Share this Page URL

Part I: Getting Started > The Basics of Database Design - Pg. 29

29 Chapter 2. The Basics of Database Design In this chapter, you will learn how to: · · · · · · · · Describe the principles of relational databases Plan and design a database Use the Table Wizard to create a table Create a lookup field Analyze the design of a database Test the design of a database Document a database Use a database template in Access If you're beginning to build a database in Access, this chapter provides some background and guid- ance about steps you take before you create tables, define fields, and fill out the database with forms, reports, and other database objects. Gathering information about what you and other users of a database want the database to do helps determine what tables you need to create and what data each table will store. We'll explore some of the principles of an Access database--a type of database known as a relational database --so that you gain an understanding of how a database is put together. For example, you'll learn how to design tables so that you enter data such as a name and an address only once. Keeping redundant data out of a database makes entering and updating data much easier and your database more efficient. To work through this chapter: · You should understand the basics of tables and fields, including how to enter a field in a table and how to select a data type. You can get this information in Chapter 7, "The HelloWorld Database." You'll also gain more practice in designing tables. We'll modify the simple table we created in Chapter 1 and add several new tables to the HelloWorld database. We'll create one table using the Table Wizard, and we'll also create a form that we'll use to demonstrate the types of table relation- ships in an Access database. Finally, you'll learn about the database templates that come with Access. If one of these templates matches the type of database you need, you can start with the template and modify it to fit your particular needs. Principles of Relational Databases Access is known as a relational database management system (RDBMS). As a database manage- ment system, Access provides the means to store data in tables (and to add, update, and delete data) and ways to retrieve and view data by using queries, forms, reports, and data access pages.