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  1. #1
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    Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    I have volunteered/been asked to create an Access database for our hardware inventories. At present the only reference material I have is the 100 pages in Office 2000 Special Edition (where Woody and Ed preface by saying something to the effect of not for the faint-hearted and we can only give you some very basic basics) and what I can find on-line. I know absolutely nothing about Access so will be asking what may be some very stupid questions... I promise to search before asking, but since I don't even know the proper language to ask I may miss something.

    Proficiency in one app does not automatically grant proficiency in another. Nonetheless, I will be jumping in with both feet and trying to keep my head above water. If you have any initial tips (other than run), please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Karen

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    Access2000 has a database that comes with it called "Inventory Control". You should be able to find this with the first dialog box that opens when you open Access. The first dialog box has a choice of 'Access database wizards, pages and project'. Select that radio button and then click 'OK' and you will see the sample databases. I think if you look at this database it will at least give you a start. Good luck!

    hth,
    Jack

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    Thanks, Jack! I have visited the sample database and feel it's too complete... employee info, etc. But you're right it did give me a good start! Between that, online help, Special Edition and some friendly advice I receive, I have accomplished the following:

    Note: Data has been gathered from various individuals into standardized Excel sheets over the past month -- I figured the importing of info would be easier.
    Karen

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    Hi Karen,
    A couple of thoughts:
    1. Rather than having separate tables for each type of equipment, it might be easier to have a table of equipment types and store all equipment in one table with a type ID. To some extent that may depend on the type of reporting you have to do from this db.
    2. A form/subform arrangement should accomplish your maintenance tracking needs.
    3. A list box will work for the Office details.
    4. A combobox will work for the Vendor details - you can search in the online help or in this forum for examples of the NotInList event to handle new data.
    Hope that's of some help.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    Re my point 1, I had overlooked the staggeringly obvious point that you may be recording details specific to each hardware type in specific fields. Feel free to ignore me! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    <img src=/S/scold.gif border=0 alt=scold width=50 height=15>I'll do no such thing as ignore a valuable resource! I may not go with what you say, but I'll consider it carefully. Most of the fields are the same. I split them into categories because we're talking a large network and I thought that in the long-run it would be easier to manage than one giant table. We have 18 offices, with anywhere from 25-1300 users at each. In fact, the forms I created may well become subforms to smooth the user interface with the database.... but I haven't gotten there yet. <img src=/S/dizzy.gif border=0 alt=dizzy width=15 height=15>
    Karen

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    It won't be easier to manage, although vertical stratification can be faster depending on how you design it. Is isn't normalized, however. The way you would usually do it is with a single table that holds the common attributes that all the equipment shares--attributes like brand name, serial number, model, cost, etc. That table would have a unique key as well as a field to identify the specific type of equipment. You would then have a separate table for each specific equipment type that has the additional fields you need to record for only that particular type of equipment--things like the monitor size or whether a printer is a laser and inkjet, etc.

    The additional tables would have a one-to-one relationship to the main equipment table, with the primary key of the main table also being the primary key of the additional tables. That allows you to keep a lot of the data out of the way, but use the main table to retrieve it quickly. You could either use a field in the main table to record the office for the equipment or a join table between office and equipment. If you need a history, the latter is the way to go. If you only want to know where it is right now, a field in the main table will serve the purpose.

    If you really have a huge volume of records, this would be better in a SQL Server database (or MSDE), since SS is better equiped to handle large numbers of records and multiple simultaneous users. You could still front-end it with Access, but it would make some things easier and others harder ... especially for a novice. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Charlotte

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    Re: Patience with a newbie, please... (2000 (unsure of SR))

    Thanks! I believe I'm going to start from scratch. The nice thing about having the info currently in Excel is being able to scrap all without losing data!
    Karen

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