Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Introduction to Database Concepts
Introduction to Database Concepts
Before you begin using Access to create the database for Oren, you need to understand a
few key terms and concepts associated with databases.
Organizing Data
Data is a valuable resource to any business. At Belmont Landscapes, for example,
important data includes customers’ names and addresses and contract amounts and dates.
Organizing, storing, maintaining, retrieving, and sorting this type of data are critical
activities that enable a business to fi nd and use information effectively. Before storing
data on a computer, however, you must organize the data.
Your fi rst step in organizing data is to identify the individual fi elds. A fi eld is a single
characteristic or attribute of a person, place, object, event, or idea. For example, some of
the many fi elds that Belmont Landscapes tracks are customer ID, fi rst name, last name,
company name, address, phone number, contract amount, contract signing date, and
contract type.
Next, you group related fi elds together into tables. A table is a collection of fi elds
that describes a person, place, object, event, or idea. Figure 1-1 shows an example
of a Customer table that contains the following four fi elds: CustomerID, FirstName,
LastName, and Phone.
Figure 1-1
Data organization for a table of customers
fields
Customer table
CustomerID
FirstName
LastName
Phone
Owen
Hawes
616-392-0622
11005
11008
Melissa
Caputo
269-985-1122
11014
Amol
Mehta
616-396-1972
records
11015
John
Weiss
616-637-7783
11027
Karen
O’Brien
517-483-9244
11053
Hwan
Tang
616-396-8401
The specifi c value, or content, of a fi eld is called the fi eld value . In Figure 1-1, the fi rst
set of fi eld values for CustomerID, FirstName, LastName, and Phone are, respectively:
11005; Owen; Hawes; and 616-392-0622. This set of fi eld values is called a record . In
the Customer table, the data for each customer is stored as a separate record. Figure 1-1
shows six records; each row of fi eld values is a record.
Databases and Relationships
A collection of related tables is called a database , or a relational database . In this
tutorial, you will create the database for Belmont Landscapes and a table named Contract
to store data about contracts. In Tutorial 2, you will create two more tables, named
Customer and Invoice, to store related information about customers and their invoices.
As Oren and his staff use the database that you will create, they will need to access
information about customers and their contracts. To obtain this information, you must
have a way to connect records in the Customer table to records in the Contract table.
You connect the records in the separate tables through a common fi eld that appears in
both tables.
Search JabSto ::




Custom Search