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Chapter 5. Working with Jet Databases an... > Designing the HRActions Table

Designing the HRActions Table

Designing the HRActions table is typical of the process you go through when you create a set of relational tables for almost any purpose. Rather than add fields for entries—such as salary, commission rate, and bonuses—to the Employees table, you should place employee remuneration data in a table of its own, for the following reasons:

  • Multiple HRActions are taken for individual employees over time. If you add these actions to records in the Employees table, you have to create many additional fields to hold an arbitrary number of HRActions. If, for example, quarterly performance reviews are entered, you would need to add a new field for every quarter to hold the review information. In this situation, spreadsheet applications and flat-file managers encounter serious difficulties.

  • HRActions usually are considered confidential information and are made accessible only to a limited number of people. Although you can design forms that don't display confidential information, restricting permission to view an entire table is a more secure approach.

  • You can identify employees uniquely by their EmployeeID numbers. Therefore, records for entries of HRActions can be related to the Employees table by an EmployeeID field. This feature eliminates the necessity of adding employee names and other information to the records in the Personnel Action table. You link the Employees table to the Personnel table by the EmployeeID field, and the two tables are joined; they act as though they are a single table. Minimizing information duplication to only what is required to link the tables is your reward for choosing a relational, rather than a flat-file, database management system.

  • You can categorize HRActions by type so that any action taken can use a common set of field names and field data types. This feature makes the design of the HRActions table simple.


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