my first database is too much

kantrobus

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May 19, 2020
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I am just learning Access, and I am working on my first database. I have 31 tables which are connecting company locations, departments, and production figures in those departments. I want to create forms that will allow people within the company to enter production numbers with a date and then be able to run reports showing monthly or quarterly figures.

At this point, I am stumped. None of my tables include dates, and I'm not sure if they should or not. Do I need additional connected tables that would hold the data with the dates? And then I need it to be as simple as possible for those who are entering the data; I have to figure out how to create the forms to collect the information.

I took a day long class on Access, but before that I had never used it at all, so I definitely didn't retain everything. I have no idea what the right next step is, and I don't really know enough to figure it out with just Google, so I hope one of you can help me.
 

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Joe4

MrExcel MVP, Junior Admin
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Welcome to the Board!

I was very much where you were about 15 years ago, my first experience is creating an Access database was quite large. I kept running into obstacles, when someone put me on the right path. It is more than just understanding Access, you need to understand and apply the Rules of Normalization and Relational Database theory when designing your table layouts. If you do not have a good design, most things will end up being much harder than they need to be.

Here is a good article on database normalization: Database normalization description - Office
and here is an article on database design: Database design basics

There are lots of other good articles on those subjects that you can find with Google searches. I highly recommend applying these right from the get go. I did not on my first pass, and ended up having to scrap 3 months of work and start over. However, once I applied those rules, things worked very well, and they are still using that database some 17 years later!
 

kantrobus

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Thank you; I will definitely check those out.
 

Joe4

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You are welcome.

I found that Access is not as intuitive as Excel, and there is a steeper learning curve. But once you get past that part and start to feel comfortable with it, it is pretty cool all the things you can do with it. Many tasks I was doing in Excel (like trying to compare two large files for differences), are so much easier in Access.
 

alansidman

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In addition to what Joe has offered up, the document that really helped me when I started is by Paul Litwin. Here is a link to that document

 

kantrobus

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
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Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
You are welcome.

I found that Access is not as intuitive as Excel, and there is a steeper learning curve. But once you get past that part and start to feel comfortable with it, it is pretty cool all the things you can do with it. Many tasks I was doing in Excel (like trying to compare two large files for differences), are so much easier in Access.

That's kind of what I"m seeing. There is a lot to learn, but I can already tell how fantastic it will be even for just this one recurring report, so long as I can work out all the details. :)
 

kantrobus

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  1. 365
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In addition to what Joe has offered up, the document that really helped me when I started is by Paul Litwin. Here is a link to that document


Thank you; that's very interesting!
 

jackd

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You have been given good advice. In addition and in support of what has been said, see this link for several articles on Database Planning and Design. Too many newbies jump directly into a physical database. My recommendation is to work through 1 or 2 of the tutorials from RogersAccessLibrary mentioned in the link. He leads you through a business description and a process to identify the entities and relationships for a database to support that business. Build a data model and test the model with test data and test scenarios. You have to work through the tutorial to experience the process--but you will learn.

Work with the tutorials to understand the concepts and process involved. Your project is ambitious --31 tables for a first database is almost extreme. Get you feet wet before jumping off the ledge.

Good luck with your entry into Access and database.
 
Last edited:

kantrobus

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
7
Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
I feel very good about the progress I've made so far especially after reviewing some of your links, but I'm stumped on how to move forward. I certainly understand the problems with jumping in to something big right away, but I need this project to be functional in less than two weeks. :) I think I'm going to need someone who is familiar with the program to look at my actual file and give me some direction. Do you all know of any resources for that? Thank you!
 

alansidman

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Two weeks is a very short time frame, but having said that, you can post your DB to a third party site like Dropbox.com or Box.Net and post the link here. Hopefully, someone will have enough time and energy to review what you have done. You will need to explain what you hope to accomplish with what you have. I would not be optimistic about the two weeks and having a production viable database.
 

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