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    Default [Lecture 2] How should you create your Access database system?

    Before doing this you really need to know your requirements. What exactly is it you
    want your system to do? Write down a few ideas and you will find your system will
    come together on paper. For example for an invoicing system we may outline as
    follows:


    • Record customer information
    • Record order information
    • Mail or email each customer or supplier
    • Create reports on customer information
    • Create reports on invoice information
    • Add product information into the system
    • Record customer payment details



    Already you can see a few screen ideas there. For instance we can have a screen for
    recording customer information. Another for payment information and another for
    order information.


    Do we need the ability to update and delete data?
    Will some screens be read only?
    Do we need to record the time and date of the order?







    Do we need to create a customer mail shot ?
    Do we need to create mailing labels?
    Can our data be exported into Excel for accounting purposes?

    You can also see that we have other components from the Office suite coming into
    play here. For instance a mail shot? We could mail merge our MS Access data with
    MS Word to create mail shots. We could do the same with mailing labels. Excel – yes
    we can export our data very easily into Excel for accounting or even forecasting
    purposes.

    By fleshing out some ideas here we have not only created ideas for screens, but also
    we have an idea of the data storage backend. Data in Access is stored in what is
    called tables. In this case we would have a separate table for customers and
    payments. The screens we create will get it’s data from it’s related table. For example
    the customers screen will be using the table called customers to store it’s data.

    It is a good idea to also sketch out how you want to present the data. Do you want to
    see a view of how many sales you got in August? Do you want to know the total
    value of sales or how many overseas customers you have? To view data in this
    fashion in Access you set up what is known as a query. You can use this query as a
    basis for a report or even a screen. Queries are very powerful in Access.

    There can be a tendency to add too many features into your system. This can make
    the system bloated and slow. We have all seen examples of this with commercial
    software we have bought. Try and keep it simple and only stick to what you really
    need to do your job. Do you really need your database to contain a built in web
    browser when you just as easily use IE or Firefox?

    I will now take you through creating a simple system for recording customer and
    sales information. Bear in mind this is a general overview outlining certain Access
    database features. It is possible to expand this to create a full blown system.


    I have used Access 2000 for the examples in these Tutorials, but they will work just as
    well for any other version.

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