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    Star Lounger WildcatRay's Avatar
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    Recommend training for Access 2007 functions and database design?

    I am a virtual novice at designing a database that has had a devil of a time trying to find any sort of learning aids, books, or courses that will help me to learn how to design a database. What I have found is primarily focused on very simple databases and the basics of Access 2007 functions like tables, queries, etc. My preference is to do the database in Access 2007 as that is what my company has though I personally am not hard and fast locked into it. I would appreciate anyone's recommendations on this. Thanks.

    I want to add that what gives me the most trouble is what logic to use when it comes to arranging links/relationships between different data tables. I do realize that may very well be dependent on the specifics of the database I am trying to design. What I am hoping for is to see how other databases are designed and use/adapt the logic to what I want to do.
    Last edited by WildcatRay; 2014-06-27 at 09:37.

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    If you are just talking database design, the version of Access you use will not really matter much. If your company is using A2007, then design in that. There are some new things in A2010, but probably nothing you need to worry about. Mostly you will deal with tables and the relationships between tables; and that hasn't changed in like forever!
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Try this for a start. I haven't used it but it looks the goods.
    http://www.gcflearnfree.org/access2007

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    Star Lounger WildcatRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaus View Post
    Try this for a start. I haven't used it but it looks the goods.
    http://www.gcflearnfree.org/access2007
    Thanks. This appears more along the lines of what I am looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildcatRay View Post
    I am a virtual novice at designing a database that has had a devil of a time trying to find any sort of learning aids, books, or courses that will help me to learn how to design a database. What I have found is primarily focused on very simple databases and the basics of Access 2007 functions like tables, queries, etc. My preference is to do the database in Access 2007 as that is what my company has though I personally am not hard and fast locked into it. I would appreciate anyone's recommendations on this. Thanks.

    I want to add that what gives me the most trouble is what logic to use when it comes to arranging links/relationships between different data tables. I do realize that may very well be dependent on the specifics of the database I am trying to design. What I am hoping for is to see how other databases are designed and use/adapt the logic to what I want to do.
    When I was in your position I found the best book was "Database Design for Mere Mortals" by, Hernandez. I actually took a class by him before he published his first book. It made the world of difference for me.

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    Books about Access

    Some resources that have helped me—
    • Anything written by Helen Feddema, but especially "Access Version 2002 Inside Out."
    • "Access 2007 Inside Out" by John Viescas and Jeff Conrad.
    • "Expert One-on-One Microsoft Access Development" by Helen Feddema. (Terrific resource!)
    • This forum. I've said it before: I owe a debt I can never repay to the people in The Lounge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildcatRay View Post
    I am a virtual novice at designing a database that has had a devil of a time trying to find any sort of learning aids, books, or courses that will help me to learn how to design a database. What I have found is primarily focused on very simple databases and the basics of Access 2007 functions like tables, queries, etc....

    I want to add that what gives me the most trouble is what logic to use when it comes to arranging links/relationships between different data tables. I do realize that may very well be dependent on the specifics of the database I am trying to design. What I am hoping for is to see how other databases are designed and use/adapt the logic to what I want to do.
    I think "database design" is more useful than "Access". I humbly suggest considering a more generic starting point than an application. When I think database design, I think of relational databases and relational database managers. In today's world, "relational database" has more meaningful use cases than "database". The reason to introduce "relational" is the newer clarifications "NoSQL" and notions of "big data".

    Like many, when I began discovering database techniques, I began with output, printed reports, or queries. I found there were two other equally, perhaps more important, considerations - table design and input.

    My first suggestion is to differentiate between learning about relational databases from a focus on Access. Database design is a large and deep topic. Access was not conceived or developed for many of today's database use cases. In the old days, Access, like Paradox, evolved as a "PC database". Compare that to "network application". A "PC database" is intended to live and communicate on a stand-alone computer. The "PC database" catered to pre-network needs. Pre-network presumed simpler, short-lived, low constraints, tasks.

    Back in the old days, I selected Paradox from Borland over Access from Microsoft. So how does this have to do with database design, or table design and input? And network applications? Or use cases?

    I chose Paradox over Access because of the way files were stored. Paradox stored the data, queries, and report definitions separately. Access did not. The more sophisticated Access designer could separate items, but that was not what most users learned. In Paradox, I separated by folders. In Access, one bound everything together in a *.mdb.

    For me, I assumed that Paradox would make it easier for me to reuse pieces of my "database". It was.

    Let's wrap it up. I believe the interest in database design is worthy. But ... I also believe most think of database knowledge primarily in terms of output, and usually, printouts. In the short term, that's not bad. In the long term, table design and input are significant. By the long term, I think of backups, modifications, and reuse, as over time, the database and it's uses change.

    I don't have anything against Access, I just think it's emphasis requires a modern perspective.

    The following are not modern, but I think the first three normal forms are useful notions.

    Description of the database normalization basics
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283878

    Database normalization
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization

    Good luck. Keep learning.
    Brian

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