Database experts?

  Devious Dave 20:49 30 Jul 2004

Hi, I sell ink cartridges and when people ring up for prices 99% of them give me a printer model and expect me to know what cartridges goes in their printer.

So, what I need is a database with a search facility so I can type in the printer model and it displays the cartridges to go in that printer.

I did databases in college and found it incredible boring, I now wish I had listened. I want to use Microsoft Access and if someone could explain what I need i.e what tables, forms? How do I get a search facility? If it to complicated to explain could you point me to a website that could help.


  peabody 21:10 30 Jul 2004

On the face of it, you need 4 tables: Printer Manufacturers (all their details and an ID Code), Printers (details of the various models with Id code), Cartridges (models and Id) and i ama assuming uou need a table for Cartridge Manufacturers if more than 1 manufacturer can make cartridges for the same printer).

The relationship is:
Printer Manufacturer to Printer = 1 to many
Printer to Cartridge = 1 to 1 (or may be 1 to many if more than 1 cartridge can fit a printer - you will know that)
Cartridge Maunfacturer to Cartridge 1 to many (probably)

Link the tables on Id codes

You can now create Queries to list:

- all the Printer Manufacturers details
- details for specific PMs
- all printers made by PMs
- all cartridges used by printers
- all Cartridge manufacturers details
- all cartridges made by all or any cartridge manufacturers
- all cartridges to fit a specific PM's printers
etc etc etc

The sky's the limit!

I strongly recommend you follow the Access tutorial which explains database design (normalisation) extremely well.

  Devious Dave 21:17 30 Jul 2004

"normalisation" I remember that word, and I remember that I couldn't get me head around it. Think I copied someone else on that. Here we go again. Cheers for the help peabody.

  peabody 21:26 30 Jul 2004

It's just a matter of logically separating out 'lumps' of data and avoids having the same data stored in different tables.

If you don't do it like this you end up with a nightmare scenario: imagine a single file of cartridge details with the manufacture details on each record plus the details of the printer(s) the cartridge fits. Think how many times you'll end up typing in the same data! And then think whathappens when a PM changes his address or phone no.!!!!

Happy normalising!

  Belatucadrus 21:34 30 Jul 2004

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