Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Session 1.1
Session 1.1
Introduction to Database Concepts
Before you begin working on Elsa’s database and using Access, you need to understand a
few key terms and concepts associated with databases.
Organizing Data
Data is a valuable resource to any business. At NSJI, for example, important data includes
employers’ names and addresses, and available positions and wages. Organizing, storing,
maintaining, retrieving, and sorting this type of data are critical activities that enable a
business to find and use information effectively. Before storing data on a computer, how-
ever, you must organize the data.
Your first step in organizing data is to identify the individual fields. A field is a single
characteristic or attribute of a person, place, object, event, or idea. For example, some of
the many fields that NSJI tracks are employer ID, employer name, employer address,
employer phone number, position, wage, and start date.
Next, you group related fields together into tables. A table is a collection of fields that
describe a person, place, object, event, or idea. Figure 1-1 shows an example of an
Employer table consisting of four fields: EmployerID, EmployerName, EmployerAddress,
and PhoneNumber.
For hands-on practice of
key tasks in this session,
go to the SAM 2003
Training Companion CD
included with this text.
Figure 1-1
Data organization for a table of employers
Employer table
BeanTown Tours
105 State Street, Boston, MA 02109
Boston Harbor Excursions
75 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110
BaySide Inn & Country Club
354 Oceanside Drive, Brewster, MA 02631
The Briar Rose Inn
105 Queen Street, Charlottetown PE C1A 8R4
14 Longmeadow Road, Laconia, NH 03246
Windsor Alpine Tours
Trudel Spa & Resort
40 Rue Rivard, North Hatley QC J0B 2C0
The specific value, or content, of a field is called the field value . In Figure 1-1, the first
set of field values for EmployerID, EmployerName, EmployerAddress, and PhoneNumber
are, respectively: 10122; BeanTown Tours; 105 State Street, Boston, MA 02109; and
617-451-1970. This set of field values is called a record . In the Employer table, the data
for each employer is stored as a separate record. Figure 1-1 shows six records; each row
of field values is a record.
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