theory that is taught in the classroom and straying from the theory when faced with deadlines, software applications that will not support the theory, and specific client needs. In the first section, the problems and tradeoffs for developers and system clients are described. In the second section, a specific case study of a student project for a charitable organization is described. The third section highlights the advantages of normalized, relational database structure. The fourth section examines some issues involved in the use of PC-based Database Management Systems (DBMS) packages. The fifth section illustrates the collision between theory and practice with the studentdeveloped project. The sixth and final section summarizes inherent paradoxes in the transition from classroom theory to industry practice. Important questions are raised and some conclusions are drawn.