How Many Words Do You Need To Know Forum.Language-Learners Microsoft Access Database Design Concept – Step 2 of 7 Report Requirements for Your Access Database

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Microsoft Access Database Design Concept – Step 2 of 7 Report Requirements for Your Access Database

This is the most important step and it is the process that I refer to as Reverse engineering!

The best way to build the Access database architecture correctly is to start with the end result The reports! sketching out what reports you want to end up with. After all, database systems are there to serve you and we want information to please!

As an exercise, if you’ve migrated from a paper-based system or an older database system, you may want to put all existing reports on a large table and prioritize which reports you want to rebuild.

Reports for your Access database include more than just the obvious customer list o list of products but one order, invoice or even a paper.

There are 5 main items that you may want to compile to help list the necessary reports for your Access database system that you may want to note:

  1. Each report should have a name (title) with a brief description to help identify, isolate, and narrow down end-user needs. This helps with tags and search functions and later functions (for other parts of the Microsoft Access database objects) but you can group and also try to match similar reports.
  2. The column headers (fields) for each report should be listed which serves as a potential map of all required fields. Knowing your fields will serve you well as the structures for your queries (and tables) will need to be maintained.
  3. The layout of the fields and any special formatting attributes (ie currency style, bold, red, underline, etc.) will be a useful exercise because it can reveal how certain values ​​are stored including their data types. It also confirms the ‘normalization‘ of the data set (in other words, a contact name be a field or possibly made of two fields; first name and last name?).
  4. Sorting and grouping data by a category (if any) will help organize your data into logical sets and how the data will be organized which leads to the decision to understand and plan that all relational databases (RDBMS).
  5. What kind of filter (criteria) do you want? Write in plain English as a simple sentence. For instance, “I would like to list all customers in the UK for orders raised during January 2011”. From this exercise, you are actually correlating similarities and starting to define your questions that will be the basis for any report.

Keep the detail consistent (have a template or blue print guide) and be as specific as possible.

This will help outline the beginning of the database structure for the next two steps (later in this series).

Each report identified with the fields of that report will help guide where your fields should be stored (in a table).

When you take a closer look at a report, using the concepts of “Database Normalization”, try to break the data information into smaller, more manageable logical units focused on a ‘one to many’ relationship that is potentially in place.

For example, a customer can place one or more orders and therefore a ‘one to many’ relationship is formed between the customer and an order in two (and sometimes more) tables

Hopefully, the above reverse engineering process begins to shed some light on this important process and repeat this for each report you want to finish.

Each report that you analyze should reveal a common set of tables that form the architecture of the database and take you to the next step.

Before proceeding, however, spend time there as needed.

This is the most important part of the 7 step reverse engineering plan!

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